Retired Attorney Mark Pulliam Hails Professor Moreno’s Latest Book as ‘The Boldest Statement of Constitutional Law’ in Three Decades

Retired Attorney Mark Pulliam Hails Professor Moreno’s Latest Book as ‘The Boldest Statement of Constitutional Law’ in Three Decades

Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Misrule of Law blog creator and retired attorney Mark Pulliam to the newsmaker line to give a sneak peek of Hillsdale Professor Paul Moreno’s latest book, How the Court Became Supreme.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now by a very good friend, our favorite East Tennessee grassroots activist and retired attorney Mark Polio. Mark blogs at Misrule of Law and always has something very interesting to say about our constitutional form of government. Good morning, Mark.

Pulliam: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, we’ve asked you to take a look at this book that Paul Moreno, the Hillsdale professor of history, has written: How the Court Became Supreme: The Origins of American Juristocracy.

We’re going to talk to him at 7:15, but we want to get a sneak preview from you. Does he make the case that the courts have gone gotten out of control?

Pulliam: He does make the case, and he makes it very effectively. What is unusual is that it takes a history professor at a college rather than a law professor in legal academia to make these points.

One of the peculiar things that have happened in the last 30 years or so is that law schools have been captured by the Left in a way that even higher education generally has not. Law schools have become dominated by liberals more than almost any other academic discipline.

So what passes as constitutional law scholarship coming out of the law schools, reflected in the law reviews, et cetera, is all pretty uniform. And when I read this book and I had a hint that it would be sort of something refreshing from some of his previous work in labor law and labor history, it is a breath of fresh air.

He looks at the state of constitutional law going back to the founding. He tracks every Supreme Court – not every decision – but traces the evolution of constitutional law from John Jay, the first chief justice, to the present, and looks at stuff without the conventions and blinders that are so prevalent in legal scholarship.

And he makes the case that the court has usurped prerogatives that properly belong to either the executive, the legislature, or, in many cases, the states themselves, by undermining the concept of federalism.

This began when the progressives, with the assistance of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, hijacked the Supreme Court during the New Deal. But he makes the case that it really went off the rails under Earl Warren.

And just now, with President Trump’s appointment of three so-called originalists to the Supreme Court, are things returning to center. And we saw just this past term the overruling of Roe versus Wade, which was a good sign, but much needs to be done.

And I hope that this book gets a lot of attention because it makes the case in a way that no legal scholar today does. And in my essay for Law & Liberty, I say that this book is the boldest statement of constitutional law since Robert Bork’s The Tempting of America in 1990.

And that’s sort of a sad commentary that we don’t have scholars like Paul Moreno making this case in law school, which, after all, is where constitutional law is taught and where future constitutional litigators are being trained.

And instead, you see this echo chamber exists. People like Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania are being harassed, being stripped of their teaching responsibilities, and even possibly losing their tenure for saying things that were not considered controversial 30 years ago, but have become heretical now.

Leahy: Tell me this. He proposes solutions. What are the solutions?

Pulliam: Given our constitutional system, the only real solution is to appoint good people to the Court and to enforce upon them, through a consensus of the discipline to interpret the Constitution in accordance with the intentions of the Founders.

One of the comments that he makes is in his last chapter, where he surveys recent developments. And he takes Neil Gorsuch to task, who is one of the Trump-appointed originalists and who wrote a controversial opinion in the case of Bostock v. Clayton, which interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, the basic employment discrimination statute to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – which was the last thing that Congress had in mind when it passed this law in 1964.

And he ridicules that decision, and properly so. And so there’s only so much that the other branches can do to bring the Court into a more grounded approach. But one of them, and probably the most important technique, is to reinforce good decisions and to criticize poor decisions.

And so that is what he, as an academic, is doing. He is showing how many of the decisions that have been made by the Supreme Court in the last 50 years are simply not grounded in history or in the intention of the Founders.

Leahy: To me, that doesn’t sound very powerful. That’s long-term, isn’t it?

