Metro Nashville Council members Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge announced at a press conference held Wednesday afternoon on the steps of the Nashville Courthouse they are withdrawing the two controversial “sanctuary city” ordinances they introduced as sponsors earlier this year.
Standing in front of about a dozen supporters of the ordinances from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugees Rights Coaliton (TIRCC), some carrying signs that said “Stand Up to Hate,” Mendes said he and Sledge were withdrawing both ordinances.
One ordinance had already passed two of its required three readings and was scheduled for a vote on a third and final reading at the next Metro Council meeting scheduled for July 6.
Mendes told the local media outlets present at the press conference that the ordinance could not be amended prior to the third reading, and therefore would be withdrawn. The second ordinance scheduled for a vote in August will also be withdrawn.
The need for an amendment became apparent when Metro Director of Law Jon Cooper issued a legal opinion on Monday saying the ordinances were “not enforceable,” and Mayor Barry on Tuesday asked the Metro Council to “reconsider” the ordinances.
Mendes did not indicate whether he and Sledge would consider introducing new versions of either withdrawn ordinances at some point in the future. Any new ordinances would have to go through three complete readings.
Mendes said that he and Sledge planned to work through other channels to accomplish their goals.
State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), who spearheaded the effort to obtain 63 signatures from members of the Tennessee House of Representatives on a letter expressing opposition to the proposed sanctuary city ordinances, spoke with The Tennessee Star in an exclusive interview about the withdrawal of the ordinances late Wednesday afternoon.
“I want to thank the Tennessee General Assembly for their overwhelming support and willingness to step into the gap and stop this measure, should it have become a reality,” Matheny told The Star.
“I would also like to thank the countless Tennesseans who weighed in with their support of our endeavor to stop it,” he added.
“We are all now willing to move forward again in partnership with Davidson County as long as no other effort similar to this is attempted in any way,” Matheny concluded.