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Timeline: The Politics of Justice

Timeline: The Politics of Justice

CREATED May 5, 2014

A continuing NewsChannel 5 investigation examines the political battle for control of the Tennessee Supreme Court, exposing questionable claims and following the money.

May 5, 2014: Plan Outlines Attack On Supreme Court Justices

A confidential Republican plan, obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, outlines potential lines of attack for a campaign to oust three members of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

May 6, 2014: Ramsey's Supreme Court Claims Called 'Misleading'

A GOP plan, first obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, suggests three Tennessee Supreme Court justices could be targeted in an upcoming campaign with allegations that they let convicted killers go free.

May 7, 2014: Governor Sees 'Danger' In Ramsey Campaign Against Justices

Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that he sees "danger" in an anticipated Republican attack on three state Supreme Court justices. Still, the governor said he won't ask the man behind that effort to stop.

May 8, 2014: Ramsey: 'Let People Decide Who's Telling The Truth'

Despite criticism from inside his own party, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey told reporters he knows his plan of attack against three Supreme Court justices isn't the whole story. But he said that's not his problem.

May 20, 2014: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Lieutenant Governor

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey faces an ethics complaint over a plan to target three state Supreme Court justices for defeat. That plan was first revealed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

May 23, 2014: Ramsey Wrong About Claim Of Reprimand Against Chief Justice

It was a serious accusation that Chief Justice Gary Wade was disciplined by the board that polices the ethics of the state's judges. Now, that board says Ron Ramsey's claim just isn't true.

May 27, 2014: Senator Upset Over Dismissal Of Complaint Against Chief Justice

A top Republican lawmaker is upset about the dismissal of an ethics complaint he filed against the state's top judge, and now he's threatening greater scrutiny of the board that polices Tennessee judges.

May 27, 2014: Justices Say They're Defending 'Independence' Of Courts

Three state Supreme Court justices say they're in a battle to defend the independence of Tennessee courts. They sat down for an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

May 29, 2014: WEB EXTRA: What's Behind Ethics Claim Against Chief Justice?

A Republican lawmaker has accused Tennessee Chief Justice Gary Wade of a serious ethical breach and suggested he should have been disciplined. Here's the story behind that controversy.

June 3, 2014: Senator Calls Hearing Over His Own Ethics Complaint Against Chief Justice

A powerful state senator is turning up the heat in a campaign to seize Republican control of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Senate Government Operations Chairman Mike Bell announced he will hold hearings into the ethical conduct of one of the judges he'd like to see defeated.

June 16, 2014: Survey Of Lawyers Finds Vast Support For Justices

A Tennessee Bar Association survey of its lawyer members found nine out of 10 respondents support the retention of three state Supreme Court justices who are on the ballot in August.

June 17, 2014: Political Strategist Files Ethics Complaints Against Three Justices

A self-described political and media strategist is taking his campaign against three Tennessee Supreme Court justices to a new level, filing ethics complaints against them.

June 19, 2014: WEB EXTRA: The Truth About Our Supreme Court Video

For the past few weeks, the focus of my reporting on the Tennessee Supreme Court campaign has been on one simple question: are voters being told the truth? Here's how we really got video from inside the Supreme Court chambers.

June 23, 2014: Supreme Court Opponents Refuse To Identify Source Of Funds

A new group that's trying to help Republicans take control of Tennessee's Supreme Court says it's none of your business where they're getting their money.

June 24, 2014: Sharp Exchanges Mark Senate Hearing About Chief Justice

There were sharp exchanges Tuesday as senators heard allegations of misconduct against Tennessee top judge. Those accusations come from Republicans who want to see Chief Justice Gary Wade and two other Supreme Court justices voted out in August.

July 10, 2014: Former Justice Claims Opponents Want To 'Bully The Bench'

The battle for control of the Tennessee Supreme Court has officially begun. For one former state Supreme Court justice, it brings back bitter memories.

July 15, 2014: Ad Watch: TN Supreme Court Ads Make Questionable Claims

The ad wars have begun in the battle for control of the Tennessee Supreme Court. NewsChannel 5 checked the facts on the first round of advertisements and discovered questions about what both sides are saying.

July 16, 2014: FOP Announces Support For State Supreme Court Justices

For the first time ever, the Fraternal Order of Police is getting involved in the push to preserve the state's highest court.

July 19, 2014: Justices' Campaign Calls New Ad 'Absolutely False'

The first TV attack ad aimed at three incumbent state Supreme Court justices has hit the air. But the campaign for the justices urged voters not to believe it.

July 21, 2014: Who's Really Behind Supreme Court Ad War?

The Tennessee Supreme Court campaign has now become the top judicial race in the country to watch, according to the head of a watchdog group.

July 22, 2014: Two New Groups Join Supreme Court Battle

Two new names - including the conservative Americans for Prosperity and a PAC headed by a local trial lawyer - have joined the battle for control of Tennessee's high court.

July 24, 2014: Did Supreme Court Justices Protect Gun Rights?

The attorney for a local gun owner said three state Supreme Court justices deserve credit for defending his client's Second Amendment gun rights. Others aren't so sure.

July 25, 2014: Supreme Court Ad Spending Tops $500K

Spending on all those TV ads for the state Supreme Court campaign continues to set new records in Tennessee politics, now topping $500,000.

July 28, 2014: WEB EXTRA: Facts Behind 'Liberal On Crime' Claim

What happens when a prosecutor involved in a murder case becomes a judge? Should that judge later be allowed to sentence that same defendant to death?

July 29, 2014: Report Analyzes Judges' Strengths, Weaknesses

So how's the public supposed to know what to believe? A voters guide -- compiled by a largely Republican commission -- may help.

July 30, 2014: Fact Check: Executions Set For Politics?

Did Tennessee Supreme Court justices schedule inmates to die just to save their jobs? That incredible claim ignores basic facts about the state's executions.

Aug. 1, 2014: Ramsey PAC Funds TN Supreme Court Opposition

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is personally funding the main opposition to three Tennessee Supreme Court justices out of his own political action committee, new financial disclosures show.

Aug. 4, 2014: Nursing Home Chain Gives $25K To Anti-Court Group

A nursing home chain, which wants to limit the rights of its elderly patients to sue, gave $25,000 to an out-of-state group that wants to oust three justices.

Aug. 5, 2014: High Court Battle Draws Misconduct Complaints

Two Tennessee Supreme Court justices brought the campaign to keep their jobs to Nashville Tuesday, just as an opposition group accused them and a third justice of breaking the law.

Aug. 6, 2014: Tennessee Supreme Court Campaign Makes History

Regardless of the vote, the battle for control of Tennessee's Supreme Court will go down as the most expensive judicial campaign in Tennessee history.

Aug. 7, 2014: TN Supreme Court Justices Win Re-Election

Three incumbent Tennessee Supreme Court justices won re-election to new terms Thursday, fighting off an effort by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and conservative forces to oust them. 

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