Nashville reporter Jonathan Mattise revealed a move by the Tennessee House to oust Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, a judge who allowed widespread access to absentee voting before the 2020 election.
That ruling last summer by Lyle didn't sit well with Tennessee Republicans. So not long after the legislature reconvened for the first time after the 2020 election, an effort to remove her began in earnest. With GOP supermajorities in both chambers, the measure had a chance to pass despite concerns that it represented a breach of judicial independence.
Mattise’s March 8 story went deep on the mounting criticism, including colorful context on Tennessee’s previous efforts to remove judgesover the past 50 years. The day after the story hit the wire, the push to oust Lyle went down to defeat in a House subcommittee, demonstrating the power of sunshine to upend questionable policy making.