Sen. Mae Beavers, who served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for six years, says she was not surprised when she was removed as chair of the influential committee earlier this month.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey replaced Beavers as chair with fellow Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey, an attorney from Germantown. When asked about the move, Ramsey said Beavers had disappointed him “time or two,” and that she had not always been a “team player.”
“I ruffled some feathers taking a stand for my constituents, really everybody’s constituents, that had a complaint about judges,” the Mt. Juliet Republican said. “You know, you ruffle feathers, and sometimes that’s just what happens.”
Beavers told several media outlets that she believed it was due to her pushing for the direct elections of judges and speaking out for judicial ethics reform. Ramsey said those were not factors in making “one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make.
“We wanted to take a different direction, and I think Brian Kelsey is a bright young man that will do well,” he said.
Beavers said she was there was “a kind of a sense of relief” that she is no longer responsible for a committee that sees 700 bills every year. “Still, we’re getting complaints about judges, which will be forwarded to the new chairman of that committee,” she said. “We will continue to address those issues; file legislation when we feel it’s needed.”
Beavers now serves as vice chair of both the Transportation and Safety Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.