Government Affairs Update

Follow the TBA's efforts to influence federal and state policy as it fulfills one of the core missions of the association – advocacy for the profession and for our system of justice.

Early Voting Begins Today in Tennessee

Early voting in the state primary election began today across Tennessee and will continue until July 28. For a list of voting locations in your county, visit the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website to find your county election commission office. Election Day is Aug. 2.
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Tennessee Democrats File Suit Over Republican Primary Candidate Switch

The Tennessee Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the Hamilton County Election Commission over the House District 26 Republican primary ballot, in which incumbent Rep. Gerald McCormick withdrew his name and was replaced with a former state GOP party chair, the Times Free Press reports. The lawsuit claims that McCormick's sudden withdrawal in June doesn’t meet legal requirements to reopen the qualifying process.
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State Rep. Lollar Dead at 69

Tennessee state Rep. Ron Lollar (R-Bartlett) died early this morning, NewsChannel 5 reports. He was 69. Lollar was first elected to represent part of Shelby County in the House in 2006. Lollar was a Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 until 1971. House Speaker Beth Harwell said Lollar served with tireless advocacy for Tennessee students and agricultural issues. "For more than a decade, he served the 99th district with deep dedication and was a strong voice in the TN General Assembly. His presence will be missed in the Capitol and across the state," said Gov. Bill Haslam.

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Deadline to Update Voter Registration in Tennessee is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote to participate in the Aug. 2 primary in Tennessee. Those who need to update their address, change their information or register for the first time should visit the Secretary of State’s new online registration portal, www.govotetn.com.
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New Adoption Law Featured in July TBJ

Discover the changes to the state’s adoption law, outlined in an article by Dawn Coppock and Mike Jennings in the new Tennessee Bar Journal. Newly installed TBA President Jason Pannu writes in his first column about his goals for the year -– and introduces a new feature on wine pairings! Also, did you know that there is a procedure to change the manner of death on a death certificate from “suicide?” Read this personal account by Nashville lawyer Yarnell Beatty, and learn how to assist your clients through this process. Check out the July issue.

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Legislative Update From the 110th Tennessee General Assembly

The 110th General Assembly adjourned sine die on April 25, 2018. The 111th General Assembly will convene on Jan. 8, 2019.  The entire House of Representatives and half the Senate will face reelection in November.  Twenty-seven current members have already announced that they will not seek reelection. The next governor of Tennessee will also be elected in November. 

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Is a Gun Owner Liable for a Crime Committed with Their Gun?

An investigation by The Tennessean examines the liability of gun owners for stolen or found weapons that are used in crimes. Nashville grand jurors sent a stern warning to Tennessee lawmakers in a report released this year, recommending making a requirement for gun owners to “act responsibly” when storing their weapons. “Leaving a gun in an unlocked car, for anyone to take, is reckless and should be treated as such by the law,” the report stated.
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TBA Legislative Update

The TBA has updated its website with a Legislative Update from the 110th General Assembly, highlighting TBA initiatives and legislation important to Tennessee lawyers. A list of all laws that go into effect July 1 can be found here.
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Judge Strikes Down Kansas Voter ID, Orders Secretary of State to Take Additional CLE

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled Monday that Kansas’ voter ID law infringes on the right to vote under the 14th Amendment, and ordered that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach take additional CLE classes for “repeated and flagrant violations” of federal rules requiring the disclosure of evidence, the ABA Journal reports. Kobach previously championed the law, which requires proof of citizenship to register to vote, and even represented his own office at trial. Robinson said that there is little evidence of non-citizen voter fraud, citing only 67 examples of non-citizens attempting registration in the last 19 years.
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SCOTUS Passes on Partisan Gerrymandering Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has sent back two cases to lower courts that would have blocked states from drawing hyper-partisan electoral maps, USA Today reports. The justices found procedural faults in the two cases, one brought by Republicans in Maryland and the other brought by Democrats in Wisconsin. Chief Justice John Roberts said in one opinion that the case was flawed because it was about group political interests instead of individual legal rights. Justice Elena Kagan wrote that she anticipates the issue to come before the court again.
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