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Tennessee Right to Life Legislative Action Center

State Court Judge Declines to Allow YES on 1 as Party to Lawsuit

Reaffirms earlier ruling asserting the state's method of counting votes on Amendment 1 is correct

Nashville, May 19, 2016---Counsel for the YES on 1 Ballot Committee argued today in state court for the right to intervene specifically on behalf of YES voters threatened with having their votes thrown out. This, following a wrong ruling in April by Federal Judge Kevin Sharp who is demanding a recount of the 2014 election results on Amendment 1.

Sharp says that those voters casting a ballot for Amendment 1 but not in the governor's race should not be counted.

While denying intervenor status to YES on 1 today, state court Judge Michael Binkley strengthened the state's case in support of the 2014 vote count and ratification of Amendment 1. Binkley reiterated that his previous ruling in support of the state's method of counting votes applies unambiguously to Amendment 1 and the 2014 election.

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TN ATTORNEY GENERAL APPEALS PRO-ABORTION RULING TO 6TH CIRCUIT

"We obviously disagree with the federal court's decision...Simply put, deciding what vote is required to amend the Tennessee Constitution is a matter of state law to be determined by a Tennessee Court." Harlow Sumerford, spokesman for Attorney General's Office

Tennessee Right to Life expresses gratitude to the many public officials who are working tirelessly to defend the outcome of Amendment 1 and the right of Tennesseans to cast their votes according to their conscience.  In particular, pro-life Tennesseans owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Bill Haslam, Attorney General Herbert Slatery, Deputy Attorney General Janet Kleinfelter, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins and state Senator Randy McNally for making defense of the election a true priority.

Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the state is appealing the wrong ruling issued last Friday by federal Judge Kevin Sharp.  Sharp ordered election officials to count only those votes for or against the amendment that were cast by voters who also voted in the governor's race.  Other pro-life votes in favor of Amendment 1 are to be thrown out, according to Sharp's ruling.

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Federal Judge Threatens to Disenfranchise Pro-Life Voters

Judge Kevin Sharp issues ruling singling out Amendment 1, Leaves others intact

 

Nashville (April 25, 2016)---Just a day after a state court judge ruled in favor of the state's process for counting and ratifying votes on proposed amendments to the state constitution, a federal judge has ordered a recount of ballots on pro-life Amendment 1 and declared that some votes in support of the amendment be thrown out.  At question is the interpretation of Article XI, Section 3 of the state Constitution which now places state and federal judges favoring different readings of the same clause.

 

On Thursday, Williamson County Circuit County Judge Michael Binkley, sitting as Chancellor, ruled that there is no constitutional restriction or precondition on the right of a citizen to vote for or against a constitutional amendment and also voting in the gubernatorial election.

 

On Friday, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Kevin Sharp countered by ordering a recount of the Amendment 1 votes and affirming the arguments of Planned Parenthood plaintiffs that the manner of counting votes, specifically on Amendment 1, violates undue process and equal protections clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  As such, Sharp has ordered state election officials to prepare a timetable for a recount of the votes on Amendment 1. 

 

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