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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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). Read More
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.” Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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.
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.” Read More
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.” Read More
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled Governor Bill Lee’s educational savings account (ESA) program “unconstitutional” on Tuesday. The court’s decision upheld a lower court’s ruling on the school voucher program. Read More
The court of appeals ruled that the unconstitutionality of the ESA program is because “is local in effect, and applicable to Davidson and Shelby counties in their governmental capacity.” This decision references article XI, section 9, paragraph 2 of the Tennessee Constitution.
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
A proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that would declare that liberties do not come from government, but from Almighty God failed in the State Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. Read More
Tennessee House and Senate leaders introduced a resolution Wednesday that would add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution. Read More
Tennessee’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued an opinion in 2018 in response to a legislator’s inquiry indicating that allocations to the reserve for revenue fluctuation account, otherwise known as the Rainy Day Fund, do not count toward the Copeland Cap. State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) (pictured left) requested an… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More
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… Read More