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Gov. Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam will be joined by two former Tennessee governors at a panel discussion about civility on February 21.

Haslam, along with Phil Bredesen and Don Sundquist, will participate in “Balancing Civility and Free Expression,” a panel discussion that will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. It is free and open to the public.

Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom of Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC will moderate.

This is the third of three forums across the state.

“Every day we hear about rancorous debate being a roadblock in government. It’s critical that we find ways to eliminate those roadblocks so decisions can be made, votes taken, and progress made on important issues,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center.


“Sen. Baker is known for his ability to get politicians on both sides of the aisle to sit down and work together civilly. That is why the Baker Center works so hard to further the mission of civility.”

Haslam, Bredesen, and Sundquist will discuss the relationship and conflict between civility and free expression in political discourse, especially in political campaigns, debates, legislative sessions and citizen interaction with politicians. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Haslam, a Republican and former mayor of Knoxville, was elected governor in 2010.

Bredesen, a Democrat, served as governor from 2003 to 2011. He was mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999.


Sundquist, a Republican, served as governor from 1995 to 2003. He is now a partner at Sundquist Anthony LLC, a firm he co-founded in Washington, D.C. He was a member of Congress from 1989 to 1995.

The event is sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association, the Baker Center, the UT College of Law, and the First Amendment Center. The program is made possible by a grant from the American Bar Association Division for Public Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


(The program is part of Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy—A National Dialogue, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and conducted in partnership with the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, or any of their program partners).

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681,