Court to hear vote count case over Tennessee abortion limits


MIAMI – FEBRUARY 02: A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station […]

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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.

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