Oversight Judge to Blogger: You Were Right about Supreme Court Justice, but We’re Not Going to Do Anything about It

In a stunning move, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct has declined to discipline Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade for violating the state Code of Judicial Conduct when he was Chief Justice, and has dismissed a complaint brought against him by a United Liberty contributor.

Judge Chris Craft, Board Chair of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, acknowledged in a letter dated September 5, 2014 that your humble scribe “raised an area of concern” in the ethics complaint I filed against Justice Gary Wade on July 9 for a breach of the court’s rules governing political activity as he campaigned for retention to the state Supreme Court this summer. Judge Craft also says that the Board has addressed the complaint “by other means,” and will not be reprimanding or censuring Justice Wade, and has therefore dismissed the complaint.

EXCLUSIVE: TN Board of Judicial Conduct Moves Forward with Investigation into Chief Justice Gary Wade’s Campaign Billboard

The Disciplinary Counsel of the Tennessee board that oversees judges’ professional conduct is investigating the state Supreme Court Chief Justice for electioneering violations of the judiciary’s ethical canon.

Correspondence from Timothy Discenza, a former federal prosecutor who serves as the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, says that state Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade has twenty days to respond to a complaint filed against him, dated July 8, 2014, that United Liberty publicized here nearly three weeks ago.

Blogger Files New Ethics Complaint as Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct Dismisses Prior Complaints against 5 of 6 Judges

A new ethics complaint filed by a United Liberty contributor challenges the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct to apply a standard set recently by its own chairman before a state senate investigative panel, on the record and under oath, under penalty of perjury, to an instance of alleged election misconduct on the part of incumbent Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, which United Liberty covered last week.

To many people, words have very simple, concrete, near-universal definitions.

Billboard Raises Questions after Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct Chair Clears Supreme Court Chief Justice in Senate Hearing

Before a Senate panel last week, the chair of the state board that oversees judges’ conduct attempted to draw bright lines around what constitutes an “endorsement” as the Court’s election rules use the term. Now, a billboard in east Tennessee suggests the state Supreme Court’s incumbent Chief Justice is running afoul of those rules.

Last week the Tennessee Senate Government Operations Committee convened an ad hoc panel charged with investigating the Board of Judicial Conduct’s handling of a once-anonymous complaint that Senator Mike Bell filed with the Board regarding Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade’s alleged endorsement Court of Appeals Judge Andy Bennett and Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Camille McMullen, both of whom are seeking reelection to their benches this year.

After the two appellate judges received poor reviews last fall from the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, an independent body charged with making “retain” or “replace” recommendations for judges who want to keep their office, Chief Justice Wade told Tom Humphrey at the Knoxville News Sentinel last November that

…all three judges receiving negative recommendations from the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission deserve new terms … “A 30-minute interview does not always give you an accurate picture” … “I believe every judge in the appellate court system is qualified to serve….”

Sarah Palin rolls out first round of 2014 endorsements

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has rolled out her first endorsements of the 2014 mid-term election cycle, hailing each of her picks as the “conservative” choice in their respective races.

In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Palin, who has substantial sway in the conservative movement, told her 4-plus million fans that her endorsements would be announced in “in coming days.”

“I’m excited to announce that big U.S. Senate and House of Representatives endorsements are on the way!” Palin wrote. “Lots of vetting and research goes into these endorsements because this is for YOU. It’s to allow you to take a closer look at good men and women with servants’ hearts who are willing to get in the rough and tumble arena to help save America.”

Palin weighed in on three U.S. Senate races, all of which are expected to remain in Republican hands this fall. She began the string of endorsements, done in coordination with her political action committee, with T.W. Shannon, who is seeking the Republican nomination in Oklahoma, on Wednesday and announced two more on Thursday. She posted graphics with each endorsement, which have been included below.

“Tom Coburn leaves large conservative shoes to fill as he retires from the U.S. Senate. At 6’5 feet tall, T.W. Shannon is just the leader to fill them,” Palin wrote. “T.W. is the underdog in his race, but that’s not a position he’s unfamiliar with. He’s had to beat the odds all of his life.”

