Tennessee Legislators Propose Empowering General Assembly to Scrutinize Presidential Executive Orders for Constitutionality


Several state representatives and senators have proposed a bill to review the constitutionality of presidential executive orders. According to the bills, if Congress doesn’t affirm an executive order and isn’t signed into law, then the joint government operations committee of Tennessee’s General Assembly would review whether the order overextends its scope of authority. Upon concluding their review, the committee would decide whether to recommend the Tennessee Attorney General and governor to reexamine or seek an exemption from the order.

Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional. That portion of the proposed bill would specifically apply to orders concerning pandemics or public health emergencies; natural resource regulations; agricultural industry regulations; land use regulations; financial regulations concerning environmental, social, or governance standards; and Second Amendment regulations.

A total of five legislators filed similar bills on the matter this week: State Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) filed companion bills with both State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) and State Representative Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill), and State Representative Mark Hall (R-Cleveland) and State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) filed companion bills.

As of Thursday, Biden has signed over 50 executive orders, memorandums, and actions – 29 of which were executive orders. Some of these orders have caused friction with Tennessee’s state leaders and incited legislative action. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee criticized Biden’s order prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in sports.

“I will say that executive order is a tremendous overreach into the states – I will say that,” stated Lee. “I will also say that I do believe that transgenders participating in women’s sports will destroy women’s sports. It will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships. It will put a glass ceiling back over women that hasn’t been there in some time. I think it’s bad for women and for women’s sports.”

Lee was responding to an inquiry about a bill reported on by The Tennessee Star earlier this week. State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) introduced a bill requiring that students prove their biological sex from birth in order to participate in middle or high school sporting activities or events.

Several versions of the bill proposing a legislative committee review on executive orders have passed on first consideration thus far.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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11 Thoughts to “Tennessee Legislators Propose Empowering General Assembly to Scrutinize Presidential Executive Orders for Constitutionality”

  1. Cannoneer2

    And in turn, Tennessee citizens should be empowered to ignore dumb, nonsensical crap that emanates from the General ASSembly.

  2. Robert E Roark

    This may seem like a totally inappropriate action for a state to take, but, if you will look at the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, states are already and have been empowered to reject any action by the federal government which is not expressly granted it by the Constitution. All this bill does is bring back to public awareness that the federal government is limited to actions expressly granted it by the Constitution. It is way past time for states to accept their responsibility for doing this and protecting their citizens from an over-reaching federal government. The federal government has been buying its way out of this check on its power with taxpayer dollars received from taxpayers who live in the states where legislatures have accepted federal funds to keep them from acknowledging and using this veto power.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Gosh. That sounds like something like States’ Rights. The Founding Fathers said something like that in the Constitution but the Washington plutocrats do not give a flip about the Constitution.

  4. jamesb

    i sure wish you would convey the same message to the impeachment bolsheviks of the democratic party in washington. they need to know what you are sharing with your tennessee conservative counterparts. it is not the federal system we are challenging it is an individual who is misguided and maybe acting in an unconstitutional manner.just as the bolsheviks did with trump. they won some but lost most.

    enjoy you being on here with us nazis

  5. Beatrice Shaw

    We cannot usurp federal law….please LEARN the Constitution. Crazy people thinking there is an illegitimate President and that a state should be able to do what they want. Read the Constitution and live by it!

    1. jcarr

      Yes, please do. States have rights.

    2. Tim Price

      Well now! That is the same thing that was done to Trump by Democrats. You are being a hypocrite aren’t tout!

    3. Tim Price

      By the way, laws are normally enacted by Congress and not by Executive Action. Joe The Sniffer Biden had already, in just a few weeks in office, enacted more Executive Actions than Trump did during his entire term. Could old Joey be a dictator? Asking for myself.

    4. Deplorable Bay Stater

      Have YOU ever read the Constitution? And did you understand it? Or are you one of those people who seem to think that the Constitution means whatever they want it to mean (which, unfortunately, includes some Supreme Court justices and a lot of Federal District and Appellate judges).

  6. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    Yeah, just as States have told the Feds to %$#@! off with Marijuana, so should our state, and any other state, tell the Feds ‘to take a hike.’ Nullification rules the day! But clearly the Central Bankers have vested much of their power in the office of the executive. And seeing how neither party wants to audit the Private Federal Reserve and abolish it, we are stuck with what we got for now. That is until Americans get their heads out of their %$#@.

  7. Horatio Bunce

    “Additionally, the bill proposed that no state agency, political subdivision, elected officials, or government employees could enforce the order if the Tennessee Attorney General determines it is unconstitutional.”

    This bill is DOA.

    All Uncle Sugar has to do is waive some federal reserve notes around or threaten to keep your money from you. Extortion. Slaves.