Press Release from the Coordinated Campaign of Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Cornelia Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade, July 17, 2014:
Tennessee State Fraternal Order of Police endorses fair and impartial courts, Stands behind retention of Justices Clark, Lee and Chief Justice Wade
NASHVILLE – Leadership in the state law enforcement community today announced support for fair and impartial courts and endorsed retention of Justice Connie Clark, Justice Sharon Lee and Chief Justice Gary Wade.
The Justices thanked the Tennessee State Fraternal Order of Police for their support during the event at the home of the state’s largest FOP affiliate, the Andrew Jackson Lodge 5.
“The Fraternal of Police has a clear interest in a fair and impartial judiciary,” said Johnny Crumby, State President of the FOP. At the recently concluded FOP State Conference in Memphis, the delegates voted on a resolution to support retention of the Supreme Court Justices. The resolution also called for support of Amendment 2 as proposed by Governor Haslam to affirm the current system of appointment and retention.
“A fair and independent judiciary is the hallmark of our three part system of government,” said Sgt. Robert O. Weaver, President of the Andrew Jackson Lodge 5 of Nashville, who proposed the resolution.
“Appellate Court judges review the cases and apply the laws written by the legislature and enforced by the executive branch. Judges need to be able to perform their duties without being beholden to the political winds of the other branches,” Weaver said. “These Justices have served in local governments and in business.
The assertions they are removed from the role of law in commercial, public and individual rights is the kind of political tripe we do not need in the judicial branch,” Weaver added.
Each Justice thanked the FOP for its support.
“Law enforcement officers are among the most trusted people in our communities,” said Justice Clark. “They know the value of upholding the laws of our land, just like judges do. I appreciate having their support.”
Added Justice Lee, “Having the support of police officers from across this state is tremendous. When they see a victim of crime, they don’t look at that person and wonder what her politics are before helping. They do their job. Much like our officers, my workplace—the courtroom—is a politics-free zone.” Chief Justice Gary Wade said, “I am proud to have the support of the State FOP and its members in communities across the state. They know we must keep our courts fair and impartial without imposition of political interference.”
This was the second significant announcement for the respective campaigns of each of the Justices and the Chief Justice in as many days, and both from the law enforcement community. A bipartisan group of District Attorneys and former prosecutors from across the state announced their support for the Justices yesterday, noting the Justices have upheld about 90 percent of the death penalty cases that have come before them.
Keep Tennessee Courts Fair is the coordinated campaign for the Committee to Retain Connie Clark (Julian Bibb, Treasurer), the Committee to Retain Justice Lee (T. Lee Sherbakoff, Treasurer) and the Friends of Gary Wade (Sam Furrow, Treasurer). This press release is not an endorsement of any Justice by any other Justice and shall not be construed, cited or used by any person or organization as such an endorsement.