Haslam Washes Hands Of Effort To Unseat Democrats From Tennessee High Court

In February, Gov. Bill Haslam addressed the Tennessee Supreme Court in the old chambers within the state capitol. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

In February, Gov. Bill Haslam addressed the Tennessee Supreme Court in the old chambers within the state capitol. Credit: TN Photo Services via Flickr

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is giving the state’s sitting supreme court his vote of confidence. The affirmation comes as the state’s lieutenant governor launches a campaign to unseat the justices appointed by Democrats.

Only one Tennessee Supreme Court justice has been voted out of office under the current retention election system. And Ron Ramsey is taking aim at three.

In a PowerPoint obtained by News Channel 5, the lieutenant governor is trying to convince business groups that Chief Justice Gary Wade, and justices Connie Clark and Sharon Lee are “soft on crime” and that the Attorney General – who they appoint – is the “enemy of job creators.”

Governor Haslam says he has a “good working relationship with all three” targeted justices.                                                                                                  

“Lt. Governor Ramsey has the full right to go do that and make his argument. It’s just something that I’m not going to be taking part in.” – Gov. Bill Haslam

Haslam is – however – involved in a judicial campaign of his own. He’s advocating on behalf of a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall that prevents the state from ever going to direct elections for the Supreme Court and appellate judges.

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