Our Courts Shouldn't Be Controlled By The Highest Bidder

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I have been a lawyer in Tennessee for over 35 years. Over that time, I have tried cases and argued cases on appeal, for defendants in civil litigation as well as for plaintiffs in civil litigation. Over that time, I have never had to fear whether a judge sitting on my case had benefited from a fundraiser by my adversary. Now, there are those who want to change the system so that we will have to worry about those types of things. 

I know of a case in Kentucky where the individual defendants hosted a fundraiser for one of the appellate judges who was to decide the case, while it was pending. That is an unacceptable situation. 

The United States Supreme Court has dealt with this in a case from West Virginia where a party spent over $3 million to place a selected individual on the Supreme Court in an effort to affect the outcome of that party's case. The United States Supreme Court found that situation to be unacceptable.

Regardless of political affiliation no one should have to be concerned that a judge hearing their case has received greater financial benefit and support from the opposing party or lawyer. Therefore, I urge those of you who are Tennessee residents to vote to retain our sitting Supreme Court and appellate court judges, mainly to rebuke those who feel that our courts should be controlled by the highest bidder. 

Bill Colvin



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