HRA Membership Meeting, Thursday September 25th
TN Constitutional Amendments On Our Nov 4 Ballot
Where: Panera Bread (4530 Poplar Ave #101, Memphis, TN)
Time: 6:00 pm
Amendment #1 Gives Tennesseans back the right to legislate on abortion. Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist, a 2000 decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court, found an independent state right to abortion in our state constitution. Since this decision, our General Assembly has been prohibited from regulating abortion in any way, making Tennessee a destination state for abortion. Amendment #1 would restore to our General Assembly the power to regulate abortion so long as the regulation doesn’t transgress Roe v. Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling establishing a federal right to abortion
Amendment #2 Changes the way appellate judges are selected. Tennessee’s Constitution states, “The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by qualified voters of the state.” Since the 1970’s, however, judges and politicians have interpreted “election” as merely a right to retain or reject judges already seated on the Supreme Court. Numerous court challenges have been mounted to restore the people’s right to open elections. Amendment #2 would permanently block such challenges and enshrine a system of appointment plus retain/replace elections. Currently, the Governor has the sole right to appoint judges to all the appellate courts (including the Supreme Court). Under Amendment #2, the Governor’s appointments would be subject to approval by the General Assembly.
Amendment #3 Prohibits any tax on payroll or earned income. Lawyers and judges have argued for years that Tennessee’s Constitution could be interpreted as permitting a state payroll or earned income tax. Amendment #3 would expressly prohibit a state payroll or earned income tax.
Amendment #4 Empowers the General Assembly to permit lotteries for annual events benefitting federally tax exempt veterans’ organizations. Currently, these organizations are prohibited from holding fund-raising lotteries. Eddie Settles is a retired attorney, political strategist, commentator, and public policy wonk, who is the primary source of inspiration and information for Back in River City. For 24 years as a leading tax attorney in Middle Tennessee, Eddie taught seminars and workshops for attorneys, estate planners, Chartered Life Underwriters (CLUs), and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). He is a past president of the Memphis Talk of the Town (http://www.memphistm.com) Toastmasters Club (http://www.memphistm.com).
Eddie knows a few things about politics, too. As a conservative pioneer in the Williamson County Republican Party, he worked with people like now- Congressman Marsha Blackburn (http://blackburn.house.gov) in the 1970’s, turning the county from Blue to Red and establishing a sturdy beachhead for the rising Republican Party that now dominates Tennessee. Eddie’s political credentials also include a stint as Treasurer of the Tennessee Republican Party and a run for Tennessee Republican National Committeeman. He was nominated by Sen. Howard Baker in 1981 to serve middle Tennessee as U.S. Attorney and was the Republican nominee for Tennessee State Comptroller in 1991.