Local economyPetiton for remonstranceRemonstrance

Officials’ holding 2nd offices of trust is major breach of TN constitution

Jeff Bivins, top left, formerly chief justice, listens to an invocation at a swearing in of the Tennessee general assembly. He holds a second office of trust illegally, that of the Tennessee code commission. (Photo Family Action Council)

To the governor of the State Tennessee, attorney general & reporter, general assembly now sitting, and radio journalist David Tulis:

By John Gentry

In this communication, I am approaching the members of the House and Senate, and Executive in remonstrance, and exercise of rights protected in the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, declaration of rights, Article I, § 1 right to reform government, and § 23 rights to instruct representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievance.

In brief, the grievance herein stated, aggrieves judges and in the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct (TBJC) are holding expressly prohibited second offices of trust in violation of Article VI, § 7, and exercising legislative powers in violation of Article II, § 2.

Invoking oaths of office

Pursuant to Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure (2020 Edition), § 149, ¶ 1, proposals are presented to a legislative body by communications or petitions.  This email is a communication properly presented.

You are hereby instructed to reform, and restore the form of government established in the constitution of Tennessee.

Pursuant to Article X, § 1 every one of you is required to support the constitution of this state.  I invoke your oaths, and call upon God Almighty to hold you accountable, in this life and the next, to your oaths.

It was aggrieved in the 1776 Declaration of Independence; “For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:”

The Tennessee general assembly is guilty of that same declared act of tyranny – “altering fundamentally the Forms of our governments.” 

The preamble of the Tennessee constitution states;

“We, the delegates and representatives of the people of the state of Tennessee, … have ordained and established the following Constitution and form of government for this state, which we recommend to the people of Tennessee for their ratification:

Clearly, our beloved Tennessee constitution established our “form of government.”

As part of our “form of government”, Article VI, § 7 expressly prohibits judges of the supreme or inferior courts from holding “any other office of trust or profit under this state or the United States.

Presently there are at least eight (8) judges/chancellors holding expressly prohibited second offices of trust as members of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct.  Those prohibited offices of trust are used to protect rampant corruption in our judiciary.  That corruption emotionally and financially devastates the lives of thousands of your constituents and Tennessee citizens every year. 

In an email, your colleague Sen. Kerry Roberts stated as follows:

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 2:40 PM Kerry Roberts <sen.kerry.roberts@capitol.tn.gov> wrote:

Hi Eric – Serving on the Board of Judicial Conduct is not considered by legislators and most legal experts to be an office of trust. I know John Gentry and some others have an argument otherwise – and I respect that argument – but I’m not aware of any legislators in the General Assembly who have been swayed by that argument.

“Please excuse brevity – I receive dozens if not hundreds of emails each day. Thank you!”

Senator Kerry E. Roberts, CPA
Chairman, Senate Committee on Government Operations

Who are these legislators and so-called “legal experts”?  Who among you are not swayed? Any “legislator” or so-called “legal expert” that is of the opinion that positions in the TBJC are not offices of trust, is either constitutionally incompetent and unfit for office, or they are traitors to the constitution, and defending the unlawful alteration of our form of government with lies, in violation of their oath to support the constitution of this state.

I call upon these “legislators” and so-called “legal experts” to defend their “opinion” (lie) to me and to the people, that the TBJC is not an office of trust.  Such opinion cannot be defended – because it is a lie.  The office of attorney general is copied on this communication, and I invite the opinion of the attorney general as well.

Proofs of ‘office of trust’

The following is proof that the TBJC, is an office of trust. 


Office: A position of duty, trust, or authority, esp. one conferred by a governmental authority for a public purpose. Black’s Law Dictionary, Tenth Edition (p. 1254)

Office: A right, and correspondent duty, to exercise a public trust.  An employment of behalf of the government in any station or public trust, not merely transient, occasional, or incidental. Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition (p. 976)

Public Office: The right, authority, and duty created and conferred by law, by which for a given period either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of government for the benefit of the public.  An agency for the state, the duties of which involve in their performance the exercise of some portion of the sovereign power, either great or small. Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition (p. 977)

Public Office and Officer defined § 1: A public office is the right, authority and duty, created and conferred by law, by which for a given period, either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power, an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government, to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public[1].  The individual so invested is a public officer.  Mechem, Floyd R.  A Treatise on The Law of Public Offices and Officers. Chicago: Callaghan And Company 1890. Introd.  New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, LTD 2009

Office of Trust § 16: An office whose duties and functions require the exercise of discretion, judgment, experience, and skill is an office of trust, and it is not necessary that the officer should have the handling of public money or property.  Ibid, Mechem.

