Chief Justice Lee Supports Amendment 2 In Address To Attorneys At Knoxville Bar Event

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee, addressing hundreds of Knoxville-area attorneys at the annual Knoxville Bar Association Supreme Court Dinner Wednesday night, threw her support behind Amendment 2, which would change the Tennessee Constitution’s provisions for how judges are appointed and elected.

In regard to Amendment 2, Chief Justice Lee said it will eliminate any doubt about the constitutionality of the method of selection of the state’s appellate judges and urged the attorneys to vote in favor of it on Nov. 4.

There have been decades of disagreement and lawsuits contesting our method of selecting our appellate judiciary, and we need to bring clarity, finality, and stability to this selection system,“ she said. “Amendment 2 accomplishes this goal.”

Amendment 2 changes the constitution to provide that appellate judges will be appointed by the governor, confirmed by the Legislature and elected in a retention election by the voters.

She went on to say that while “no system is perfect…Amendment 2 follows several fundamental principles of our system of government including legislative oversight.

“The system Amendment 2 proposes creates the right balance between making sure we have an independent, diverse and qualified judiciary to uphold the rule of law, while still having accountability to the people and our elected representatives,” she said.

Chief Justice Lee also thanked the attorneys and guests for their support in the recent retention election, in which she, Justice Cornelia Clark, and Justice Gary Wade were retained to serve another eight years on the state Supreme Court.

With more than 100 new judges taking office across the state in 2014, Chief Justice Lee summed up the state of the judiciary in one word – “change.” She recognized the two new members of the Supreme Court – Justice Jeffrey Bivins and Justice Holly Kirby – as well as the six new appellate judges that are serving across the state and the five new trial judges in Knoxville.

She also thanked retiring Appellate Court Judge Joe Tipton, Chancellor Daryl Fansler, Judge Mary Beth Lebowitz, Judge Bill Swann, Judge Harold Wimberly, Judge Dale Workman, and District Attorney General Randy Nichols for their service to the people of Knox County and East Tennessee.

She concluded that other changes on the horizon include tools that utilize technology to make it easier for attorneys to conduct business in the court system.

The Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association and the Tennessee State Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police announced they are supporting the passage of Amendment 2.

“Amendment 2 brings new clarity and accountability to the process of selecting Tennessee’s Supreme Court and appellate court judges,” said FOP President Johnny Crumby. “We need the best judges, not the best politicians.  Amendment 2 will help ensure that we get the fair and impartial judges that Tennesseans want and need.”

 


Cleveland City Council Addresses Students Entering The Workforce And Recent Firing Of Lt. Steve Tyson

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland told the Cleveland City Council that employers across the state said at a conference that they had three main problems with Tennessee students entering the workforce: "They can't do ninth grade math, coming to work on time, and students passing drug tests." Mayor Rowland said he was surprised by these, especially the last one. The sister of Cleveland ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff's Department Grows, Adding New Positions

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson announced to the county commission that his department now had 217 employees, having created several new positions. Sheriff Watson said the department was able to do this through budgeting more efficiently. He also said, "The day shift will have 19 uniformed officers." County Commissioner Charlotte Peak asked him why his department was ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)

Tennessee Gets Down To Final Preparations For Georgia

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – Tennessee’s first Southeastern Conference road trip to Georgia on Saturday (noon kickoff on the SEC Network) will be a homecoming for 17 Vols. That fact is not lost on those players, from freshmen wanting to make a first impression to those, like   A.J. Johnson , playing against the Bulldogs and in their home state for the final time. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Golf Team Second At Wolf Run Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is tied for second after 18 holes at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. The Mocs and Florida Gators each shot 295 over the opening 18 to trail Illinois by 11 at 285 at Wolf Run Golf Club. The day’s docket had a scheduled 36 holes. Afternoon storms sent teams from the course prior to finishing. The remaining holes will be completed starting at 9:30 ... (click for more)