NRL News

Passage of pro-life” Amendment 1” voted top Tennessee story for 2014

by | Dec 29, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

yeson1For the final post of the day, a short but important story. Quoting the Associated Press

The passage of Amendment 1 was the state’s [Tennessee’s] top news story of 2014 as voted on by reporters and editors of The Associated Press, AP member newspapers and broadcast subscribers.

NRL News Today and NRL News wrote many, many stories about this important initiative, 14 years in the making. It was designed to give the legislature—and through legislators, the voters– the opportunity to decide what abortion laws Tennesseans wanted on the books.

All of this was in response to a disastrous 2000 decision by the state Supreme Court which held that “A woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” As a result of that 4-1 decision, a bevy of commonsense pro-life measures were immediately stricken. Women from out of state flocked to Tennessee to have their abortions.

The nub of Amendment 1 read simply, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”

The measure passed with 53% of the vote, even though passage required not 50% plus one vote of all those voting on Amendment 1 but 50% +1 of everyone who voted for governor. So, if you voted for governor but did not cast a vote on Amendment 1, it was the equivalent of a “no” vote.

As NRL News Today reported, opponents have filed a federal lawsuit based on a bizarre argument. They maintain that each vote should be hand counted because they want any ballot in which someone voted for Amendment 1 but skipped voting in the race for governor thrown out. In lieu of that, they want to void the election and hold another.

In that same NRL News Today story, a vigorous opponent of Amendment 1–an election law attorney and former judicial law clerk for Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon G. Lee—quickly and easily came to the conclusion that the outcome of Amendment 1 was valid.

Categories: Legislation