TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Barry Kolar on Jun 14, 2016

NASHVILLE, June 14, 2016 — Nine out of 10 lawyers recommend that Tennesseans vote to “retain” the three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices on the Aug. 4 ballot. That’s the result of a Tennessee Bar Association Candidate Evaluation Poll conducted over the last four weeks.

The Tennessee Bar Association asked its members to indicate whether they highly recommended, recommended, did not recommend or had no informed opinion on the issue as of the date that they responded to the survey, with respect to the retention election of Justices Jeffrey S. Bivins, Holly Kirby and Roger A. Page.

The votes of those with an opinion break out as follows:

JusticeHighly Recommend RecommendDo Not Recommend
Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins 68.2%26.0% 5.8%
Justice Holly Kirby
Justice Roger A. Page64.1%29.8%6.1%
Supreme Court Retention Poll Results

“Lawyers are uniquely qualified to provide an informed opinion as to whether a justice should be retained in office,” outgoing TBA President Bill Harbison of Nashville said in announcing the results. “For that reason, it is important that they share this knowledge with voters who will be going to the polls in August.”

TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur said that he was “quite pleased” with the large number of lawyers voting. “We think this good turnout means that the results are a fair reflection of the sentiment of TBA members.” The membership is made up of some 13,000 members from all facets of law practice and represents more than 70 percent of the lawyers in Tennessee.

“We want to help the voting public make an informed decision in these retention elections by compiling the views of Tennessee lawyers and presenting them broadly,” incoming TBA President Jason Long said. “We will continue this educational effort through early voting, which begins July 15, and Election Day, Aug. 4.”

The poll is part of a broad effort to ensure a fair, impartial and accountable judicial election. The TBA conducts the Tennessee Fair Judicial Campaign Code of Conduct, and through its Policy on Unjust Criticism of Judges, the TBA also responds to unjust criticism of judges and judicial candidates when they are unable to do so because of judicial ethics constraints. Information on all of these efforts is available on the TBA Judicial Selection Information Center.