Pulliam: There’s only so much you can do in terms of constraining the Court. The Left has come up with a number of devices that are going to pack the Court. You can propose constitutional amendments, but those are very difficult to implement.

What he points out is that one of the things that kept the Court grounded is the other branches pushing back, sometimes vocally so, like Abraham Lincoln taking on Dred Scott. And as a result of that, the Court was never able to let this go to its head. The problem that we’ve had in recent decades is that the Court has become grandiose.

Leahy: Yes, absolutely.

Pulliam: And the concept of judicial supremacy in Cooper v. Aaron in 1958, where they said – and this is something that you could look through the Federalist Papers and not find any indication of this – but the Court said that our decisions, our interpretation of the Constitution, is supreme, just like the Constitution itself is supreme.

They put themselves on a pedestal. And he makes the point – it’s really the thesis of this book, is that this notion of judicial supremacy is completely unsupported by history, is a grandiose concept, a usurpation of power, and the way that you get them to go off of that is, you basically ridicule it and you point out that it’s unfounded.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Mark Pulliam” by American Institute for Economic Research. Photo “Paul Moreno” by Hillsdale College. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by David Maiolo. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “American Flag” by Noah Wulf. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Congressman David Kustoff Talks Fiscal Restraint and Curbing the Administrative State

Congressman David Kustoff Talks Fiscal Restraint and Curbing the Administrative State

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Congressman David Kustoff to the newsmaker line to describe what he see’s as top priorities should Republicans take the House and Senate and how to push legislation through with a Democratic president.

Leahy: We are joined on a newsmaker line by our very good friend, Congressman David Kustoff from the 8th Congressional District. Good morning, Congressman Kustoff. How are you?

Kustoff: Good morning. Thanks for having me all day. I’m good. We’re four days away from the election, and things feel good. But look, we’ve got to continue to run through the tape right now.

Leahy: Run through the tape. That’s a good phrase. So, Congressman, in studio, the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael, I have a question for you. It’s likely that you will be re-elected.

It’s likely that the Republicans will take over the House of Representatives and Kevin McCarthy will become Speaker. If that happens, what committee do you see yourself chairing?

Kustoff: Chairing?  I don’t know about chairing. (Leahy chuckles) I will say I’m honored, and I like the way you set all that up. I’m honored. I’m on the House Ways and Means Committee, obviously, it is the oldest committee in the House of Representatives.

And I think that’s good for Tennessee, it’s good for our region. And you run to win, but you win to govern. And so it’s important. You think about where we are in this nation right now, and you think about the problems that people talk to me about every day and the problems you talk about on your show.

It’s the economy. It’s inflation. That’s really primary. Crime. The border. People are really hurting out there right now, and they know the problems, and they’re looking for solutions, and they’ve gone a little bit beyond what you asked me.

But I think about Biden a lot in these last several weeks, and he just he does not get the problems. And he’s certainly not talking about the solutions. I think that’s one reason that you’re seeing the polling and all the energy flow through to Republicans like water.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael is in studio. He has a question for you, Congress.

Carmichael: Congressman, let’s assume for purposes of discussion that Republicans do take the House by a nice margin, and they take the Senate by, let’s say, three. You still have a Democrat in the White House, and so you can’t pass meaningful legislation unless the president is willing to sign it.

I don’t see much hope of that. The opportunity that you have is to create distinctions between the two parties for the next election if, unfortunately, the Biden administration won’t do anything.

And I think my question is this. When we look at the economy, and you look at inflation, and tax cuts alone, we watch what happened over in Britain.

Tax cuts alone are not a solution, and the administrative state has gotten to be huge. What is the appetite, you think, for Republicans in the House to pass legislation that dramatically cuts the size of the administrative state?

Kustoff: It’s definitely about fiscal restraint. Let me go back a little bit because I think you set it up well. And to your point, I feel good about the House and the Senate. We’ve got a good chance to get the Senate.

If we get 51, then we get control, right? And so what I hear a lot from my colleagues is its fiscal restraint. There are a lot of reasons for inflation.

