published Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Supreme Court justices raise $600,000 to fend off GOP senators' effort to defeat them

NASHVILLE – A bipartisan group backing the retention of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices says it has raised $600,000 so far.

Keep Tennessee Courts Fair says it "surpassed expectations" by raising the amount quickly. The campaign is supporting Chief Justice Gary Wade and fellow Justices Connie Clark and Sharon Lee.

The three justices are each up on yes-no votes on the August ballot.

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is leading efforts to defeat all three justices, who were appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.

Ramsey's fellow Republicans, Gov. Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell, aren't backing Ramsey's campaign against the justices. But a number of state Republican senators are.

Two other justices, both Republicans, declined to stand for reelection this year. Ramsey has been critical of several decisions rendered by all five justices and is also unhappy over their selection of Robert Cooper as Tennessee's state attorney general in 2006.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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