Governmental Affairs Committee

The TBA Governmental Affairs Committee is involved in one of the core missions of the association – advocacy for the profession and for our system of justice.

Chair
Smith Harris Carr
511 Union St Ste 710
Nashville, TN 37219
(615)255-2643
Immediate Past Chair
Gullett Sanford Robinson &...
150 Third Ave So., Ste 1700
Nashville, TN 37201
(615)244-4994

AG: 'In God We Trust' License Plates Constitutionally Suspect

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III said in a legal opinion that a bill requiring “In God We Trust” on license plates is “constitutionally suspect,” the Tennessean reports. Slatery’s opinion, released Friday, said despite the historical context of the phrase, it “clearly has religious overtones” and would violate the Constitution if it was added to all license plates. He adds, however, that having the option to include it on a plate would be more defensible. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton) and Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta). The AG’s office issued the opinion at the request of Sanderson.
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Public Radio Reporter Fired After Legislator Complains

A 32-year-old journalist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s public radio station WUTC-FM was reportedly fired after a legislator complained about her, the Nashville Scene reports. Jacqui Helbert was traveling with the Cleveland High School Gay-Straight Alliance as they attended the Tennessee Equality Project’s Day on the Hill. The group met with Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland), who both later complained to Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) that they didn’t know they were being recorded for a story. Gardenhire complained to the UTC chancellor’s office about Helbert, who was later fired. Helbert said she was wearing full gear and had visible press credentials for the entire day.
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