By David Tulis
I stand corrected in my coverage of Tennessee’s relator law in which I argued the statute allows 10 citizens to sue a governor or high official for malfeasance and have him tried in a local court.
The power to oust high officials belongs not to the people, but their representatives in the state house. That process is called impeachment, and is described in 8-46-101 of the Tennessee Code Annotated.
I have incorrectly argued that the relator statute applies to them, when the statute describing suit by relators (“citizens and freeholders,” as they are called) exempts governors, supreme court justices and other high state officials from that process. That material is in the next section, TCA 8-47-111.
I hereby retract this erroneous argument and apologize to anyone who has read my work and taken an interest in the prospect. The mistake is pointed out by Karen Bracken, a Polk County commissioner who is involved in an effort to get a Tennessee federal house of representatives member to launch impeachment proceedings against the federal president. She is one who heard me out and checked — and read — the statute.
Sreengrabs of the two offending texts are above. Other texts applying the relator law to county clerks stand.
Some journalists portray an aura of infallibility while others seek the truth and are willing to correct their own misunderstanding or errors. The latter is what makes the profession honorable, regardless if it is a major or minor issue.
Thank you for the correction and an admission that you are as human as your reader.