Wednesday, January 10, 2018

6th Circuit: Tennessee Constitutional Amendment On Abortion Was Validly Adopted

In George v. Hargett, (6th Cir., Jan. 9, 2018), the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge by Tennessee voters to the method by which votes were counted in 2014 on a state constitutional amendment.  At issue was an amendment that provides in part: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."  Language in the Tennessee constitution on the number of votes needed to approve a constitutional amendment is ambiguous.  However a state court had upheld the interpretation by state voting officials.  The 6th Circuit, reversing the district court, upheld the state's determination that the amendment had passed. It also concluded that the vote counting method used by the state does not violated due process or equal protection provisions of the federal Constitution.  The Tennessean reports on the decision. [Thanks to Tom Rutledge for the lead.]