Tennessee House Passes Bill to Establish Formal Review Process for Constitutionality of Presidential Orders

President Biden and the Tennessee Capital


The Tennessee House passed a bill Monday establishing a formal review process to check the constitutionality of presidential executive orders. However, the bill wasn’t passed in its entirety. An amendment adopted to the original bill, introduced by State Representative Rick Eldridge (R-Morristown), removed the provision prohibiting any state agency, political subdivision, or elected or appointed official or employee from implementing any executive order that Tennessee’s Attorney General determined unconstitutional in relation to pandemics; public health emergencies; natural resource, land use, or financial sector regulations; or Second Amendment rights.

According to the legislation, the General Assembly Joint Government Operations Committee would review presidential executive orders at their discretion. Following their review, the Attorney General would then have the final say regarding the constitutionality of any presidential executive orders as reviewed by the General Assembly.

The bill sponsor, State Representative Mark Hall (R-Cleveland), said during the Public Service Subcommittee hearing that this would establish a formal means for Tennessee to exempt itself from federal government overreach.

“If deemed unconstitutional, we can claim exemption from the executive order,” explained Hall.

During the State Government Committee, State Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) agreed with Hall’s assessment.

“It’s my contention that if state legislatures don’t start to get involved in processes, we’re going to get steamrolled,” said Hulsey.

During the final hearing on the bill, State Representative Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) said that although he didn’t support the bill he thought the amendment was a step in the right direction.

“I don’t believe that we need to be taking these actions. We’ve made it this far without a bill like this. But I do like this amendment, I think it’s taken care of the constitutional concerns that I had,” stated Stewart.

The bill passed 70-23, mainly along party lines. Only two Democrats voted for the bill – State Representatives Johnny Shaw (D-Bolivar) and John Mark Windle (D-Livingston).

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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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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee House Passes Bill to Establish Formal Review Process for Constitutionality of Presidential Orders”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    “If deemed unconstitutional, we can claim exemption from the executive order,” explained Hall.”

    Are ya sure? What if Grandpa Earpiece decides you aren’t old enough, so the constitution doesn’t apply? Or you need to buy a permit, or he needs to check with the sheriff’s labor union to see if it is ok for you to be allowed to have your constitutional rights?

    The Tennessee Republican super majority frankly is incompetent to recognize unconstitutional abuses as demonstrated by bills in this legislative session. From Fake “Constitutional Carry”, with direct violations of 2nd and 14th amendments within, to hand wringing over whether executive orders should be allowed forbidding freedom of assembly (that’s the first amendment for our clueless super majority). Sorry, but I’ll stick with We The People to decide. Your appointed attorney general is unaccountable to voters (just like health departments – remember you just passed a bill to stop those abuses). All that is required to stop him is for Hedy Weinberg to show up and threaten to sue. By the way, where is the ACLU on all these abuses of liberty?

  2. 83ragtop50

    State Representative Rick Eldridge (R-Morristown) needs to be booted from office. The amended bill is nothing more than a sham. When are the true conservatives (if there are any left) going to stand up for our constitutionally guaranteed rights?

  3. Steve Allen

    This is the only way we can assure our continued Constitutional freedoms from that oppressive regime. Things are only going to get much worse over the next 2-4 years.

  4. JRin

    ” The amendment was a step in the right direction” – to take all of the teeth out of the Bill.

  5. Kevin

    Who’s running this State? And what’s wrong with Eldridge? Do State agencies report to Uncle Joe, or Uncle Bill? When is Tennessee going to take a :leadership” position in this ship full of rats? Or is it lemmings?