NASHVILLE - Retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Mickey Barker of Signal Mountain charges in a new television ad that "out-of-state interests are trying to take over our Supreme Court."
"Although I'm a Republican, politics has no place in our courts," Barker says in the 30-second spot ad paid for by Keep Our Courts Fair, the coordinated campaign of Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade.
"But now," Barker adds, "out-of-state special interests are trying to take over our Supreme Court. I know Justice Clark, Lee and Wade, and they have served with distinction upholding our constitution, protecting individual rights, and upholding nearly 90 percent of death sentences."
The ad is airing in markets across the state, Keep Our Courts Fair said in a news release.
A number of Republicans led by state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey have launched an effort to oust the three justices, all Democrats, who are up on the Aug. 7 retention ballot for voters.
Over the weekend, one of the groups, the Tennessee Forum, launched an its own ad attacking the justices and charging they have been "liberal" on crime. Court defenders say the ad is false.