Judges Pitch in to Hire a Lobbyist

Tennessee judges are ready to fight back against legislative efforts to revamp the Court of the Judiciary, evidenced this week when members of the Trial Judges’ Association voted to hire a lobbyist to represent them in the debate.
Excerpt from Mike Morrow’s TNReport::
The trial judges voted to increase their dues with a one-time assessment of $200 each in order to help get their message out to legislators. The vote came during a meeting of the trial judges at the Tennessee Judicial Conference in Franklin.
….Circuit Court Judge Randy Kennedy of Nashville said judges are being unfairly targeted.
“I never dreamed — maybe I’m naive — I never dreamed that in carrying out our duties and responsibilities impartially and fairly that we would become a target of a misinformed, malevolent, agenda-driven bunch of folks. But we are,” Kennedy said in the meeting.
“We are right in the crosshairs.”
There was debate about raising funds to hire someone to lobby for the judges. At first, the talk was of voluntarily contributing to funds for the purpose, but ultimately the group voted to make the one-time assessment on their dues. Advocates for the move made the case that the judges need a voice at the Capitol given what they’re up against with legislative efforts.
“The legislature is not the enemy,” Kennedy said. “The problem is we have been unable in the last few years to convince them we really do have the same direction. The road to serve the public should be a joint effort. Somehow, we need some help beyond our limited abilities as judges to help legislators understand we are not trying to do their job, and we don’t need them to do ours.”

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