Steen: Criticism of Judicial Conduct Board Misplaced

TBA President Jonathan Steen has responded to an opinion piece by state Sen. Todd Gardenhire that recently ran in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The piece questioned the motives and decision of the Board of Judicial Conduct in dismissing an ethics complaint against Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, and suggested that the board twisted words and conjured up technicalities to hide a serious breach of ethics. In his response, Steen said such criticism is “unjust and deserves to be examined.” He notes that the board followed the procedure created by the legislature when it revised judicial ethics rules in 2012. Rather than being “technicalities,” the rules created by the legislature are designed “to bring better clarity and definition” to the process “to ensure that the provisions do not violate the state constitution,” Steen said. Read the full response.