The ConsequenceNow that SJR 127 has passed both Houses of the Tennessee General Assembly by a 2/3rds vote on its first go 'round, it is becoming increasingly clear that liberals are not in control of the place. What's more, it is becoming evident that the reason that Jimmy Naifeh made sure that so many pieces of conservative legislation died in committee when he was Speaker of the House is because if these measures ever made it to the floor, they would have passed by a rather comfortable margin.
Many of our friends on the Left are consoling themselves by saying that this vote was inconsequential, that it was meaningless and it doesn't really change anything. Some have even suggested that if the proposed amendment passes both Houses of the General Assembly a second time and goes before the electorate for ratification that it will mean nothing.
The reality is that this vote does mean something. A great many people have worked hard for many years just to bring this pro-life Constitutional Amendment to a floor vote in the House for the first time. Those manifold efforts finally paid off yesterday when 127, which says that there is no such thing as a guaranteed right to an abortion in the Tennessee Constitution and effectively overturns the legal effects of Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist. Persistence does pay off, but now the battle has only just begun. SJR 127 must pass by 2/3rds one more time, in the next General Assembly, before the people can have their say. The public might have already had a vote had this measure not been bottled up for so many years in Committee Never Ending, and Planned Barrenhood and the other Leftist interest groups know that if 127 makes it to a public vote, it stands a good chance of passing. Their only hope of preventing the meaningful regulation of abortion in this State is to try and keep 127 from the floor in the next General Assembly, and thus prevent the vote that will trigger the 2014 referendum.
The fight over 127 will not be over until it is on a public ballot.