But one big reason is these big, massive bills that Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer have pushed down the throats of the American people without any Republican support.

And I think about two. One of them is last year that big, huge $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was all brand new money. A lot of stimulus loaded in that and enhanced unemployment benefits.

And then just a few months ago, the bill that Manchin really championed, that they named the Inflation Reduction Act, which obviously, that’s not what that does.

$745 billion in brand new money for Green New Deal initiatives. So that exasperates this big inflation problem that we’ve got right now. And so to your point, it’s a lot about fiscal restraint and curbing back the size of the federal government.

Carmichael: Yes, but you can’t do that without the support of the President. So my question is, what legislation do you pass out of the House? I don’t mean that it becomes law, but what do you pass out of the House?

Because if you try to repeal the bills where the money is already out the door, I don’t know if that does any good. The administrative state is huge and it’s crushing the country with regulations and everything else.

What is the appetite, for example, of cutting the administrative state by 50 percent and then passing that bill and sending it over to the Senate? My sense of it is the Democrat Party is the party of big government.

That’s what it lives for. And if the Republican Party isn’t the party of shrinking government, then I don’t know what the ying and the yang is. How does the country oppose the bigness that exists and crushing us all?

Kustoff: There are reasons that Republicans have been doing so well. Listen, we don’t have the election yet. I look at last year when Republicans did so well in states like Virginia winning the governor, lieutenant governor, and Attorney General. So it’s about differences in ideas.

And I don’t want to get the cart before the horse on specific appropriation legislation that we’ll send up. I think you’re going to see dramatic differences between our way of thinking and Biden’s way of thinking.

And the way you asked it, I don’t know that I disagree with you about what Biden will do and won’t do. I think it’s interesting, though if we get the House and if we get the Senate. If Biden decides to come out of his far left corner and try to work with Republicans a lot as Bill Clinton did in 1995 after Republicans won the House.

Leahy: In studio, you’re getting a lot of skeptical looks from Crom, and for me, I don’t see him doing that at all. Is there any reason why you think he would be nice to you?

Kustoff: Well, you know what? You may very well be right. Here are the reasons he might. Number one, the country is in trouble and needs relief, and he can’t get things done without the support of a Republican-led House and Republican-led Senate.

Secondly, to some point, he’s got to be looking at legacy type stuff, and he will be 80 years old later this month, which means if he ran for re-election, which I’m very cynical about, he would be 82.

And at some point, he’s got to be looking at legacy-type stuff. He will have a choice. If we win the House in the Senate, he can work with Republicans and get things done, or he’s looking at two years of gridlock.

Leahy: Congressman, here is my sense of what he thinks about his legacy. His legacy, in his mind today is what’s for lunch? (Laughter) You know what I mean? (Laughter) You could use that line, by the way.

Kustoff: You might hear that somewhere. (Laughs)

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “David Kustoff” by Congressman David Kustoff.

Williamson County Parent Discusses Parents Choice of Tennessee’s Wit and Wisdom Curriculum Lawsuit

Williamson County Parent Discusses Parents Choice of Tennessee’s Wit and Wisdom Curriculum Lawsuit

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Williamson County parent, Trisha Lucente with Parents Choice of Tennessee in studio to explain the basis of its 200-page lawsuit citing continued illegal teaching of Wit and Wisdom in K-12 public schools.

Leahy: In studio Trisha Lucente with Parents Choice of Tennessee. Tricia, you’ve got a lawsuit on the Wit and Wisdom curriculum in Williamson County. Tell us about that.

Lucente: Thanks so much for having me. So I started Parents Choice Tennessee, and we are suing Williamson County School Board. Penny Schwinn, our commissioner of education, and two administrators here in Williamson County over the curriculum Wit and Wisdom. As you said, they are teaching all the prohibited concepts that are against the law in Tennessee.

Leahy: This is the law that was passed in May last year, 14 prohibited concepts. They’re still teaching them?

Lucente: Absolutely. They sure are. I have a 200-page lawsuit that is telling us that they’re teaching it.

