Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth on Tuesday denied a request by new attorneys for a group seeking to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield.
The judge said stopping an election "should be extremely rare and not taken lightly," but he said this was a case where allowing a Nov. 2 vote "would be the sanctioning of an election which did not have the apparent authority of law."
Attorneys Frank Pinchak and Harry Burnette on Monday told Judge Hollingsworth he did not have the authority to block an election that had been expected for Nov. 2 for mayor of Chattanooga.
The election office had ruled that the recall group had gotten enough signatures to recall Mayor Littlefield under the city charter.
However, Mayor Littlefield filed suit and got a favorable ruling from Judge Hollingsworth, who said the state law on recall should apply.
Attorney Pinchak said, "As far as I can tell, this was the first court in the state of Tennessee to enjoin an election."
He said it should be up to the Election Commission, not the courts, on deciding election matters.
The attorney said after an election, then an aggrieved party can file an election challenge.
Attorney Tom Greenholz disagreed, saying Judge Hollingsworth "clearly had the power to enjoin this election."
He said if he had not done so, then Mayor Littlefield and a host of others would likely have been involved in an election that was later ruled invalid.
"It would be a waste of time and resources. At the end of the day, it would have all been for naught," he said.
Judge Hollingsworth said on Monday he would read a 2006 opinion by former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Mickey Barker on the issue.
Attorney Pinchak said it states that "no one has the standing to stop an election."