published Thursday, August 7th, 2014

GOP ballot bid fails to oust high court judges

Backed by supporters, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade gives a news conference about the retention of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in Blountville, Tenn., in this Aug. 5, 2014, photo.
Backed by supporters, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade gives a news conference about the retention of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in Blountville, Tenn., in this Aug. 5, 2014, photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — Three Democratic state Supreme Court justices have withstood a conservative effort to oust them from the bench of Tennessee's highest court.

Justices Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee, each of whom was appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, had become the targets of some Republicans who wanted to shift the majority of the five-member court to the GOP.

Control of the Supreme Court has added significance in Tennessee, because it is the only state in the country where the high court names the attorney general.

Attorney General Bob Cooper's term ends on Aug. 31.

Republicans, who hold vast majorities in the Legislature, have criticized Cooper for refusing to join a multi-state lawsuit against President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

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