Leahy: Okay, so when and where did you file the lawsuit? What’s its status?

Lucente: We filed it in July, and Larry Crain in Brentwood is our lawyer, and it is they filed a motion to dismiss on Thursday of next week, November 10. We have a hearing for them to hear the motion to dismiss and for us to move on past that.

Leahy: It’s in Williamson County Chancery Court?

Lucente: It is.

Leahy: What’s the argument that they want to dismiss this case?

Lucente: Oh, they’re going after our standing. So they’re trying to say that we don’t have standing to sue.

Leahy: So standing meaning you haven’t been aggrieved or hurt by it.

Lucente: Correct.

Leahy: But this is parents.

Lucente: Yes.

Leahy: Do the parents who are in the lawsuit have children who are attending Williamson County schools?

Lucente: Yes, there are three families, including my family. And then there is Parents Choice as its entity, as the organization. And we’re representing all of our members. So all the parents that are members of Parents Choice.

Leahy: So this whole standing thing is just a dodge of the main issue, isn’t it?

Lucente: Of course. Always. It is their first move.

Leahy: What do you think the chances are that the judge will dismiss the case on standing?

Lucente: I think that we have a really great case against standing. And I do think that there is another law also that our attorneys are leaning on that says that any citizen can sue a government entity whether or not they have damage.

And that’s part of something that we are leaning into our standing. But we’re parents trying to say, you can’t teach this to our children, and there should be a whole lot of parent turnout, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Leahy: The issue of standing has always bothered me because it seems like if the left wants to dismiss a case, they’ll say, you don’t have standing.

But I don’t understand why parents wouldn’t have standing. If this is a bad curriculum, violating state law, as you are arguing, I can’t understand why that would be the case.

Lucente: And they also are arguing, I think, that it’s a political issue and we’re trying to make a political point.

Leahy: There’s a law that prohibits the teaching of 14 concepts. And you’re saying they’re teaching most of them?

Lucente: Oh, they are. They’re teaching them, then they’re teaching it. So wit and wisdom is a curriculum that is based on the framework of social-emotional learning.

Leahy: Which is basically critical race theory by another name.

Lucente: It is. What I like to say is social-emotional learning is a train track. Then CRT and critical theory are the train. And then gender ideology is the train, and then feminism is the train. And on and on. You can usher anything into a child’s mind once you’ve infiltrated their emotions.

Leahy: Well, that’s what they’re trying to do. Now, is anybody else Joining your lawsuit here? I mean, what about the legislators who passed the law? What do they have to say about that?

Lucente: I’ve spoken to many of them, and they support a lawsuit. Of course, they don’t support it publicly because I don’t think that they can or won’t or whatnot. But I’ve spoken to many of them, and the conversation goes like this, let me tell you what’s wrong with your law and all the things that you need to change and why we’re suing.

And then I proceed to tell them all the amendments that I think they need to make in order to hopefully make the law more enforceable because right now It’s very difficult to enforce that law.

Leahy: Isn’t the first arbiter of the commissioner of education Penny Schwinn?

Lucente: That’s correct. And she chose this curriculum. She issued waivers this curriculum fails to meet state standards and did not pass for K12, so it doesn’t teach any of the fundamentals reading to our kindergarteners and second graders. And she issued waivers to 33 counties in Tennessee.

Leahy: Including Williamson.

Lucente: Including Williamson and Davidson. And so she issued these waivers. And why would somebody who went out of her way to make sure 33 counties could use this curriculum say that this curriculum is breaking the law?

Leahy: So you would change the law. How would you change the law?

Lucente: I would absolutely take her out of that. It should at least go to a body of a vote or something before any complaint is reviewed.

Leahy: Would you volunteer to be on that committee?

Lucente: Of course, I would. (Leahy chuckles)

Leahy: I’d be available to be on that committee. (Laughs)

Lucente: You would be great on that committee. It’s not fair. And I would say this. I would also give the schools a chance and a grace period when that law went into effect where they could pull the materials, and I would have the state be willing to help reimburse them for the money to replace materials that are breaking the law. And I think that would have given them a little bit more fidelity on the front end.

