A Bizarre Path to the Judiciary Branch

One Tennessee Politician’s Journey to Power

Andy Spears
2 min readJan 1, 2022


Tennessee Politics Guy has a story out about Tennessee State Rep. Bruce Griffey and Griffey’s relentless pursuit of positions of power.

Bruce Griffey: The Constitutional Conservative Future Judge who Hates the Constitution | by Tennessee Politics Guy | Dec, 2021 | Medium

TPG details Griffey’s long list of anti-immigrant sentiment:

Mr. Griffey’s first set of bills included a whole host of anti-immigrant bills so vociferous that in 2019, almost all bills which immigrant rights group TIRRC made it their priority to oppose that year were authored (or at least sponsored) by Mr. Griffey.

Instead of going these laws one by one, I’ll give you what may be the most egregious: HB0562. That law would have taxed all money transfers from Tennessee to a foreign country, and send those funds collected to the Federal Government one the condition it builds a border wall.

The bill referenced by TPG is also mentioned in a story where Griffey suggests Tennessee teachers deserve better pay:

State Rep. Bruce Griffey lists some states that outperform Tennessee in terms of academic achievement and then suggests “the biggest factor” is that those states pay their teachers a whole lot more.

He’s not wrong. Teacher pay in our state lags behind the rest of the nation. We also don’t invest in our schools and we don’t use available resources to improve our investment.

What’s wrong, though, is Griffey’s solution. He’s proposing some bizarre tax on money sent outside the country. Here’s the thing: We can fund a significant increase (around 10%) in teacher pay and still have a budget surplus. So far this year, our state is nearly $715 million ahead of projections.

TPG rightly raises questions about some very strange happenings in the world of public policy in Tennessee. Indeed, it seems quite odd that someone with Griffey’s outlook appears to have a clear path to a judgeship.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .