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TENNESSEE ABORTION VOTE APPEAL CASE HEADING TO FEDERAL COURT

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A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in August in a case aimed at nullifying a vote on a Tennessee constitutional amendment that allows more abortion restrictions. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set an August 2, 2017 court date in Cincinnati over the favorable vote in 2014. The amendment says that nothing in the state constitution “secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” It empowered state lawmakers to “enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion.” In spring 2016, U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp in Nashville ordered a recount, ruling the votes were unfairly counted. Sharp cited state constitutional language that said an amendment is ratified by a “majority of all citizens of the state voting for governor.” The state quickly appealed.

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