Leahy: Do they argue that the Wit and Wisdom curriculum does not violate the state law that prohibits the teaching of 14, in essence, concepts of critical race theory?

Lucente: Several school board members do. Several don’t say anything at all. But there are some that come right out and say, we are not teaching CRT. There’s nothing wrong with this curriculum. Parents and teachers love it. And that’s it.

Leahy: Have you talked to Carol Swain about this?

Lucente: I have. Carol Swain actually used some of our lawsuits.

Leahy: In her training curriculum.

Lucente: Yes. In her training curriculum. And Larry Crain, our attorney, is somebody that helped work with her on pieces of that training, too.

Leahy: But it sounds like the Williamson County Schools and Commissioner Schwinn want to violate the law. This is what it sounds like to me. They want to violate the law, and they are pretending that the Wit and Wisdom curriculum is not violating the law.

Lucente: Absolutely. So in 2020, Penny Schwinn sat in front of our Senate Education Committee, and Senator Bell was asking her several questions about the waivers, specifically when parents were raising questions and calling their representatives.

So he asked her a few things about its failure, and she said that the content of the material is more important than its ability to meet the standards.

Leahy: Interesting. So, you’ll know next week?

Lucente: We will we’ll know on Thursday next week when we pass the motion to dismiss. And we have a very great long list of discovery questions that we’re ready to go for.

Leahy: How do people support Parents Choice Tennessee?

Lucente: You can go to parentschoicetennessee.org. And you can donate there. You can also find links to all of our social channels, and you can follow us and follow the status. We share everything about the curriculum, and you can donate

Leahy: Parentschoicetennessee.org.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Williamson County Schools” by Williamson County Schools.

Clint Brewer Predicts Republican Victory as Majority of Americans Vote on Country’s Wrong Turn

Clint Brewer Predicts Republican Victory as Majority of Americans Vote on Country’s Wrong Turn

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist Clint Brewer in the studio to predict that Republican candidates will have somewhere between a heavy trickle and a wave in the upcoming midterm elections for both the House and the Senate.

Leahy: In the studio, all-star panelist, recovering journalist Clint Brewer. Clint, it’s time. This is it. It’s time for your call. It’s your call in terms of the midterm outcomes. Do you agree with the sentiment out there that Republicans are likely to take over the House of Representatives?

Brewer: Absolutely. No, I think that’s going to happen.

Leahy: It’s totally going to happen. The question is, how big is it? Is it a red trickle, a red wave, or a red tsunami for the House?

Brewer: I don’t know what the difference between trickle and wave is.

Leahy: Trickle is you pick up less than 10 seats.

Brewer: Oh, no. Wave is you pick up 40 seats. A tsunami is you pick up 70 seats.

Brewer: I think it’s going to be somewhere between a heavy trickle and a wave. I think it will be somewhere between 30, 40.

Leahy: A heavy trickle and a wave.

Brewer: But let me just preface this by saying when I was in the media, I completely stopped predicting elections because I’m terrible at it. (Laughs) 

Leahy: That’s a very good point. It’s a losing proposition. But I do think Republicans take the House. I do think they take it with enough of a margin to be comfortable.

Leahy: How about the Senate?

Brewer: I think they eke it out. I think it’s going to be a seat or two. I think they win. I think we win. I think it’s going to be close.

Leahy: You do?

Brewer: And I think there’s probably going to be some challenges across the country on both sides of the aisle. I don’t think we’re going to know on the Senate until December exactly where we are.

Leahy: RealClearPolitics, they do the average of polls. They have a whole slew of them out today. We’ll kind of cover those. But what they’re saying is the pickups, the Senate, they’re projecting a 54-46 Senate that Republicans hold all the seats, and they pick up Arizona’s Blake Masters, Nevada’s Adam Laxalt.

Brewer: Definitely.

Leahy: Now they’re projecting New Hampshire with Don Bolduc taking Hassan. And then dragging across the goal line in Georgia is Herschel Walker.

