Fight ramps up over upcoming Supreme Court justice vote

Fight ramps up over upcoming Supreme Court justice vote (Image 1)

A statewide television advertising campaign naming the Tennessee Supreme Court as “the most liberal place in Tennessee” that asks voters to replace Justices Sharon Lee, Connie Clark and Chief Justice Gary Wade was launched Saturday by the Tennessee Forum.

Susan Kaestner with the Tennessee Forum spoke to News 2 Sunday and said the justices have been sitting for eight years and this is the first opportunity “that we have as a community to discuss who they are and what their core values are.”

“What we believe is the Supreme Court chose the attorney for the Democrat state party to be the attorney general,” she explained, adding, “And when the opportunity arose to fight Obamacare, he chose not to do that. He chose not to join 28 other states in that fight.”

The group Keep Tennessee Courts Fair, however, says the ad is false and negative, and says the Tennessee Forum is trying to put politics in our courts, taking our constitutional protections away.

In a press release Sunday, Keep Tennessee Courts Fair claims the allegations against Wade, Lee and Clark claiming they are “liberal,” “soft on crime,” and somehow have anything to do with Obamacare are “over the top” and “simply false.”

A campaign manager for the group, Brenda Gadd, said in the release that the justices have nothing to do with Obamacare, its passage, its implementation or whether a lawsuit would be pursued in the state of Tennessee.

The release also refers to the ads as “smear tactics.”

Kaestner, however, believes Wade, Lee and Clark are “running from their accountability” of the decisions they made “when they intentionally selected a partisan politico attorney general.”

She said the three justices’ partisan history is well-documented with liberal affiliations, leadership and financial contributions.

“We don’t believe that this liberal Supreme Court reflects the values of Tennesseans and so we are encouraging people to replace them when they have an opportunity in August,” Kaestner explained.

The goal of Keep Tennessee Courts Fair is to encourage the opposite, for people to vote to retain all three justices, saying they have “firmly and consistently upheld the constitution in a fair and impartial manner without political interference.”

News 2 reached out to the group Sunday but never heard back.

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