Photo: Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon)
Published February 15, 2021
Nashville, TN – On Thursday, February 11th, Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) filed a Resolution with the Tennessee Senate to add an Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution to limit the emergency powers of Federal and State officials.
Drafted by Tennessee Stands, Senate Joint Resolution 144 (SJR0144) aims to bar any order or declaration issued by the Federal Government or the State Government from infringing on the individual rights of Tennesseans as outlined in the Tennessee Constitution.
Further, the resolution, if passed, will bind Tennessee government officials to their respective duties and powers as defined by the Tennessee Constitution.
For the Amendment to be added to the Tennessee Constitution, the resolution must first pass the Tennessee General Assembly in both houses with a 2/3 majority vote.
It then will need to pass the 113th General Assembly (2023-2024) in both houses by a simple majority.
And finally, it will go on the general ballot in 2026 and must pass the vote of the people by a simple majority.
However, many Tennesseans want the change to happen sooner, rather than later.
Cheryl Bothe says, “What??? 6 years??? That’s insane. The time is now!”
Jenni Teasley stated, “I understand bills take time to pass but is there anything that we the people can do to expedite it so as to have on the mid-term ballot 2022? Petition? Signatures? Etc. I’ll go door to door if I have to!!!”
“Gonna take 6 years before the people get to vote on it? What is wrong with this picture?” asked Sam Swanson.
In response, Tennessee Stands stated, “People, there’s a lot to do. The process of amending the Constitution is set forth by the Constitution. It’s a big deal. And it deserves a long and lengthy process. Amendments are not be done frivolously. This is actually a safeguard to the People.”
“We’re suing. We are rallying. We are taking up the cause. But things don’t change overnight. Everyone wanted to sit back and watch the world fall apart around them for decades. And when everything finally exploded, we want someone to come fix it and save the day. Life doesn’t work that way. Saving the Republic will be a long battle and not for the faint of heart. So buckle up buttercup.”
On Saturday, December 19th, Tennessee Stands hosted a “NO More Mandates” Rally in Knoxville, Tennessee.
During the rally, Founder of Tennessee Stands, Gary Humble said, “Every legislator that you have ever voted for that has sat in a seat in the General Assembly has taken an oath, and sworn by God to never consent to or pass a bill or a law or a resolution that in any way would lessen or abridge your rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution of the State.”
Humble pointed out that the resolutions, executive orders, etc. that have been going on for the last ten months have been in violation of the State Constitution and the oaths that the Public Elected Officials swore to.
In a conversation with The Tennessee Conservative, Maury County Mayor, Andy Ogles stated that “Defending liberty is for the good of the people, not for the good of the government.”
As Mayor of Maury County, Andy Ogles has refrained from issuing any mandates within his county and stated, “I’ve read the law.”
Ogles stated that any mandate would infringe on the individual freedoms of Tennessee’s residents and that any such mandate would be unconstitutional.
However, in Tennessee, government overreach has extended beyond mask mandates and entered the realm of the suppression of religious freedom.
On January 19th, Governor Bill Lee issued an Executive Order that strongly encouraged places of worship to “continue to utilize virtual or online services or gatherings and strongly encouraged to follow the Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship issued by the Governor’s Office…”
Even though the Executive Order did not outright ban religious services, the exhaustive list of guidelines for churches to follow in order to gather, while following protocols, have caused many churches to cancel in-person services and move worship to strictly online.
Lee’s orders also do not take into account the many Tennesseans who either do not have internet access or are advanced in years and do not have the capability to utilize technology.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett supported Lee’s EO by issuing their own statements involving the upholding of strict social distancing, even in houses of worship, and urging would-be churchgoers to participate in virtual gatherings.
The Tennessee Conservative will continue to chase this story and provide any updates as we uncover them. Stay tuned.