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Big-Money Effort to Oust Tennessee Judges Fails

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade discusses the retention of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in Blountville, Tenn., on Aug. 5
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade discusses the retention of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in Blountville, Tenn., on Aug. 5Photograph by David Grace/Kingsport Times-News via AP Photo

National conservative groups and Tennessee Republicans came up short on Thursday in their efforts to reshape the state’s Supreme Court, as Tennesseans voted to give all three justices on the ballot another eight years in office.

While winning has been a nearly foregone conclusion for Tennessee justices in years past, as I recently reported, this year was very different. More than $1.4 million was spent on TV ads—up from zero in Tennessee’s last such election. National groups such as Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, and the State Government Leadership Foundation, which is affiliated with the Republican State Leadership Committee, targeted the incumbents.