Saturday, August 05, 2006

 

whassup with white men and tennessee retention votes???

i mean, as a white male burrowing in on a half century of life experience i believe i have a right to ask the question...

a portion of thursday's election was devoted to the retention votes for the top 27 sitting judges in tennessee ... the self-named tennessee plan is supposed to remove judges from the politics of elections...as if...all sitting state judges face a retention vote every 8 years - the terms are not staggered...

of particular interest this year was the effort put up to unseat supreme court justice janice holder... sen. david fowler (r - signal mountain) who is not running for re-election himself, targeted holder for ouster from her seat...

the knoxvillenews on-line reported that, "Fowler, a lawyer who is retiring from his Senate seat to devote more time to leading a new conservative organization called Family Action Council of Tennessee, is joined in opposing Holder by prominent members of his political party, including House Republican Leader Bill Dunn of Knoxville and state Sen. Jim Bryson, (winner of) the GOP's gubernatorial nomination...

now holder has been no friend of those of us who believe that tennessee's death penalty system (and statute) is ineffective, inaccurate, and unreliable - ultimately leading to the probability of executing innocent persons - she has written or concurred on strongly conservative - strict "constructionist" opinions on tennessee death penalty cases...

but that doesn't stop me from calling out fowler for increasing the polemical tensions and exacerbating the shrillness of the partisan political discourse here in tennessee...

holder's crime"??? a single vote cast in 2000 in which she sided with the majority opinion issued by the court... sound familiar??? well it should - it was 1996 when the tennessee conservative union led a movement that resulted in a "no" retention vote for justice penny white... and white's "crime"??? - her concurrence with a majority opinion upholding a lower court that overturned a death sentence while upholding the murder conviction... jeez!

fowler predicted that judges' victory totals will at least be lower than in the past and that the narrow margins "will signal the judges that, next time around, they need to be more respectful and give voters more information,"...

WRONG - the 77-79% yes votes on retention may have sent a message but hardly the one fowler alluded to...

which leads me back to my original question - what is up with powerful middle aged white men and their desire to oust women justices from this state's high court...and why do i seem to be immune to the bug that bit them???

i'm just one middle aged white guy who's wonderin'...

peace out <3
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