Sharon Lee

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Sharon G. Lee
Court Information:
Tennessee Supreme Court
Title:   Chief justice
Salary:  $182,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Phil Bredesen
Active:   2009-2022
Chief:   2014-Present
Past post:   Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals
Past term:   2004-2008
Personal History
Born:   12/8/1953
Undergraduate:   University of Tennessee
Law School:   University of Tennessee College of Law, 1978
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Retention
State:  Tennessee
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  8/7/2014
Election vote:  56.0%ApprovedA

Sharon G. Lee is the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court by former Governor Phil Bredesen in October 2008 and was sworn-in on March 20, 2009.[1][2] She was retained in 2014 for a term that expires in 2022.[3] In August 2014, she was selected by her fellow justices to serve as the chief justice of the supreme court, effective September 1, 2014.[4]



See also: Tennessee Supreme Court elections, 2014
See also: Tennessee judicial elections, 2014
Lee was retained to the Tennessee Supreme Court with 56.0 percent of the vote on August 7, 2014.[3][5]

The state's Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission recommended Justice Lee be retained for another term.[6]


Senate Speaker and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey lead a conservative effort to unseat the three justices up for retention in 2014: Justices Gary R. Wade, Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee. Retentions are typically a shoo-in. Only one of the state's supreme court justices has ever been voted out of office; Justice Penny White was ousted in 1996. The justices and their supporters campaigned as the group Keep Tennessee's Supreme Court Fair. All three narrowly won retention.[7][8]

For a more comprehensive look at issues and news surrounding this election, see: Tennessee Supreme Court elections, 2014.


See also: Tennessee judicial elections, 2010

Lee was retained to the Tennessee Supreme Court by voters, receiving 547,591 votes (68.27%) in favor of retention.[9]


Lee received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and her J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1978.[1]


Before she became a judge, Lee worked as an attorney in private practice from 1978 to 2004. She has also previously served as an attorney for Monroe County, as a Madisonville city judge and as a city attorney for the cities of Vonore and Madisonville in Tennessee. She was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals on June 4, 2004. She was then appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in October 2008.[1]

Awards and associations

  • Rule 31 listed family mediator
  • House of Delegates, Tennessee Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • Executive Committee, Tennessee Judicial Conference
  • Director, Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women
  • President, East Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women
  • Secretary, Knoxville Executive Women’s Association
  • Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club of Monroe Area
  • President, vice president and secretary of the Monroe County Bar Association
  • Member, American Judicature Society
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges [1]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Lee received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.81, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[10]

See also

External links