TBA asks judge candidates to sign Judicial Campaign Code of Conduct

News release from Tennessee Bar Association
NASHVILLE, May 5, 2016 – With three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices and seven intermediate appellate judges facing retention elections, along with 15 trial judges and a number of local judges on the ballot in August, the Tennessee Bar Association is renewing its effort to assure fair and impartial judicial elections by asking judges to subscribe to the Tennessee Fair Judicial Campaign Code of Conduct.

“Judicial elections are different,” said TBA President Bill Harbison. “Judges are not permitted to make promises or pledges about how they will rule because we expect them to proceed case by case to apply the law to the facts and come to fair and impartial decisions. The code helps to ensure this impartiality by committing the judges not to make pledges, promises or commitments on how they will rule in cases.”

In the 2014 election cycle, where all judges and judicial officers were on the ballot, more than 116 judges subscribed to the code. Letters to all known judges and judicial candidates on the ballot are being issued this week. For more information and to view the code of conduct, visit
http://www.tba.org/node/83220.

Note: The link includes listings of judicial candidates, including three Supreme Court justices — Jeffrey S. Bivins, Holly Kirby and Roger Page — and seven other appeals court judges who will be on the August ballot. The Supreme Court members are all Republican appointees of Gov. Bill Haslam and no opposition to their retention has surface, a contrast to the 2014 election when three justices appointed by former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen were on the ballot (and won despite heavy opposition, led by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey).