Constitutional amendments

Two proposed TN constitutional amendments die in windup House-Senate squabbling

Two proposed amendments to the Tennessee state Constitution were caught up in the final round of House-versus-Senate maneuvering Wednesday and both died with adjournment. One would have declared that “Almighty God” is the source of all liberty; the other would have laid out procedures for temporarily replacing a governor when he or she becomes incapacitated.

The upshot is that none of dozen or so state constitutional amendments proposed during the 110th General Assembly were approved. (A listing on the legislative website is HERE.)

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New idea for AG selection: Supreme Court nominates, subject to General Assembly confirmation

A Republican senator said Monday he is revising his resolution that would change the Tennessee Constitution and put the General Assembly in charge of naming the state’s next attorney general, reports the Times Free Press.

Senate State and Local Committee Chairman Ken Yager, R-Kingston, said the move came after discussions with Sen. Art Swann, R-Maryville, who has an amendment to alter Yager’s proposed Senate Joint Resolution 88.

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Senate panel votes to let state legislators pick TN attorney general

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved on a party-line vote Tuesday a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that calls for state legislators to appoint Tennessee attorney general, now chosen by the state Supreme Court.

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Appeals court upholds TN constitutional amendment on abortion

By a 3-0 vote, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected a legal challenge to the 2014 vote that added an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution dealing with abortion, overturning a lower federal court ruling that called for a recount. The 6th Circuit decision, on the other hand, is in line with a state court ruling.

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Bell pushes transparency in constitutional convention planning

After four days of meetings last week, representatives of 22 states – including Tennessee – have adopted proposed  rules for what would be the first Article V convention in American history, reports the Arizona Republic. Backers of the proposed convention say 27 states have approved resolutions calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget and they need seven more to get it underway.

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TNGOP legislators headed to constitutional convention planning session

News release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – The seven Tennessee lawmakers representing the state at a Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention in Phoenix, Arizona next Tuesday have filed a resolution to begin the process of preparing for an Article V convention.

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House votes to praise God for liberty in TN Constitution

The House voted 69-17 Monday evening in favor of adding this sentence to the Tennessee state Constitution:

“We recognize that our liberties do not come from governments, but from Almighty God.”

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House panel flip-flops on God & liberty resolution

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee, which in early March rejected a proposal to include a declaration  that God is the source of all liberty, has changed its mind in April.

The panel on Wednesday revived the measure by Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, (HJR37) and approved it on voice vote. The move came after a motion to reconsider was filed by Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, who voted against the measure on March 1 and for it on the second try.

If the proposal is ultimately approved – a long process that would take years – this language would be added to the Tennessee Constitution:

“We recognize that our liberties do not come from governments, but from almighty God.”

Senate votes (again) for elected attorney general

News release from Senate Republican Caucus

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), March 20, 2017 — A resolution that would allow Tennessee voters to decide if they want to popularly elect the state’s attorney general (AG) was approved 22 to 8 tonight by the State Senate on final consideration. Senate Joint Resolution 57, sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), begins the process of amending the State Constitution, which if approved by voters, calls for the AG to be elected beginning with the November 2024 general election.

“Currently, the attorney general is twice removed from those he or she is supposed to represent – the people of Tennessee,” said Senator Beavers. “It is time we let the citizens have more of a say in their government.”

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House kills planned Nashville meeting on U.S. constitutional amendments

With members acknowledging confusion over different groups pushing amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of states, the House State Government Committee has scrapped a Senate-passed bill that called for a July meeting in Nashville to make plans for such a gathering.

Prior to the vote, Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown, lamented “the travesty of this situation” with groups sharing the same goal of curbing “federal government overreach” being unable to agree on procedures. He said it appears the movement for a convention of the states is “starting to shatter.”

Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, said the conflict “puts us in a quandry” and the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville, said efforts “to get these folks together… haven’t really made much progress.

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