“The Incompatibility Clause [prohibited 2nd offices of trust] seeks to prevent corruption by ensuring that “the mere acceptance of an office, effectually destroys the end for which it was offered” Elliot’s Debates James Wilson, Penn. Ratifying Convention Dec. 4, 1787

“The Incompatibility Clause was motivated by worries about British-style corruption. The Framers did not perceive it as having much to do with the separation of powers …”

Cornell Law Review “One Person, One Office: Separation of Powers of Separation of Personnel,” 79 Cornell L. Rev. 1045 (1994)

The 1979 Black’s Law Dictionary definition of “public office” is exactly the same as Mechem’s “public office and officer” defined in § 1of his 1890 book Treatise on The Law of Public Offices and Officers.  Obviously, the publishers of Black’s 1979 and prior, were relying upon Mechem’s definition of public office.

Keystone treatise on law

In researching office of trust, I came across a memorandum opinion on the Department of Justice website on whether an FBI director’s advisory board is an office of trust.  In that memorandum by the deputy assistant attorney general, office of legal counsel for the FBI, the report cites Mechem’s Treatise on The Law of Public Offices and Officers.  Here is a link: APPLICATION OF THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE TO A MEMBER OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION DIRECTOR’S ADVISORY BOARD. The argument is that the FBI director’s advisory board is not an office of trust, proving TBJC is an office of trust.

Notice requires action by officials

These legislators and so-called legal experts who say the TBJC is not an office of trust are liars or incompetent.

Now, with the entirety of the Legislative and Executive branches herein made aware of this unlawful alteration of our form of government, you are instructed to perform your duty and adhere to your oath to support the constitution and either legislatively, or through executive order, remove all judge members from the TBJC.

It is the DUTY of the Houses to oversee the conduct of judges – a duty at which the members fail miserably – or alternatively, a DUTY intentionally forsaken so as to preserve and protect rampant corruption in our government. 

The House has the sole power of impeachment – Article V, § 1.  Judges may be removed by concurrent vote of both houses – Article VI, § 6.  Judicial oversight is legislative balance of power over the judiciary.

The TBJC is an unlawful alteration of our form of government, and a usurpation by the judicial branch of the legislative power to impeach or remove judges.  The TBJC destroys the check of one branch over the other of our legislature over the judiciary.

If you don’t understand our form of government, and what is an office of trust it is your DUTY to learn.  If you disagree that a position in the TBJC is an office of trust, and cannot, or will not, present rational argument based upon supporting authority, why my argument fails, then you are a traitor to the constitution, and oath breaker.

As a result of my first remonstrance to the Houses in January 2019, all the members of TBJC were removed from office, and that agency reconstituted from all judges, to eight judges, four attorneys and six citizens.  It was not enough. Judicial corruption continues to run rampant across our state.

Remedy sought — application for redress of grievance

Repeal, or more appropriately declare VOID T.C.A. § title 17 chapter 5 in its entirety.

The House of Representatives should hear complaints against judges through citizen exercise of Art. I, § 23 right of remonstrance – not an agency comprised of judges.  It is the full body of the House that should decide to impeach or remove, based upon recommendation of a committee after consideration.

Remonstrances that are complaints against judges should be announced and read at the table, or orally presented to the full body pursuant to House Rules of Order, Rule 15 and Art. I, § 23. 

The body should vote to refer the remonstrance to the judiciary committee for consideration. The judiciary committee should then make recommendation to the body, to either deny the remonstrance’s redress sought, after careful consideration, or make recommendation to the body to impeach in proposed articles of impeachment, to be tried in the Senate, pursuant Article V, § 2.

That is the process set forth by the founders and framers of our state constitution.  That process is the supreme law in Tennessee.  Resolve to restore the law.


In June 2019, while considering my first remonstrance, and reconstituting the TBJC as amended in T.C.A. 17-5-201, it was considered whether or not to transfer judicial oversight to the supreme court.   

As stated in Const. Article VI, Section 1, “The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such Circuit, Chancery and other Inferior Courts as the Legislature shall from time to time, ordain and establish.”

Judicial Power is only the power to decide cases at controversy.  Judicial oversight as provided in Article V and Article VI, § 6 is legislative power.  Our corrupt judiciary, including our corrupt Tennessee Supreme Court, have a long history exercising power not granted and/or prohibited to the Judiciary.  Case in point, in 1976, the Tennessee Supreme Court created the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.  The Tennessee Supreme Court is not vested the power to create any agency.  The creation of the Board of Professional Responsibility by the Tenn. Sup. Ct. was an unlawful exercise of legislative power.

As members of the Houses, you should be appalled it was considered to transfer your power to the supreme court.  As members of the Houses, sworn to support the constitution, you should be appalled the Tenn. Sup. Ct. exercised legislative power and created the Tennessee Bd. of Prof. Responsibility.

Solumn duty — will be be rejected?

What should happen in this matter, upon receipt of this communication, is my district Rep. Johnny Garrett, should file this communication with the clerk of the house, and my district Sen. Haile, should file it with the Clerk of the Senate.  I have little confidence that Rep. Garrett or Senator Haile, will perform their duty   Perhaps another of you will perform this solemn duty?

I am not concerned how this work restoring our form of government is resolved – only that it BE RESOLVED.

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