Letter: It’s a dangerous move to further inject politics into court system

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 11:57 AM


The state of Tennessee is at a critical crossroad in the general election for which early voting has begun.

Some members of the legislative branch are fueling a movement to un-seat three of the five members of the State Supreme Court. We believe this is wrong.

In high school we are taught that our Federal and State Constitution provides for three distinct branches of government. The legislative branch (they write the laws), the executive branch (they enforce and manage according to what is written) and the judicial branch (they interpret, when challenged, the laws and constitutions of Tennessee and the United States.)

I distinctly recall the system being referred to as the “checks and balances of our constitution.”

After my mother, Pat Holt, and I discussed this issue we both strongly agreed that if my father, Judge William R. Holt, Jr., was alive today he would be deeply concerned. He was not a political man and believed that Judges should be held to higher standards with regard to politics. Our courts must remain the one consistent and constant branch of government that would not waiver, or be manipulated into the political dispositions of the other two branches.

My father also knew Gary Wade well. He supported, now Chief Justice Wade’s, appointment to the Supreme Court. He did so based, not on friendship, but from an acquired respect that he held based upon Gary Wade’s ethical beliefs and conduct.

There is nothing more important than the integrity of the judicial branch.

Take seriously the vote — yes/no — to retain our appointed Supreme Court Justices. Take into consideration that the sources behind this movement are state legislative officials.

Chief Justice Wade and the Supreme Court are commended by their peers, and are upholding our Constitution with impartiality and integrity.

It is a dangerous threat to our balance of government for legislative officials to start wielding political power in our Supreme Court could set a precedence that would weaken the constitutional system indefinitely.

Wm. Todd Holt and Patricia Holt-Myers