Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Bring Their Case to Chattanooga

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 8/04 7:21 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - The Lt. Governor of Tennessee wants three justices on the state supreme court replaced.
Ron Ramsey has put more than 400-thousand dollars of his own money into a statewide media campaign.
But the justices have responded with a similar campaign, plus personal appearances around the state.
Two of them were in Chattanooga Monday.

In Tennessee the Governorship, the house and the senate are controlled by conservatives.
But three members of the Tennessee supreme court were appointed by democratic governor Phil Bredesen.
And, Lieutenant Governor Ran Ramsey is heading a campaign replace them.

(GOP CAMPAIGN SPOT)

Two the three justices are touring the state hoping to counter what they think is an unfair attack on the judiciary.

CHIEF JUSTICE GARY WADE, TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT "Our courts should never be beholding to anyone in the executive or the legislative branch of government. We're simply here to try to do the right thing."

JUSTICE SHARON LEE, TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT "Let's keep our courts fair...let's keep our courts impartial ....And lets keep partisan politics out of our court system."

Lt. Governor Ramsey is the largest single contributor to the GOP's media campaign, tossing in more than 400-thousand dollars so far.
Former Chief Justice Mickey Barker of Signal Mountain is one of the staunchest defenders of the sitting justices.

MICKEY BARKER, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE, TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT "What's being said about these friends of mine and former colleagues is simply untrue and I am truly disappointed and somewhat angered at the people who are behind this. I know who they are and what their motives are."

Among other things conservatives charge the justices with being soft on crime and not addressing problems with the Affordable Care act.

CHIEF JUSTICE GARY WADE "Obviously the state of Tennessee ..the state courts have nothing to do with the federal law on Obamacare."

Voters on Thursday will be asked to decide whether to retain or replace the three justices.
With the election only days away, both sides are running extensive media campaigns with help from out-of-state contributors.
The third justice is Connie Clark who was making an appearance in another part of the state Monday.



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