Brewer: That sounds about right.

Leahy: Sounds about right?

Brewer: Yes.

Leahy: 54-46. And so we’re looking at Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

Brewer: Who I know you have a lot of personal affection for.

Leahy: I don’t dislike him.

Brewer: But you’ve been critical.

Leahy: He’s not Newt Gingrich.

Brewer: Well, nobody’s going to be Newt Gingrich. Is Newt Gingrich still even Newt Gingrich? I’m not sure.

Leahy: That was the thought formulating in my mind, but I didn’t articulate that. We’ve got a little telepathy going on here. (Chuckles)

Brewer: That’s right. That’s right.

Leahy: That’s a good one. And then Mitch McConnell will become the majority leader.

Brewer: Absolutely right. Looking forward to that.

Leahy: Yes, we are looking forward to that. In terms of our summarizing what the world is going to look like in January of 2023, we’re going to have a Republican majority in the House.

We’re going to have a Republican majority, likely in the Senate. We’ll have Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and we’ll have Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. That’s what it’s going to look like.

Brewer: It sounds good to me.

Leahy: What’s the first thing they’re going to do?

Brewer: I don’t know about the first thing they’re going to do, but the main thing they ought to do is do what the American people want, which is to focus on the economy. We’ve got to figure out inflation.

We’ve got to get people to the point where they can buy a new home if they want to, remodel their home if they want to, or get into a first home if they want to. And we’ve got to get to the point where a trip to the grocery store isn’t so burdensome for the average working family.

Leahy: You don’t have to take out a mortgage on your house to go to the grocery store.

Brewer: Yes. Look, I think that’s what’s on people’s minds. I know there are other things. I know people who are very locked into the political system and read a lot and listen a lot.

They have diverse interests. But for the majority of Americans, this election is about the country not going in the right direction.

Leahy: Here’s the thing. I don’t know. For a couple of months, it seems like endlessly, I’ve been describing November 8th as the nadir. Nadir. The low point of our constitutional republic.

Brewer: Constantly pushing on people’s vocabulary on this show.

Leahy: Expanding vocabulary. We’re here to help expand the vocabulary of people. But what we’re going to see, I think, is because the commander in chief, the legal but not legitimate Joe Biden, will veto any good bills that come out.

What’s going to happen, I think, over the next two years is a Republican House and a Republican Senate will just stop all the stupid things that Biden is doing and there’s not going to be a lot of forward progress, but there’s going to be not quite as much damage.

Brewer: I agree. I think there’ll be a lot of regulatory items and other things that are going to be rolled back. But again, don’t forget why you’re there. Don’t forget why this election happened. Both parties are guilty of this.

They get in the midterm or they get it in a big wave and they believe that what got them there was all of these sort of insider baseball or big ideas that they had, and it’s not. It’s very simple things. And if they want to be heroes of the American people, address those very simple things.

Leahy: Will Kevin McCarthy be as disappointing a Speaker of the House in 2023 as John Boehner was in 2011?

Brewer: I don’t know. I think McCarthy’s going to have to really step up and control a new caucus that’s going to have a lot of new members. (Leahy chuckles)

Being the Speaker of the House might be the most thankless job in America, and it’s definitely one of the hardest. Those poor folks have to run so frequently so they don’t have a lot of latitudes to make decisions outside.

Leahy: People think, by the way, that being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is like a fantastic job. It is nonstop work, it seems to me.

Brewer: It’s a grind.

Leahy: And you have to have two households and you don’t see your family very much. I think it’s a very hard job.

Brewer: It’s a remarkably hard job.

Leahy: Especially for our friends who are in the minority right now. Oh, my goodness. But they are ready for the top.

Brewer: We need to remember there’s another battle between good and evil that’s going to take place very soon.

Leahy: Yes, Tennessee and Georgia.

Brewer: Yes, go Vols.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Talks About Life on the Campaign Trail

Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Talks About Life on the Campaign Trail

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) in the studio to discuss the last few weeks on the campaign trail for re-election.

