State Court Judge Declines to Allow YES on 1 as Party to Lawsuit
Reaffirms earlier ruling asserting the state's method of counting votes on Amendment 1 is correct
Nashville, May 19, 2016---Counsel for the YES on 1 Ballot Committee argued today in state court for the right to intervene specifically on behalf of YES voters threatened with having their votes thrown out. This, following a wrong ruling in April by Federal Judge Kevin Sharp who is demanding a recount of the 2014 election results on Amendment 1.
Sharp says that those voters casting a ballot for Amendment 1 but not in the governor's race should not be counted.
While denying intervenor status to YES on 1 today, state court Judge Michael Binkley strengthened the state's case in support of the 2014 vote count and ratification of Amendment 1. Binkley reiterated that his previous ruling in support of the state's method of counting votes applies unambiguously to Amendment 1 and the 2014 election.
FEDERAL JUDGE KEVIN SHARP DEMANDS RECOUNT OF AMENDMENT 1 BALLOTS
Just a day after a state court ruled that the state's method of counting votes on Amendment 1 was proper according to the Tennessee Constitution, Chief Judge Kevin Sharp of the U.S. Federal District Court in Middle TN has demanded a recount of ballots cast on Amendment 1. (Click here to view Judge Sharp's order)
Sharp's ruling stopped short of voiding the election results outright and the judge also declined to broadly challenge the state's long held processes for amending the state Constitution.
Instead, Sharp focused solely on Amendment 1 and said "the method used to tabulate the votes on proposed Amendment 1 (was)... fundamentally unfair and violated" the due process and equal protection rights (of pro-abortion voters) "because Plaintiffs’ votes were not accorded the same weight as those who casts [sic] against proposed Amendment 1."
Despite this setback and wrong ruling, Tennessee Right to Life maintains confident that the votes of pro-life Tennesseans and the passage of Amendment 1 will ultimately be upheld.
STATE COURT UPHOLDS OUTCOME OF AMENDMENT 1
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MICHAEL BINKLEY RULES AGAINST PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLAIMS
Nashville (April 21, 2016)---Pro-life voters were handed a victory late Thursday as a state court judge ruled in favor of a motion for summary judgment brought by Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. Hargett and Goins sought clarification from the court as to whether or not the process for counting votes and ratification of a voter-approved amendment were in violation of the Tennessee Constitution. Judge Michael Binkley ruled in favor of the state's process and dismissed pro-abortion claims that the process favored pro-life supporters of Amendment 1 while violating the rights of voters opposed to the pro-life amendment.
In response, the state's leading pro-life organization issued the following: "Tennessee Right to Life shares the view that the historic method of counting the votes and ratifying the results on Amendment 1 was followed in the exact way as every other amendment approved by the voters of our state," said Brian Harris, president of the organization. "Planned Parenthood is trying to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of pro-life Tennesseans simply because they dislike the outcome of the election. That's neither right nor fair," said Harris.
Click here for more information about today's decision.
Amendment 1 Final Vote Tally
Yes - 729,163 52.6%
No - 657,192 47.4%