Drew: While I generally subscribe to your view on this issue, I have one major caveat. I maintain serious a reservation about the deliberate involvement of children with couples involved with a same sex relationships. There is no child of a same sex relationship without one or both of that child's biological parents being absent. Where are they? Why have they abrogated responsibility for their offspring?
I concede that divorces occur, and that one biological parent may chose to enter into a same sex relationship. But that does not specifically exclude the other bio-parent.
I do not approve of the deliberate procreation of a child, using surrogacy, specifically to form a same sex family. Altering a child's birthright exclusively for the purpose of constructing a same-sex familial relationship and detaching that child from its biological parent(s) is a capricious and self indulgent act.
Men and women who sell off their children in anonymous sperm and egg donations similarly receive my scorn.
While adoptive parents of abandoned and orphaned children are truly angels, one does not have to witness many children in adoptive homes to notice the damage often inflicted by biological parental abandonment. Procreating specifically for same-sex couples is simply hubris.
No one has been able to convince me that two young men or two young women just graduating high school and so adopting, or step parent-adopting a young baby, is anything but a high risk venture.
Shredding the social fabric for the purpose of legitimizing indulgent sexual impulses needs to stop at the doorway to a fertility clinic.
Judge Frank's failure to disqualify himself in the case of Hooker vs. Haslam et al, challenging the retention election statute, when 11 of his COA colleagues did so is scandalous. He has violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and Article VI, § 11. Disqualification of judges. No Judge of the Supreme or Inferior Courts shall preside on the trial of any cause in the event of which he may be interested.
Judge Franks was retention s/elected, he derives his salary benefit and pension from a retention s/election. Let's not minimize this outrage.
It required a great deal of time for me to understand what the real problem is with the Retention-Election Statute. Simply put, the system undermines the public accountability of all Judges and not simply the appellate courts.
It is not strange that another challenge has been mounted to the State’s Retention Election statute, nor is it strange that the narrative of the challenge is mischaracterized by the author of this editorial. If you really study the history of this issue you learn that the flawed judicial decisions which have been consistently used to defeat the challenges are all really based upon an utterly erroneous decision held in the original case of Higgins vs. Dunn. If you ask any proponent to actually defend it and walk you through the decision on a scholarly basis you will always receive the, “it has been decided by smarter people than you.” An elitist's response. In several years of trying, I have never once heard anyone, on a scholarly basis, actually defend the Higgins decision. Instead, to paraphrase the late Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas they are “freez(ing) into the Constitution something that is not there on a stare decisis basis.”
God Bless John Jay Hooker for having the strength of character and the tireless courage to defend our Constitution. John Jay can speak far more eloquently about the constitutional basis for the challenge, such that I recommend that everyone read his Facebook and YouTube postings, on this subject. If you actually take the time to understand what he is saying, you will see that he is fighting something that has corrupted our State’s judicial system, aggregating into the hands of a very few individuals, an enormous political power which controls the entire State’s judicial system. It is hard for me to conceive of anything more political than that so the arguments made that, we are eliminating the influence of money from the third branch of government and our judicial process, are complete baloney.
Proponents would have you believe that constitutionally mandated contested election of Judges is an antiquated system. But if you study history you find out that the Founders heavily debated this issue and they decided upon contested elections. Why? Because without a credible opponent willing to replace someone in power, there is no aggrieved litigant who has the standing nor the resources on their own, to oppose a sitting Judge and stand up for the public interest.
Proponents will argue that they have established sufficient safeguards and they have installed a vetting process. I disagree. As long as the oversight and the discipline of State Court judges is conducted in private without the Public present, appointed by the same elitist group it is suspect to being manipulated and the judicial decisions rendered at the highest level are reflective of an elitist group which controls the access to its power. A power which belongs, under our Constitution, to The People.
If a judge gave to the lead Defendant in a lawsuit $4750 in campaign contributions, would reasonable people consider that there is the potential appearance of bias?
Another of the 5 Special Supreme Court Judicial panel, Morris Kizer, is reported to have made contributions equal to that amount to Gov. Haslam's gubernatorial campaign.Yet another of the 5 Special Supreme Court Andree Blumstein sit on the TBA Journal editorial board, the journal of which has published, without opposition numerous editorials in support of the Tennessee Plan in question.
I like Gov. Haslam but this is a disgrace.
Chairman Watson is a Friend of the Constitution. We appreciate his fine work and now we appreciate his sacrifice.
The Retention Election Statute TCA 17-4-101 et seq. is blatantly unconstitutional because it provides that the Governor shall make appointments to fill a “vacancy” for both the eight year term and any unexpired term occasioned by death or otherwise in direct violation of the Constitutional provisions which require that all “vacancies” for the full term and the unexpired term be filled by an election (see Article VI Section 3, 4 and Article VII Section 4, 5). In other words the Legislature has “no power” to give the Governor the power to appoint Judges to fill a “vacancy” because the Constitution “directs” that all “vacancies” be filled by an election by the people. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the aforesaid claim.
"The intent and purpose of the Tennessee Plan having been explicitly stated to be to enhance the prestige of the Courts by eliminating the necessity for political activities by appellate judges while assisting the electorate with the election of the best qualified persons to the judiciary, the evaluation process is clearly an integral part of the statutory scheme".
Bravo! Sen Mike Bell.
Judicial Conduct Canon 5 is a joke. It's like putting a sanctimonious cake on the table, removing all but a narrow slice, and then declaring your piety.
Unlike the current unconstitutionally seated members of TN Supreme Court and TN Court of Appeals, the job of Administrative Law Judge is an appointed position.
Andy Berke needs to obtain a copy of the Tennessee Constitution and read it.
Article VI Section 3. The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state. The Legislature shall have power to prescribe such rules as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of section two of this article. Every judge of the Supreme Court shall be thirty-five years of age, and shall before his election have been a resident of the state for five years. His term of service shall be eight years.
Article VI ..Section 4. The election of officers, and the filling of all vacancies not otherwise directed or provided by this Constitution, shall be made in such manner as the Legislature shall direct.
Article VII Section 4. The election of officers, and the filling of all vacancies not otherwise directed or provided by this Constitution, shall be made in such manner as the Legislature shall direct.
When you give ultimatims, you get ultimatims.
When you tell people with whom to associate, they deny you.
You cannot abuse and not expect be abused.
You have had a long run, it is time for you to go home.
Jimmy Naifeh, please step down like a gentleman.