Tennessee Bill Allowing Judicial Panel to Name Judges Gets Pro-Life Opposition
by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2009
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — A bill in the Tennessee legislature that would allow state judges to be named by a special panel has earned the opposition of the state’s pro-life organization. Tennessee Right to Life notes that the state has a legal mess over abortion because judges determined there is an unlimited right to an abortion.
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that the state constitution allows unlimited abortions.
The ruling claimed the Tennessee Constitution contains a fundamental abortion right even broader than Roe v. Wade or the federal constitution. The decision resulted in the striking down of numerous pro-life Tennessee laws that were helping women and limiting abortions.
That’s why Tennessee Right to Life spokesman Ed Albin says his group is opposing a bill for judicial commissions.
"In these final days of the state legislative session, our elected officials are debating whether or not Tennessee’s state Court judges will be directly elected or whether they will continue to be selected for us by an insulated panel made up of lawyers representing pro-abortion special interests," Albin said.
Albin said that the state legislature has overwhelmingly supported SJR 127 to make the state constitution abortion neutral.
"However, SJR 127 would never have been necessary had it not been for the appointment of radical activist judges who wrongly claimed a right to abortion in our Tennessee Constitution," he said.
The judges who handed down the pro-abortion decision years ago, were judges appointed in secret by members of a panel known as the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission.
Albin calls the committee "an unaccountable group which is not sensitive to public opinion or the pro-life position."
He says the legislature needs to get back to following the state constitution, which, in Article 3, says the Supreme Court Justices "shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state of Tennessee."
"We simply ask our Senators to follow the Constitution," he said.
Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://tennesseerighttolife.org
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