Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Tennessee Amendment That Eliminated “Right” to Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 1, 2018   |   3:42PM   |   Nashville, Tennessee

Abortion activists’ panic about the future of the Supreme Court continued Monday when the high court rejected Planned Parenthood’s challenge of a Tennessee voter-approved constitutional amendment.

In 2014, Tennessee voters approved Amendment 1 to the state Constitution, allowing the state to pass abortion restrictions. Just days afterward, a Planned Parenthood leader filed a lawsuit challenging the vote.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a last-ditch appeal by the abortion activists, according to the Tennessean. The decision ends the years-long legal battle over the voter-approved amendment.

“Today’s announcement is cause for great celebration among Tennessee’s pro-life movement,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. “This is the culmination of many years work and Tennessee Right to Life is especially grateful to our state’s voters, legislators, election officials and Attorney General [Herbert] Slatery for staying the course.”

The legal battle was one of the most expensive ballot fights in state history, according to the report. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit also rejected Planned Parenthood’s argument against the vote. Its appeal to the Supreme Court was a final attempt to stop the amendment.

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Here’s more from the report:

The unusual challenge that followed focused not on abortion rights — but on a single passage in the Tennessee constitution that define how ballot measures must be counted.

In order for a ballot measure to succeed it must be passed by a “majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor voting in their favor,” the constitution reads.

Election officials contend that means ballot measures must receive a majority of the number of votes cast for governor to succeed.

The voters who challenged Amendment 1, among them the former chair of the board of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, argued that phrase requires the same voters must vote for governor and a ballot measure for their votes to count.

However, the federal courts disagreed.

The amendment states, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion.” Tennessee voters approved it by 53 percent.

It allows lawmakers to pass common-sense abortion regulations to reduce and limit abortions, as allowed under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Such regulations may include a ban on late-term abortions on viable unborn babies, parental consent, informed consent and a prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortions – all of which have strong public support.

Since Amendment 1 passed, state lawmakers have passed several common-sense abortion regulations, including a 48-hour waiting period and a bill to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

Harris celebrated the victory but noted that pro-lifers still have work to do.

“The people’s voices have been heard and their votes have been counted,” Harris said. “Now we have to continue to work for the day when every life is again protected by the laws of our state and nation.”

The case demonstrates how the abortion industry often relies on activist judges because it cannot win in the court of public opinion. Right now, abortion activists are fighting vehemently to keep Brett Kavanaugh – and any other conservative justice – from being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.