Constitutional Amendment Establishing ‘Right to Work’ Regardless of Union Membership Passed by Tennessee General Assembly

On Thursday the House passed the “Right to Work,” ensuring an individual’s right to work regardless of union affiliation. This protection would be enshrined in the Tennessee Constitution. Under the resolution, no person, corporation, association, or the state or any political subdivisions can deny anyone based on labor union or employee organization membership.

The resolution asserts that individuals have a fundamental civil right to either join or refuse to join a labor union or employee organization. State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) sponsored this resolution. The resolution achieved its first approval under SJR0648, passed last June and also sponsored by Kelsey.

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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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Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment to Change Attorney General Selection Process

The Tennessee Senate passed a resolution to allow the General Assembly a say in the selection process for the Attorney General and Reporter for the state. If adopted, the amendment would transfer final decision-making on these two positions from the Supreme Court to the General Assembly. Under the amendment, the Supreme Court would nominate an Attorney General and Reporter. The legislature would have 60 days to vote on the nominees. If the vote doesn’t occur within 60 days, then the nominees are confirmed by default. The amendment would require a majority vote to confirm the nominees.

Additionally, the amendment would reduce the term length for both positions from eight years to six years. It also outlines that both individuals must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, an attorney licensed in the State, and a resident for at least five years preceding nomination.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Reviews the Emergency Powers Granted to Governor Lee by Statute but Limited by The Tennessee Constitution

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to the studio to explain and clarify the governor’s emergency powers according to the Tennessee Constitution.

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Executive Director Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands Discusses Their Mission and Pending Lawsuits

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Stands Executive Director Gary Humble to the newsmakers line to talk about his mission, pending lawsuits, and what motivated the creation of the 501 (c)(4).

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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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Rep. London Lamar Files Bill To Investigate Tennesseans Participating in January 6 Events in DC and Remove Elected Officials from Office

Rep. London Lamar (D-Memphis) filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session beginning Tuesday that calls for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to investigate Tennesseans suspected of participating in seditious or treasonous acts at the federal Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, and clarifies that such acts committed by state elected officials constitutes their removal from office.

The proposed legislation was filed Friday, after Lamar took to her state representative Facebook page the day prior in a post titled “The Line Has Been Drawn” which accused President Trump and his supporters of engaging in acts of sedition and treason to promote white supremacy.

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Nashville Bar Association Petitions Tennessee Supreme Court to Require Annual Critical Race Theory Training of Tennessee Attorneys and Judges

The Nashville Bar Association (NBA) has petitioned the Tennessee Supreme Court to modify its rules to require two hours of training on an annual basis to cover the topic of critical race theory.
Critical race theory is “the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color,” according to Britannica.

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Legislature’s Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Powers Made Reform Recommendations That May Not Go Into Effect for Six Years

A joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers in a meeting held Tuesday agreed to pass along their recommendations for reforming Tennessee law regarding the declaration of a state of emergency and powers granted to the executive branch during such emergency.
Of note is that the agreed-upon reforms are not recommended to go into effect until the current administration leaves. Additionally, the recommendations do not address the constitutionality of current state law.

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Citizens Groups Hold Rallies in Franklin, Knoxville to Declare ‘We Will Not Comply’ With Mask Mandates

Grassroots movements combating Tennessee’s never-ending mask mandates are gaining steam.

Tennessee Stands held a “Mask Free Tennessee Rally” Saturday on the Public Square in Franklin. A similar rally was held Sunday in Knoxville by No Mandates Tennessee.

Tennessee Stands organizers on Saturday evening posted on their Facebook page, “So thankful to all of the patriots that showed up today for the Mask Free Tennessee Rally today in Franklin! Our voices are louder together. We will not give in to the mob. We will not relinquish our liberty. We. Will. Not. Comply.”

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Metro Nashville’s Claim of Election Commission ‘Non-Ministerial Role’ to Keep Property Tax Referendum Off Ballot Contradicted by 2004 Tennessee Supreme Court Decision: No Legal Authority to Question Constitutionality

The  2004 Tennessee Supreme Court decision in City of Memphis v. Shelby County Election Commission that found the “Commission exceeded its authority by refusing to place Referendum Ordinance No. 5072 on the November 2, 2004, ballot based upon the State Election Coordinator’s opinion that the Ordinance is unconstitutional,” may blow a major hole in Metro Nashville Legal Director Bob Cooper’s argument made to to the Davidson County Election Commission at its September 25 meeting that “the commission’s role here is not purely ministerial,” and that a 2004 Tennessee Supreme Court decision “said that the commission can consider the form of a referendum petition and suggested that it could review the petition’s facial or procedural legality.”

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UTK Law Professor Glenn Reynolds Talks to Legislative Ad Hoc Committee about Tennessee Governors’ Emergency Powers

University of Tennesse at Knoxville (UTK) Law Professor Glenn Reynolds on Thursday spoke to members of the Tennessee General Assembly about various topics, including a governor’s use of executive orders and the reasoning behind him having such power.

His appearance was before the Legislature’s Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers.

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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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Right-to-Work Constitutional Amendment Heads to Tennessee House Floor

A resolution to enshrine right-to-work protections in the Tennessee Constitution has advanced through the House committee process and is scheduled to be heard Monday on the House floor.

Tennessee already has right-to-work protections in law, which prevent a worker from being hired or fired based on choosing to join or not to join a union. Senate Joint Resolution 0648 would enshrine the protection in the constitution to make it more difficult to repeal in the future.

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Republicans in Legislature Introduce Right to Work Constitutional Amendment

Tennessee House and Senate leaders introduced a resolution Wednesday that would add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution.

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Showdown in the Tennessee House GOP Caucus

  The stage is set for a dramatic showdown on Monday afternoon in downtown Nashville between about a dozen Republican state legislators, led by an increasingly vocal State Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), and Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada. At issue is whether the 73 member Tennessee House Republican…

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No Clear Legal Path for Forced Removal of Tennessee House Speaker Casada, Despite Partisan Drumbeat from Local Mainstream Media

  Despite the controversies that have surrounded Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada the last two weeks and the relentless partisan drumbeat of the local mainstream media, the legal path to force his removal as Speaker by his political opponents remains unclear. The controversies erupted a little more than…

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Democrats Violated the State Constitution and House Rules When They Walked out of the House Chambers

Despite media reports suggesting otherwise, when Democrats left the House floor and walked out of the chambers during session, it was they who were in violation of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee and House Rules of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly, not House Speaker Glen Casada. News Channel…

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Court Panel Eliminates Tennessee Limit on Punitive Damages

A Tennessee statute capping punitive damages is unconstitutional, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit has ruled. The Sixth Circuit panel ruled 2-1 on Dec. 21 that state case law shows an award of punitive damages is a “finding of fact” that is allowed by jurors, Courthouse…

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Knoxville Appeals Court Rules $250 ‘DUI Fee’ Unconstitutional

The Criminal Court of Appeals in Knoxville ruled Tuesday that Tennessee’s state law requiring every person convicted of a DUI via blood or breath tests pay a $250 fee to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is unconstitutional. According to the 28-page decision, the fee violates due process and puts into question the…

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Mae Beavers and Diane Black Praise 6th Circuit Court Decision Upholding Right to Life ‘Amendment One’: Abortion is Not a ‘Right’ in Tennessee

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Tuesday upholding the choice of Tennessee voters on Amendment 1 in 2014.  Amendment 1, which was placed on the statewide ballot that year by the Tennessee General Assembly as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, passed with 53 percent of the vote, and amended the…

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