More Tennessee Counties Re-Issue Mask Mandates and Public Health Emergencies

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased this month, more Tennessee counties are re-issuing mask mandates. Tennessee has nearly 250,000 confirmed cases, 88 percent of which have recovered.
Montgomery County issued the most recent mask mandate on Tuesday. Other counties with mandates include Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, and Sumner. These mask mandates adhere to guidelines issued under Governor Bill Lee.

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Gov. Northam Fights to Keep Virginia in Perpetual Shutdown

Only 22 percent of ventilators in Virginia hospitals were in use as of Wednesday. Fifty-two percent of ICU beds were available, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Only 1,003 potential COVID-19 patients were currently hospitalized. However, Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders surrounding social distancing and mask wearing remain in effect.

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Constitutional Experts to Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Powers: The Legislature is the Check on Executive Powers

In Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers, two experts on constitutional law said, that with the deference the courts afford the executive branch, it is up to the Tennessee General Assembly to put checks on the broad powers of the governor during an emergency.

In the second of three meetings, committee members heard testimony from seven individuals:  Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee; Larry L. Crain, Crain Law Group; Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee; Patrick Sheehan, Director TEMA; Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health; Clark Milner, Deputy Counsel to Governor Bill Lee; Brent Easley, Legislative Director to Governor Bill Lee.

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‘Tennessee Stands’ Files Lawsuit Claiming Statute Deeming Governor’s Executive Orders Having Full Force and Effect of Law Unconstitutional

Citizens for Limited Government and Constitutional Integrity, Inc. doing business as Tennessee Stands filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Chancery Court Monday against Governor Bill Lee on the grounds that the state statute deeming the governor’s executive orders have the full force and effect of law is unconstitutional.

Tennessee Stands founder and president Gary Humble along with Rodney Lunn, the plaintiffs in the case, reference Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 58-2-107 which dates back to 2000.

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Expert Testimony on Study of Emergency Powers: Governor Lee’s Executive Orders Consistent with Powers Granted in State Law

In testimony to the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers Thursday, retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and president and dean of Nashville School of Law William C. Koch, Jr. said Governor Bill Lee’s executive orders are entirely consistent with the inherent power in his office and granted to him in state statute.

The 17-member ad hoc committee, consisting of five senators and 12 representatives, was established by the respective speakers of each house at the request of members in light of the emergency status caused by COVID-19.

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Gov. Lee Will End Use of Electronic Governmental Meetings After June 30

One hallmark for the pandemic scare in Tennessee has been the heavy governmental use of electronic meetings, facilitated by Gov. Bill Lee signing executive orders allowing them.

The meetings often were on Zoom or a similar format, and as the state began reopening, sometimes meetings would have participants both in person and participating electronically.

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#FreeTN Rallies Sunday for Freedom From Nashville’s Shutdown and No Further Shutdowns

#FreeTN has scheduled a rally for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Nashville’s Historic Courthouse/City Hall calling for freedom from the remnants of Nashville’s COVID-19 shutdown and demanding that the city never shut down again.

The day also marks the annual celebration of the official adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” American flag by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

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State Rep. Bruce Griffey Requests AG Opinion on Constitutionality of Governor Lee’s COVID-19 Executive Orders

In a five-page letter to the state’s attorney general dated May 12, state Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) requested a legal opinion as to the constitutionality and authority of Governor Bill Lee in issuing executive orders in response to COVID-19.

In a press release about his inquiry, Griffey explained, “When I ran for office, I ran on a platform of small government, limited government – a campaign platform I intend to honor. Moreover, when I took my oath of office, I swore to not only support the Tennessee Constitution but also to not consent to any act or thing that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge the rights and privileges of the people of this state as declared by the Constitution of this State. I intend to uphold my oath of office, and defend the Constitutional rights of Tennesseans and protect them from government over-reach.

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Michiganders Growing Weary of Gov. Whitmer’s Mounting COVID-19 Restrictions

As Michigan adopts a new phase of government-imposed restrictions on businesses and personal behavior to stem the spread of COVID-19, residents and politicians are registering increased opposition.

Negative reactions stem from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders, which declared many businesses “nonessential” and threatened $1,000 fines for people violating the six-foot social distancing rules.

Those edicts took effect on March 24, and were set to expire on April 13. On Thursday, however, the governor extended her executive orders to April 30 – and added tighter restrictions on personal travel and businesses previously declared essential.

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In Unique Midnight Ceremony, Mike DeWine Sworn in as Governor of Ohio

If his first day in office is any gauge of his coming term of office, Governor DeWine will have an unprecedented tenure. DeWine is not the first executive to be sworn in on more than one Bible. As recently as 2017, President Donald Trump was sworn in on two; a…

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What The United States Constitution Really Says About ‘Birthright Citizenship’

Constitution Series 14th Amendment

In Section 1 of its 14th Amendment, the U.S. Constitution reads in pertinent part: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Proposed by Congress in 1866 — and deemed…

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