John Avery Emison, State Coordinator of Vote NO on 2!, urged voters to reject Amendment 2. He argued:

The real truth behind Amendment 2 is the belief that the Governor is able to pick better judges than the public. This is nothing less than an argument against self-government, and a slap in the face of the Governor’s own supporters. If the people are qualified to elect the Governor, why aren’t the voters who supported him equally qualified to elect the Supreme Court, and other appellate courts? The answer is, “Of course, they are.”

We believe a court system of elected judges is a better court system than appointed judges. One has only to look at the conflict, confusion, and lack of accountability to the public that is clearly evident in the Federal court system where all judges are appointed. We believe most Tennesseans agree that our system of electing judges is far superior to the way they do things in Washington. So, our message is simple: Don’t give up the right to vote. Protect the Constitution. Vote NO on 2

Article VI, Sec. 3 of the Constitution of Tennessee makes the following unmistakable statement: “The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.” It’s difficult for most people, except perhaps the judges who directly benefit, to misunderstand or twist those words. And the words don’t change whether you are Dean of the Harvard law school, or simply a Tennessean in the voting booth. The words of our Constitution plainly say: “The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state.” Ironically, the proposed Amendment asks voters to delete this crystal clear sentence and replace it with confusing language that conflicts with other provisions of the Constitution, thus assuring additional litigation that the proponents tell us won’t happen.

Vote NO on 2