When state Supreme Court Justice Penny White was not retained in office, the group that led the charge against her was the Tennessee Conservative Union, primarily over the issue of the death penalty.
With the upcoming retention election for three incumbent justices, will the TCU again be involved? TCU Chair Lloyd Daugherty says his members are divided on the issue. He says the campaign against White was over a constitutional issue in the death penalty. But some of his members see this election as more politically partisan with Republicans trying to oust Democrats.
Chief Justice Gary Wade, from Sevierville, is also a popular figure in East Tennessee.
The TCU effort against White was derided beforehand as “two guys and a fax machine.” The money arrayed against the three justices in a retention vote in August is expected to be considerably more. But supporters of the justices have raised $600,000 for their defense. White had no recourse because the canon of ethics forbade her campaigning for her job.