(WBIR) A conservative issues group called Tennessee Forum is helping the push to replace all three Tennessee Supreme Court judges, claiming their judgements are too liberal.
Former Supreme Court Justice William Koch dismisses that claim, saying it simply uses the buzzword 'liberal' to attract attention. He calls the justices fair-minded.
Driving the political fight is the power to name next attorney general. Tennessee is the only state in the country where the supreme court appoints its attorney general.
Tennessee Forum President Susan Kaestner says previous appointments have been made based on the judges' personal politics, and it is time for a fresh set of justices who would be appointed by Republican Governor Haslam.
"We believe that the judiciary is one-third of the government and as such it should be accountable to the people, and the people should have the opportunity to elect folks who share their values," she said.
Former justice Koch argues the current judges have proven their independent thought, and that politics haven't swayed decisions in the courtroom.
"People should not worry about whether a judge is going to be on their political persuasion or not, whether they go to their church or not, whether they're in the same civic groups, whether they root for the same teams. That's not what courts are about. Courts are about fairly deciding cases based on the law that the legislature has passed," he said.
He worries that if voters vote to replace all three judges, the state could essentially go without a justice system for a long time until they are replaced.
The election is next Thursday, August 7th.