A new campaign to educate voters about the judicial system, the importance of fair and impartial judicial elections and how to evaluate judicial candidates launches this week in Tennessee, one of eight states to participate in the "Informed Voters -- Fair Judges" project sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges and the League of Women Voters.
The project launches Wednesday at 11 a.m. Central/ Noon Eastern with a live webcast and videotaped presentation by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor, which can be seen here.
"I am so pleased that Tennessee has been selected as a pilot state for this important public education project," said Cindy Wyrick, president of the Tennessee Bar Association and honorary state co-chair of the project. "This effort will provide invaluable information to our citizens who will go to the polls later this year to vote for local and state judges. We want every citizen to know just how critical it is to our justice system that we as voters elect fair and impartial judges." Suzanne Keith with the Tennessee Association for Justice also is serving with Wyrick as honorary state co-chair. The project is being implemented by a coordinating committee chaired by Brentwood lawyer Rebecca Blair.
For Tennessee voters, the Informed Voters website provides nonpartisan information about the judicial system, qualities to look for in a good judge, a list of judges who will be on the ballot this year and a link to request a speaker about this issue. Those who visit the site also are encouraged to share the project on social media by "liking" the projects Facebook page and following the campaign on Twitter.
The National Association of Women Judges, the nations primary professional organization for female jurists in state, federal and appellate courts, says it is launching the initiative because it believes strongly in the preservation of a fair and impartial legal system and is concerned about a growing gap in civic literacy in the nation. The project was developed to increase public awareness about the judicial system, inform voters that politics and special interest attacks have no place in the courts and give voters the tools they need to exercise an informed vote in favor of fair and impartial courts.