Tennessee State Representative Jerry Sexton Discusses Recent Court Ruling That Blocks Tennessee’s New Mask Mandate Law


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Representative Jerry Sexton (R-District 35) on the newsmaker line to discuss the recent stay ruling by a Sixth Circuit Court halting the General Assembly’s law on mask mandates.

Leahy: On our newsmaker line, our very good friend, the man from Bean Station, State Representative Jerry Sexton. Good morning, Representative Sexton.

Sexton: Good morning, Michael. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Leahy: It’s great to have you here on the program as well. Last time you were in studio, we had a great conversation. Learned a lot about you, learned a lot about Bean Station. Now the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law in a special session having to do with lots of things related to COVID. And Governor Bill Lee signed it on Friday afternoon.

One of the elements of the law had to do with basically making it very difficult for school districts to impose mask mandates. They can, but they’ve got to go through a whole bunch of standards and tests.

And this particular law had very specific elements in it that address some complaints that had succeeded in court previously saying it violated the federal Americans for Disability Act.

Saturday morning, a bunch of left-wing lawyers with about eight plaintiffs, go to federal court. The district court here. A guy by name of Waverley D. Crenshaw, a judge appointed by Barack Obama and they asked for a stay of this state law passed by the Tennessee General Assembly and then signed into law by Governor Bill Lee.

On Sunday, Judge Waverley Crenshaw an Obama appointee stopped it. Here was his argument. Given the alleged conflict and the possible confusion this law creates for schools in Tennessee, pending an expedited hearing, the party shall maintain the status quo as it pertains to students with disabilities and their federally guaranteed rights as of Thursday.

In other words, Tennessee passes the law and this federal judge on a whim, I don’t see any argument there. Says, no, you can’t do that. What are your thoughts on that, Jerry Sexton?

Sexton: It makes me go back to the Trump administration when he would do something and the next thing you’ve got some judge, especially on the border and immigration, and they would just put a stop hold on it.

And that’s the problem, Michael that we’ve got in our country today. Our legislators and the work that we’ve been given to do by the people can be stopped by one rogue judge. And something needs to be done about this.

And we as Tennesseeans and as the country, we’ve got to fight back against especially these liberal judges that use legislating from the bench as a tool to push their will upon its citizens. I’m tired of it.

Leahy: You are tired of it.

Sexton: Yes. I don’t know exactly what we can do at this point, but we need to rein in these judges that are legislating from the bench. That’s all they’re doing. What good does it do us to pass a bill and then they just push it aside so easily?

Leahy: These are my words, not yours, State Representative Jerry Sexton. But this Judge Waverley D. Crenshaw, Jr. Nashville native and Vanderbilt Law School grad appointed by Barack Obama, Judge Crenshaw, I’m going to tell you this right now.

You’re welcome to come into our studio and discuss it. You, sir, are a political hack. Why do I say that? Because your order that you issued, this was all a fix. Your ruling has nothing to do with the constitutional standards.

This is all Judge Crenshaw said in his order. Basically overruling the Tennessee General Assembly. The governor of Tennessee ‘given the alleged conflict and the possible confusion this law creates for schools in Tennessee, the party shall maintain the status quo before this law was passed.’ Now, to me, Representative Sexton, this is a pure, arbitrary political decision by a federal judge. Your thoughts.

Sexton: Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. And therein is the problem that we face so many times with any kind. We pass abortion laws, and the first thing to do is take them to court and put a stay on it.

And then you have to spend all this time and money when the legislature has been given the authority according to our Constitution to pass laws, not legislate from the bench. And these hacks, as you referred to them, that’s what they’re doing.

They’re just chopping up our Constitution and the rights that we have as legislators to make laws in support of people. That’s what we do. We represent our people. We have a representative government, but we can’t represent the people and have a representative government when we’ve got this runaway judicial system.

Leahy: The judge in that ruling, I don’t even think he read the law because the law, and you know this very well since you’re in the Tennessee General Assembly, clearly set out special provisions for children who are affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It’s right there in the law. I don’t think this guy read it. And your thoughts on this, I think the judge’s ruling is in direct contravention of the 10th Amendment.

I have it right in front of me. And it says the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. Your thoughts?

Sexton: Oh, I love that. Yes, that’s exactly right. And the Bill of Rights, as you know, when it was given, there were some concerns that if we mentioned some and we put some in there that others will be left out.

And that’s the reason for the 9th Amendment, those rights that are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights. We have other rights. And these other rights are not being infringed upon. So, yes, I agree with you.

The state has the right to make its laws for its people. And, Michael, I have dealt with and I can’t tell you how many people have called me. Constituents and some that are not constituents were losing their jobs over these mandates and people in very high positions and making large salaries.

And so far, we’ve been able to help them, and some of them got around it. I’m sure that some have not. But we have this right as you eloquently spoke on in the 10th Amendment, but it’s not being adhered to.

We have state’s rights and these state’s rights we can make our laws and pass them. Then we’ve got these judges that come along and just cut them out.

Leahy: When the General Assemby is back in session in January, what will be your priorities?

Sexton: Well, one of our priorities will be to see how we can strengthen some of these laws that we have passed concerning COVID and the state’s rights. One of the things that are always on my mind and several of us there in the General Assembly is how we can strengthen the rights that we have.

And I know that maybe sounds arbitrary. But we’re losing our rights all the time. And in our government, we’re seeing government growth. We’re seeing the government take control, telling us how to live our lives, what we can do and what we can’t do. And that’s my position on religious liberties.

Just the freedom of America. And we still live in America. And I say that all the time. This is still America, and we have got to fight for those rights. And I want to see us do it.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio














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