6th Circuit declines to review voting case

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition by plaintiffs to have a case about voting on Tennessee constitutional amendments be re-heard by the entire panel of judges.

The case is based on voting for a 2014 amendment that gave state lawmakers more power to limit access to abortions in the state.

A three-judge panel last month ruled against a challenge of outcome, and on Wednesday the appeals court denied a petition for the court to review the case en banc.

The state Constitution requires amendments to be approved by “a
majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor.” State election officials have interpreted that to mean that the number of voters must be one more than the total voting in a gubernatorial election. But the district court had ruled in 2016 that a recount of the election should be conducted to only accept ballots by those who had also voted in the governor’s race.  That order was put on hold while the successful appeal took place.

State Attorney General Hebert Slatery issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision denying a rehearing leaves no doubt that the unanimous decision from earlier this year is correct.  The State’s position from the outset of this litigation has been that determining what vote is required to amend the Tennessee Constitution is a matter of state law;  that the vote-counting method used by the Tennessee State Officials in the 2014 election was true to the meaning of the Tennessee Constitution, as confirmed by the ruling of the Williamson County state court; and there was no infringement at all of the plaintiffs’ voting rights.”



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