Some expect costly, divisive justice campaign

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Some observers say there could be an unprecedented amount of money poured into Tennessee’s Supreme Court election this summer now that conservatives have targeted three sitting justices on the state’s highest court. Lawyers say all signs point to a costly and divisive election with the likelihood of an avalanche of outside money coming into the state.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a Blountville Republican, has been meeting with business leaders, victims’ rights advocates and others and making the case that Supreme Court Justices Cornelia Clark, Gary Wade and Sharon Lee must go. All were appointed by former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, and all three are up for election in August.

State campaign finance officials say no amount of money was spent in the last state Supreme Court election in 2006.