Leahy: We are joined in the studio by somebody who loves radio, our good friend, State Senator Jack Johnson, the State Senate majority leader. Good morning, Jack.

Johnson: Good morning, Michael. Good to be back with you. And you’re right, I do love radio.

Leahy: And you got the radio voice going on. You have some experience in radio.

Johnson: Yes, I did. When I was in high school, I went to work for the little AM 1000-watt country music radio station. I have a very, very good friend, Ben McCain, who was in radio and television, and he encouraged me to do that. So I worked there for a while and throughout high school and college and really enjoyed it.

Leahy: The thing about radio is you just have to focus on what you’re saying and how you are saying it. It’s so much better to do radio than television, because on television you have a shorter time span, and you got to look pretty.

And it’s just an awful lot of work for a very little amount of time. On the radio, you actually have, I think, a closer connection to listeners. I think they get to know you better and they’re engaged in the conversation.

Johnson: And for someone like me who is in public office, the thing I appreciate, and I really appreciate about your show, is the ability to come on and spend more than 15, 20 seconds talking about an issue.

And I’ve done certainly my fair share of hits on television and the 10:00 news, and I respect what they do, but it’s a minute-and-a-half package and they may interview you for 5 or 10 minutes and then they end up using 20 seconds.

And you don’t know which 20 seconds they’re going to use in the piece. So radio, this is live. I can say what I want, you can ask me what you want. So I’m a big fan of talk radio.

Leahy: And the other thing too is it’s so much better in-studio. We’ve done a lot of newsmaker interviews with you over the phone, but there’s so much you can’t do when you’re on the phone with somebody.

When you ask a question, I can see kind of what your reaction is to it and vice versa, and the timing all works better. We do newsmaker interviews because not everybody can come in the studio. But we prefer having folks in the studio. Now, you won your primary.

Johnson: I did, yes.

Leahy: And I guess you don’t have any competition in the general.

Johnson: In the general, that’s correct. There was no Democrat that filed and qualified to be on the ballot. So for the folks in the new 27th Senatorial District in Williamson County, I’m the only name on the ballot.

Leahy: What’s interesting about that in the redistricting, I live, I think, in the only precinct in Williamson County that’s not in your district. You no longer represent me. I think Joey Hensley is my state senator.

Johnson: And Joey, of course, is a great guy.

Leahy: Good guy.

Johnson: Good, great friend, fabulous senator, and we’re very excited because of the growth in Williamson County for the last 10 years that the district has been Williamson County, 23rd Senatorial District.

And it was the county, the only one in the state that was that way: one county, one senator. But due to the growth, I had to give up about 33,000 people. And so we notched out the southern part, Spring Hill, up into Thompson’s Station a little bit and put that in.

Leahy: I guess it’s probably more than one precinct.

Johnson: It is. But you’re in that segment there, and it’s very densely populated, so you can barely see it on the map.

Leahy: I talked to Joey about it, and he said, I’m glad to represent you.

Johnson: Well, we’re glad to have him in our Williamson delegation now.

Leahy: Now, what have you been doing? You’ve been in the throes of campaigning. Tell our listeners what you’ve been doing out on the campaign trail.

Johnson: Sure. First and foremost, I want to make sure that all of my Republican colleagues in the Tennessee state Senate – and we’ve got some really amazing men and women representing people in Tennessee in the state Senate. And as Majority Leader, I want to make sure they come back.

We do have some of our colleagues that have Democratic opposition. So once the primaries are behind us, then obviously we shift our focus to our colleagues that we want to make sure they come back.

And I think they’re all going to be fine. But we do have some of our members that have Democratic opposition. So I’ve been traveling the state a lot, supporting my colleagues and helping them to raise money, and they’re all running great campaigns.

And I don’t see any change in the composition of the state Senate. It’s currently 27 Republicans and six Democrats. And I think all 27 – we have a couple of new Republicans that will be joining us – I think the composition of the state Senate, our supermajority status, will remain.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Jack Johnson” by Jack Johnson.

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