Haslam: Judicial campaign could hurt amendment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s concerned that an effort by some fellow Republicans to oust three incumbent state Supreme Court justices in August could hurt the prospects of a separate constitutional amendment on judicial selection that goes before voters two months later.

But Haslam told reporters after an appearance at Lipscomb University in Nashville on Wednesday that he has not tried to dissuade Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey from seeking to drum up support to target the three members on the state’s highest court.

The governor said he has a “strong working relationship” with Justices Gary Wade, Sharon Lee and Cornelia Clark, and wants to focus on the campaign to support to the constitutional amendment that would largely mirror Tennessee’s current system for selecting and retaining judges at the appellate level and above.