Law Criminalizing Use of False Language in Campaign Literature Ruled Unconstitutional by Davidson County Judge

A group that called a political candidate “literally Hitler” in a flyer won its case challenging a law that criminalizes the use of “false language” in campaign literature. The judge presiding over the case, which was heard Thursday, called the law “incompatible with the First Amendment.”

Tennesseans for Sensible Elections Laws (TSEL), an organization that describes itself as “a nonpartisan group of concerned citizens who care about protecting Tennessee’s democratic process,” was subject to criminal penalties for a political flier claiming that Representative Bruce Griffey was “literally Hitler.”

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Tennessee Judge: Virus By-Mail Voting Guidelines Ambiguous

A Tennessee judge on Wednesday said the state’s guidance about who can vote by mail due to the coronavirus is “very ambiguous,” and she cited “weighty proof” that other states have expanded to let all voters cast absentee ballots this year — something Tennessee officials say is not feasible.

In a hearing via video conference due to the pandemic, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle cast doubts on some of the state’s key arguments against two lawsuits that seek a by-mail voting option for all voters this year to curb the virus’ spread at the polls. Lyle also cautioned that whatever she orders needs to be “a practical, workable solution, or it will throw the election into chaos.” She raised particular concerns about costs for local governments.

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Tennessee Gay Couples Have Equal Parental Rights, Judge Rules

Tennessee same-sex couples have the same parental rights as heterosexual couples with children born through artificial insemination, a judge ruled Friday. The judge dismissed a challenge to a new state law backed by conservatives requiring using the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in state law. But LGBT activists consider…

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