Today in Liberty: Republicans win in FL-13, Obama’s approval rating hits new low

“There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.” — Edward Snowden

— Republicans hold on to FL-13: Though most political analysts had given Democrats a slight edge in the special election, David Jolly (R-FL) defeated Alex Sink (D-FL) last night in Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District. This was the race Roll Call said that “Democrats can’t afford to lose.” Sink outraised and outspent Jolly. Even when outside groups are accounted for, Sink had an advantage. While it’s true that the GOP had control of the district for many years, it had been trending Democratic. President Obama, for example, won FL-13 in 2008 and 2012. Most Republicans are saying that this race was a referendum on Obamacare, and they’re right. That’s where Jolly staked his claim, while Sink wanted to “fix” the law. Though a close race, as every suspected it would be, voters in FL-13 rejected Obamacare. We’ll have more on the 2014 implications a little later today.

NC Senate: Mike Lee endorses Greg Brannon in Republican primary

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has endorsed Dr. Greg Brannon in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary and plans to campaign for the conservative candidate in the Tar Heel state later this month.

In a statement released this morning by Brannon’s campaign, Lee called 2014 a “critical year for conservatives,” noting that North Carolina will play an important role in this year’s mid-term election. He stressed the importance of electing candidates that will “work to restor[e] the proper role of government” and “forward positive, specific policy proposals to get America back on track.”

“Greg Brannon is dedicated to enacting a conservative reform agenda in Congress.  He is willing to challenge the status quo and entrenched special interests,” said Lee in the statement. “And he has pledged to work alongside myself, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and others in the Senate to change the way Washington works.”

Lee, a Tea Party favorite, has put forward a number of reform proposals in recent months, including pro-family tax reform and policies that would strengthen the middle class as well as create opportunity for the poor.

“Greg Brannon will be a strong voice for the people in the Senate and I am proud to endorse him,” Lee added.

Liberty-minded group backs conservative candidate in West Virginia

Pat McGeehan

If Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) thought she was going to coast to the GOP’s Senate nomination in West Virginia, she may have another thing coming.

The Republican Liberty Caucus has endorsed Pat McGeehan, a veteran and former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who is challenging Capito for the Republican nomination in the state.

“Pat McGeehan has shown leadership skills badly needed in the Senate,” said RLC National Chair Matt Nye in a press release from the group. “Receiving the Republican Liberty Caucus endorsement is a testament to his commitment to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.”

“At the Republican Liberty Caucus we believe that less government means more liberty. We advocate the principles of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise,” added Nye. “We work in the Republican Party because we believe it is the best vehicle for bringing about the political changes we want and we believe that Pat McGeehan will become part of the growing number of Liberty Republicans advancing those goals in Washington.”

Rand Paul explains the Romney endorsement

As has been noted since last week, Ron Paul supporters are furious over Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney. They’re calling him a everything but a child of God, which is truly sad. But late yesterday, Sen. Paul explained the strategy behind the endorsement on Peter Schiff’s radio show.

During the interview, Sen. Paul explains that the endorsement was political. In order for him to get support during his Senate bid in 2010, Paul had to convince his potential backers that he was a Republican and would back the GOP presidential nominee, which his father did not do in 2008. Paul also notes, though not in these words, that it’s a little absurd to cast him aside as a traitor when he is part of the liberty movement and push our issues in the Senate.

Paul points out that his father supports his endorsement of Romney. He also weighs in on whether or not the elder Paul will follow suit. Unfortunately, Sen. Paul explains that some of the reaction to the endorsement has been, well, violent.

Here’s the interview. It’s 18+ minutes, but well worth a listen:

Tom Woods’ message for Ron Paul

Editor’s note: Tom Woods has apparently made the video private, but I found it on another YouTube channel.

With the backlash against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) still strong after his endorsement of Mitt Romney and some of his supporters taking legal action against the Republican Party, Tom Woods put together a message for Ron Paul urging him to resist pressure from GOP acolytes to toe the party line in the presidential race this fall.

In the video, Woods notes that Paul’s tendency to speak his mind, noting the first GOP debate back in 2007 where the Texan noted the problems with our foreign policy, and his ability to inspire supporters are unique qualities that set him apart from others in today’s political world. Woods also points out that an endorsement from the elder Paul probably wouldn’t help his son. He briefly takes a jab at Campaign for Liberty, Paul’s advocacy organization, for it’s failure to take on foreign policy.

In closing Woods says, “Dr. Paul, you changed the world in 2007. Don’t change it back. Just be Ron Paul and millions of us will support you”:


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.