TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 22, 2014

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justice Sharon Lee told a group of lawyers and judges in Memphis that they might need protection at the ballot box in August. Fox News 13, reporting from the University of Memphis School of Law event, said that the pair, along with Justice Cornelia Clark, are targets of an ouster campaign against their retention. According to UM law professor Dr. Steve Mulroy, there is "a coordinated effort to target them to get them off the Supreme Court, and I know that's it's being headed up by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. My understanding also is there's outside Tennessee money involved."

In related news, former Knoxville Mayor and Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe writes in the Shopper News that the “there is considerable speculation that wealthy conservative forces outside Tennessee will wage a ‘no vote’ on these justices, spending as much as $2.5 million.” Ashe says that Tennessee’s unique process, which relies on the state Supreme Court to choose the attorney general, has “placed the justices in the middle of a political firestorm.” Dissatisfied with a Democrat attorney general, “the GOP probably needs to defeat just one of [the justices] to have three Republicans on the court, which, in theory, would bring a Republican AG,” he writes.