Three justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court are facing an election-year attack. Under Tennessee law, the governor appoints Supreme Court justices, and then they come up for retention elections every eight years. Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed justices Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee to the high court. They are all up for retention next month and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has mounted a statewide assault targeting the three as “soft on crime” and “anti-business.”
The three justices decided not to answer the attack ads, but that didn’t stop local community leaders from sharing their views and opinions.
This Wednesday, community leaders, members and court officials all gathered under one roof at a special noonday prayer service and press conference.
The event was held at Corinthian Baptist Church on 819 33rd North, Nashville.
The main topic of the midday service was justice, and what better place to talk about the moral rightness of ethics than in the house of God with Supreme Court Justices.
Rev. Enoch Fuzz, pastor and event organizer, started the service with singing and prayer. Tennessee Democratic Party benefactor Bill Freeman of Freeman Webb Company delivered the Occasion. Afterwards, Cornelia Clark spoke on justice. Clark said that citizens shouldn’t have to worry about what party their judge is in, how much money they make, what church they belong to, or what color they are. As the old saying goes ‘All are equal before the law’ and that is exactly what Justice Clark believes.
“Justice should never be for sale,” said Clark.
With state primary and county general elections coming up soon, Clark also found it necessary to speak on the seriousness of voting, especially in the African American community. It is a right that our ancestors have fought so hard to achieve, yet many people don’t even take advantage of. In May, only 11% of registered voters came out to vote in the polls.
“It’s up to all of us to do what we can, to get out and vote,” said Justice Connie Clark.
Justice Clark said it is important that people vote to “retain” not “replace” the current Tennessee Supreme Court justices.
After a brief introduction from Rev. William Green, Rev. Dr. Forrest Harris, president of American Baptist College, delivered the moving keynote message.
“The concept of justice is God’s gift of freedom,” said Dr. Forrest. He spoke about the importance of the courts of justice remaining impartial to the influence of politics and money.
He said that if God can love those in lower socioeconomic groups, than so should we. Dr. Forrest challenged the audience to think about the laws and if they were really equal and fair for all mankind.
The event was a perfect blend of people from all different backgrounds and cultures agreeing on the overwhelmingly important concept of justice in our courts.