Tennessee Abortion Laws Go to Court in Vote Counting Case

Jul 28, 2017

Credit peeradach rattanakoses, 123rf stock photo

A challenge to a 2014 Tennessee constitutional amendment allowing tougher abortion restrictions comes before a court next week -- but the case centers on vote counting, not women's reproductive health rights.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing next Wednesday in Cincinnati will mark the first major action in the Amendment 1 case in more than a year. Last year, U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp ruled that Tennessee's vote-counting on Amendment 1 was unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair.

He wrote that a campaign urged people to vote for the amendment and not for governor, lowering the bar for amendment passage. Sharp ordered a recount that could change the outcome of the vote. It's on hold, pending appeal.

Tennessee officials say they followed their longstanding practice of counting amendment votes.