JOIN THE COMMITTEE FOR AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY

ESTABLISHED MARCH 3, 2021 TO PROTECT TENNESSEE’S SEPARATION OF POWERS

The Committee for an Independent Judiciary is a statewide coalition formed in response to a new legislative effort to unseat a prominent Tennessee judge and change the balance of power in the state. The group strives to educate about the perils of the pending legislation which would quickly deconstruct the state’s system of justice by allowing powerful people to influence the decisions of any Tennessee judge.

Anyone is invited to join the committee and there is no charge for membership. Hundreds of concerned citizens have joined the effort and the list of members may be published during the course of the effort. Thank you for your interest in the Committee for an Independent Judiciary.

COORDINATING COMMITTEE: NASHVILLE

Bob Boston
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis

Aubrey Harwell
Neal & Harwell

D. Billye Sanders
Dockery & Associates

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: STATEWIDE

Roger Dickson
Miller & Martin, Chattanooga

Lucian Pera
Adams & Reese, Memphis

Wayne Ritchie
Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson, Knoxville

Currently in Tennessee, there is an unprecedented and misguided attempt by some state lawmakers to remove a highly qualified and respected judge because they disagree with one of her decisions.

During her 25-year career on the bench, Chancellor Lyle has consistently handed down thousands of legal rulings based on the law. Tennessee’s legislature has never in its long history removed a judge from office. This resolution is a threat to judicial independence and, if passed, would quickly erode the fundamental separation of powers. As this bill makes its way through the state legislature, concerned citizens must come together and express opposition.

On March 2, 2021, the Nashville Bar Association and Tennessee Bar Association have taken positions against this alarming legislation.

According to the Nashville Bar Association:

“Alexander Hamilton taught that the Judicial Branch is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power . . . it can never attack with success either of the other two . . .; all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks.’

The judiciary is unable to defend itself from attacks on its independence. Accordingly, it is up to the community and attorneys to stand up for this fundamental principle. We urge others to join us in defending against this attack on the independent judiciary.”

Additional Resources

Attack on one judge threatens Tennessee’s independent judicial system (Opinion | Tennessean article)

Urgent Notice to the Tennessee Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers from State Committee Chair, David Wade, Regarding Judicial Independence in the State (pdf)

The Nashville Bar Association Issues Statement on Independent Judiciary (pdf)

MBA Statement on House Resolution 23 (pdf)

Committee for Independent Judiciary Formed to Protect Tennessee Judicial System Against Legislative Threat (pdf)

House Republicans’ Attempt to Remove Nashville Judge May Set Off War (Nashville Scene Article)

TBA Issues Statement on House Resolution 23

LAW Statement in Support of Chancellor Ellen Lyle

PLEASE JOIN OUR EFFORT TO HELP DEFEAT THIS LEGISLATION: