Government Affairs Update

Follow the TBA's efforts to influence federal and state policy as it fulfills one of the core missions of the association – advocacy for the profession and for our system of justice.

Commission Asks Legislators for All Correspondence on School Issue

Lawyers handling the Shelby County Commission's municipal school-district lawsuit have asked the entire Tennessee legislature for "all communications or letters," including e-mail, regarding the consolidation of the city and county schools and the creation of new municipal school districts. The request by lawyers from the Baker Donelson law firm includes communications from "any citizen, constituents, residents or anyone else," legislative administrators said today. The request is not a subpoena but legislative officials said they are complying and sent a letter Friday to all 132 members of the General Assembly and their aides asking them if they had anything they felt fell under the scope of the request. The Commercial Appeal has more

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Election a 'Mixed Bag' for Challengers

Thursday's state legislative primary results likely signal more infighting among Republicans in the next two-year legislative term, particularly between the GOP's pro-business and tea party wings in the House, the Commercial Appeal argues. The paper calls the results "a mixed bag" for more conservative challengers.  Read its election follow-up

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Mallicote May Contest Primary Results

Tennessee 2nd House District challenger Ben Mallicote said today he hasn’t ruled out contesting his narrow loss to incumbent state Rep. Tony Shipley in the Republican primary by 11 votes, the Times-News reports. Tennessee law does not permit a recount, only a “contest” which may only be filed by a candidate or the incumbent office holder, according to Sullivan County Elections Administrator Jason Booher.

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Gray to Face Williams; Phillip North is Nominee

Primary election coverage in Friday's issue of TBA Today contained two inaccuracies. Thomas Gray in the 4th District will face former Speaker and Independent candidate Kent Williams. The story also incorrectly identified Phillip North, Democratic nominee in the substantially redrawn Senate District 20 in Nashville. We regret the errors. Review the corrected results

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More Lawyers in House Assured; Senate Suffers from Retirements

With results in a couple of races still uncertain, one thing is clear about the next General Assembly: there will be more lawyers in the House. In the Senate, retirements left a big gap to fill.

In the House, there will be at least five lawyers and possibly as many as nine when the legislature returns in January. Four incumbents -- Craig Fitzhugh, Mike Stewart, Vance Dennis and John Mark Windle -- are expected to return after receiving their party's nod. Linda Elam is the only incumbent lawyer who did not qualify to return.

Mike Carter will represent Ooltewah after claiming the Republican nomination there and Jeremy Durham will represent a portion of Williamson. Neither face Democratic opposition. In the 4th District, Thomas Gray was unopposed in the Republican primary and has no Democratic opponent. He will, however, face former Speaker and Independent candidate Kent Williams in the general election.

One race between Steven Glaser and William Lambert will feature a faceoff between two lawyers assuring a sixth seat. Sevierville lawyer Andrew Farmer is the Republican nominee in the heavily Republican 3rd District.

In the Senate, three incumbent Republican lawyer lawmakers -- Doug Overbey, Ken Yager and Mark Norris -- should return, along with Democratic Leader Jim Kyle, after each won their party races. With the retirement of Mike Faulk, Andy Berke, Roy Herron and Joe Haynes, the number of lawyers in the upper chamber will decline by at least one. Lawyer candidates Tim Barnes, John Stephens and Phillip North all face what are expected to be hard fought fall campaigns to keep the body close to what it was in 2012.

Read complete legislative results and other election news now

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Five State Democrat Incumbents Lose

Among Democrats in the state House, at least four incumbents were unseated, mostly due to redistricting that pitted incumbents against each other. In Chattanooga, Rep. JoAnn Favors defeated Rep. Tommie Brown. In Memphis, Rep. John DeBerry defeated Rep. Jeanne Richardson and Rep. G.A. Hardaway defeated Rep. Mike Kernell. And in Nashville, Rep. Mary Pruitt defeated by Harold Love Jr. by just 40 votes. In the Senate, Jim Kyle defeated colleague Beverly Marrero. Humphrey on the Hill has a wrap-up

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Maggart, Other House GOP Incumbents Defeated

In the 24 races where Republican state lawmakers were facing challenges, at least seven incumbents were defeated. They included two members of the House leadership: Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart of Hendersonville, who was beaten by challenger Courtney Rogers, and Education Committee Chairman Richard Montgomery of Sevierville, who was narrowly defeated by Dale Carr. Other Republican incumbents defeated were Jim Cobb, of Spring City, who was bested by Dayton businessman Ron Travis; Linda Elam of Mt. Juliet, who lost to former Rep. Susan Lynn; Dale Ford of Jonesborough, who was defeated by James "Micah" Van Huss; Julia Hurley of Lenoir City, who was defeated by Kent Calfee of Kingston; and Don Miller of Morristown, who was defeated by Tilman Goins. Humphrey on the Hill has a wrap-up.

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Niceley Wins Faulk’s Senate Seat

Former State Rep. Frank Niceley prevailed over three others to capture the Republican nomination for the newly renumbered 8th Senatorial District. The seat is being vacated by State Sen. Mike Faulk, who opted not to seek re-election earlier this year. There is no Democratic candidate on the November general election ballot, which means Niceley should cruise to victory in November. The Rogersville Review and the Times News have more.

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Lawyers See Mixed Success in Legislative Races

Of the 25 lawyers running for 20 seats seats in the Tennessee General Assembly, several will be moving on to the fall general election. Here are results of how they fared in Thursday's primary elections.

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AG: OK to Deny Politicians Alternative Sentencing

A new Tennessee law that holds public officials more accountable for crimes related to their official position or duties is constitutional according to Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper. The law, passed by the legislature earlier this year makes elected or appointed officials ineligible for pre-trial diversion for offenses committed in their official capacity or duties of office. The opinion, requested by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, found that diversion would be considered “truly extraordinary relief” and not a “fundamental right.” The Times Free Press has more. Download the opinion

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