Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s office has created and shared with business leaders and various stakeholders a 31-slide presentation laying out why they should push out the three Democrats serving on the state’s highest court.
The presentation has been shown to several groups of people beginning early this year, including business leaders, victims rights advocates, and “anybody interested in the Supreme Court and how retention elections work,” said the lieutenant governor’s spokesman Adam Kleinheider. The slides lay out an argument for voting out the three Democratic Supreme Court Justices, which could then lead to replacing the court’s appointed attorney general, Bob Cooper, with someone more friendly to GOP and business issues. Find the slides here.
Led by Ramsey, Republicans have begun eyeing the Supreme Court as a target in this August’s retention elections. Ramsey’s office gave the documents to NewsChannel 5’s Phil Williams, said Kleinheider, who added that the document was created by staff on off hours. Although Williams asked for the presentation via an open-records request, the office disagreed that the presentation was a public record and denied the request but separately gave Williams the document anyway, he said.
“Don’t go out here and tell me that this is a nonpartisan group and that there’s never been politics involved," Ramsey told Williams in an interview. "There has always been politics involved.”
Special Justices William Barker, George Brown and Robert Echols have stepped away from the five-member Special Supreme Court to which Gov. Haslam appointed them five weeks ago. John Jay Hooker had filed a motion to disqualify the trio earlier this month. Check a PDF of today's order here.
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