Survey of Lawyers Finds Vast Support for Justices

Jun 16, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee Bar Association survey of its lawyer members found nine out of 10 respondents support the retention of three state Supreme Court justices who are on the ballot in August.

Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor, and must stand for yes-no retention elections every eight years.

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is spearheading an effort to defeat Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade, all of whom were appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.

Tennessee Bar President Allan Ramsaur says the survey was taken to bring some balance to the discussion.

“There are active campaigns for retention and there are active campaigns against retention and we think we can provide and unbiased, sort of neutral middle that will help voters. Our poll results can help inform folks.”

A conservative lawyer’s group disputes that notion. The organization Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability criticized the survey for only focusing on the opinions of attorneys. the group argues lawyers are not objective about the judges who rule on their cases.