By Dave Andrusko
The amendment to Tennessee’s state constitution will give legislators a voice in establishing state abortion policies, a right throttled by a 2000 decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The court held “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.
Well, on November 4, we won fair and square with 53% of the vote. To which pro-abortionists said….let’s do it over again.
They want U.S. District Judge John Nixon to either force a recount, vote by vote, or set aside their loss and order another election.
The basis? That the votes weren’t counted properly. This gets arcane so hold on.
Proponents faced an addition hurtle. Passage of Amendment 1 required a majority not just of those who voted yea or nay on the amendment but a majority of all those who voted for governor. So, if you voted for governor but did not bother to vote for the Amendment, it was as if you voted “no.”
The lawsuit turns this advantage they enjoyed into an alleged unfair advantage for proponents of Amendment 1. They want each vote hand counted. 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, void the election and hold another.
As Cheryl Wetzstein of the Washington Times explained yesterday, there were 1,352,608 votes cast in Tennessee’s governor’s race. To win, the Amendment would require half of that plus one—or 676,305 “yes” votes.
“Amendment 1 received 728,751 ‘yes’ votes — or about 53 percent — of the 1,385,178 votes cast on the amendment,” she wrote.
Wetzstein went on to note that
Tennessee officials and amendment supporters are shaking their heads over the lawsuit, saying Amendment 1 clearly won by any accounting — and state officials used the same counting process that has been used since the 1950s. …
State officials, like Secretary of State Tre Hargett, said the lawsuit is without merit, as there has never been a requirement that people must vote for everything on a ballot. Amendment 1 declared that nothing in the state constitution establishes a right to abortion, as the state Supreme Court had previously ruled in 2000. …
Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life and a coordinator for the “Yes on 1” campaign, told Wetzstein
Even if you wrongly discount those who may have voted for Amendment 1 but not in the governor’s race, there is still a margin of almost 20,000 votes in favor of the amendment.
The eight voters who brought the suit denied any connection to Planned Parenthood (presumably with a straight face), which spent $1.6 million to defeat Amendment 1.
Judge Nixon has set a hearing for January 12.
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