Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody Weighs in on the Movement Against the Federal Government Usurpations

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody in the studio to discuss state’s rights in the face of a continuation of the federal government’s usurpation of power.

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Senate Considering Constitutional Amendment to Formally Allow Faith Leaders Seat at Legislative Table

Voters will likely see on the ballot an amendment confirming that faith leaders and teachers can lawfully join the legislature. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in McDaniel v. Paty, et al. in 1978 that this provision was unconstitutional. It is unclear why Tennessee never updated its constitution to strike that provision. It is also unclear what the legislature could do if voters were to turn down the amendment. 

The proposed resolution by State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) reaffirms SCOTUS rejection of excluding individuals from the legislative process based on their status as a recognized teacher or leader within the Christian faith. 

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Bill to Allow Tennesseans Freedom of Choice for Vaccinations Dies in House Subcommittee

The House Health Subcommittee killed a bill allowing exemptions for vaccines based on religious or conscientious objections, especially during pandemics. Lawmakers voted against the bill, 7-3. Committee members that voted against the bill were State Representatives Bob Freeman (D-Nashville), Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory), Sabi Kumar (R-Springfield), Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville), Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta), and Robin Smith (R-Hixon); those for the bill were State Representatives Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), Mark Hall (R-Cleveland), Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).

Opposition to the bill raised issue with the possibility of its public health impact, citing the risk posed by non-vaccinated individuals in areas such as schools, daycares, and restaurants. State Representative Jay D. Reedy (R-Erin) had proposed the bill in November initially, several weeks after the general election. Its companion bill was filed shortly after by State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), who didn’t respond for comment by press time.

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State Senator Pody Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Limit Government Overreach During Emergencies

State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) proposed a constitutional amendment to limit governmental power during emergencies. Tennessee Stands, a nonprofit social advocacy organization, instigated the proposal of this amendment. 

“No declaration of emergency by the federal government, the governor of this state, or any agent or political subdivision of this state shall be construed to lessen or abridge the rights and privileges of the citizens of this state guaranteed by this Constitution or lessen or diminish the controlling authority of this Constitution,” read the amendment. “In all circumstances, the departments of the government shall be bound to and shall not exceed or delegate, their respective duties and powers as defined in this Constitution.” 

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Bill Proposes Protections for Private Businesses Against Repercussions for Violating Executive Orders

A new bill would prohibit governors or mayors from using law enforcement to force closure of private businesses under executive orders. Additionally, the bill would bar these government officials from using law enforcement to restrict the right to peaceably assemble or freely travel.

The legislation noted that curfews issued by executive order would still be enforceable, as well as the ability for state and local agencies and departments to maintain their health inspection standards.

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Pro-Life ‘Rule of Law Life Act’ Banning Abortion Moves Through Tennessee General Assembly

A new pro-life bill claims that constitutionally-protected life begins at conception, banning all abortions except in life-threatening emergencies. Dubbed the “Rule of Law Life Act,” the bill stated that the Fourteenth Amendment extends the right to life to the unborn, the legal precedents in existence allowing abortion derogate the Constitution,

The bill expands upon the previous heartbeat bill, signed into law last year and is currently being debated in the courts. It asserts that established and accepted science supports the notion of human life beginning at conception. Additionally, the bill explicitly prohibits punishing mothers for abortions committed. Only physicians who violate the proposed laws would be subject to punishments awarded for Class C felonies or Class A misdemeanors, as well as the suspension or revocation of their healthcare license.

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State Senate Ignores Millions of Dollars Disability Fraud in Tennessee

A bill that would make it a requirement for the state to cooperate in investigations of millions of dollars of disability fraud occurring within Tennessee was ignored this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Disability fraud can involve exaggerating or faking an illness or disabilities, filing multiple applications, concealing work or other activities, all of which cost the state and the federal government millions of dollars every year.

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Groups Call for Christians to Come to the Capitol and Pray During the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study

As the Summer Study for Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill approaches, groups are calling for Christians to join in a Prayer March being held on August 12, the first day of the proceedings.

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Tennessee Right to Life PAC Rejected Sponsors of Unborn Child Heartbeat and 20-Week Abortion Ban Bills in 2018 Elections

Fetus on Health

The Tennessee Right to Life Political Action Committee (TRL PAC) left sponsors of the unborn child heartbeat bill and the 20-week abortion ban bill off their list of endorsements of political candidates for the 2018 election cycle.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Members Comment on the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study

  With the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Summer Study on the Heartbeat Bill just three weeks out, every committee member was contacted by The Tennessee Star, confirming their attendance and offering an opportunity for them to comment on their expectations of the two-day meeting. The Judiciary Committee, a standing committee of…

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COUNTDOWN: Three Weeks Until the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study

  In three weeks, the State Senate Judiciary Committee will undertake the much anticipated two-day Summer Study on the legislation known as the Heartbeat Bill. The Heartbeat Bill seeks to protect the life of unborn children from the point that their heartbeat is detected, usually at about six weeks after…

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Andy Schlafly: It’s Terrible to See Such a Misuse of the ‘Right To Life’ Name

  “It’s terrible to see such a misuse of the Right To Life name,” says conservative activist Andy Schlafly, attorney and son of Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, in regards to organizations that, instead of being strongly pro-life, interfere with strong pro-life legislation. Andy Schlafly is the fifth child of John…

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Fetal Heartbeat Bill Summer Study Schedule Set

  The schedule for the Senate Judiciary Committee summer study of the Heartbeat Bill was announced Thursday via email to committee members and staff. The scheduled dates just announced – Monday and Tuesday, August 12 and 13 – are changed from the original dates set during the Senate Judiciary Committee…

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State Senate Fails to Recall Heartbeat Bill

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A majority of Tennessee State Senate voted to table the motion to reconsider the Heartbeat Bill through a recall, putting an end to any further action on the measure during this legislative session. The Senate version of the Heartbeat Bill, SB1236 sponsored by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon)…

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Sen. Mark Pody on the ‘Heartbeat Bill’: It’s Very Disappointing That Tennessee Right to Life Would Be the Ones Standing in the Way

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The day after the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ was sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee to “summer study,” the Senate sponsor of the bill Mark Pody said about Tennessee Right To Life, “It’s very disappointing that they would be the ones standing in the way.” Sen. Pody (R-Lebanon), in…

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State Senate Committee Votes to Send the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ to Summer Study

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The State Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Tuesday to send the heartbeat bill, which would ban abortions in the state of Tennessee after a fetal heartbeat is detected, to summer study. After hearing about an hour and half of testimony and questions and answers from expert witnesses,…

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State Representative Bruce Griffey Takes On Several Illegal Immigration Issues

Before even being sworn into his first term in office, Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) has been calling for measures to decrease illegal immigration to Tennessee which began with a call for a Resolution supporting President Trump in ending “birth right” citizenship, as reported by The Tennessee Star. In addition to…

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A Proclamation In Support of Israel, Initiated by Senator Mark Pody, Signed by Governor Bill Lee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In a ceremony held in the former Supreme Court chambers of the State Capitol, Governor Bill Lee signed a Proclamation honoring and commending the Nation of Israel, which was initiated by Senator Mark Pody. The Proclamation was originated by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) through Senate Resolution SJR…

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