John Jay Hooker gives the governor and the bar the business on what he calls "The big lie" of judicial selection.
"Unbelievably, the Tennessee Bar Association, many of the biggest law firms in Tennessee, and lobbying organizations such as Tennesseans for Fair and Impartial Courts, all claim the statute is constitutional, because they want judges to be appointed by the governor.
In furtherance of the “Big Lie,” Gov. Bill Haslam appointed as special judges former Chief Justice William Barker and former Supreme Court Justice George Brown, who were both on the board of Tennesseans for Fair and Impartial Courts, and thus obviously not impartial. Furthermore, these judges cannot preside without the consent of all the parties, which was never given.
Astonishingly, on Sept. 8, Gov. Haslam stated that the disqualification of these judges was unnecessary, even though these judges admitted their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Apparently, Haslam’s claim is simply a part of the cover-up that he and other high governmental officials in all three branches, with the cooperation of the office of the attorney general, are orchestrating on behalf of the special-interest groups who want Supreme Court and other appellate judges appointed by the governor as opposed to being elected by qualified voters as the constitution requires."