Court to hear vote count case over Tennessee abortion limits

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NASHVILLE — A challenge to a 2014 Tennessee constitutional amendment allowing tougher abortion restrictions is coming before a court — but the case centers on vote counting, not women’s reproductive health rights.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing Wednesday in Cincinnati marks the first major action in the Amendment 1 case in more than a year.

In April 2016, 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 said they followed their longstanding practice of counting amendment votes.