Tennessee Supreme Court disagrees with Senate district map ruling from lower court

Tennessee Supreme Court
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 19:20:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A majority judgment from the Tennessee Supreme Court indicated Wednesday it disagreed with the lower court ruling on the state Senate redistricting maps and the new senate candidate filing deadline.

The judgment stems from a Davidson County Chancery Court ruling blocking a new redistricting map for the Tennessee Senate. Last week, the three-judge panel ruled that lawmakers had 15 days to "fix" the map, or the court would have created a map of its own to apply to this upcoming election cycle. In the order, the chancery court judges expressed that the Tennessee General Assembly violated the state constitution in its numbering of the districts. Last week, Senate Republicans said they were "shocked" at the measure from the chancery court.

The new judgment from the Tennessee Supreme Court reverses that. As a result, this now makes the filing for Senate candidates for Thursday, April 14, at 4 p.m.

"Therefore, the order of the trial court granting a plaintiff's temporary injunction is vacated, and the case is remanded to the trial court. The defendants' motion to stay the injunction pending appeal is denied as moot."

Lt. Governor Randy McNally's spokesperson Adam Kleinheider said McNally was "pleased" with the Tennessee Supreme Court's decision.

"The Senate has always maintained it drew a fair and legal map in an open and transparent process," Kleinheider said.

In a dissenting six-page opinion from the other justices, Sharon Lee said the defendants took a calculated risk and that "any delay beyond April 7 would cause harm."

She wrote that defendants' "all or nothing strategy" left the chancery court with no choice except to create another timeline and allow for the filing deadline to happen in May.

"In sum, the three-judge panel's decision should be affirmed. The panel applied the correct legal standard, reached a reasonable decision and based its decision on a proper assessment of evidence."