Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee To Give Top State Officials Say-So Over Filing Of Lawsuits

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to pass SB 2085 which changes the method used by the attorney general to determine whether it is in the state’s best interests to commence a civil lawsuit.

Specifically, the measure would give both the legislature, through joint resolution, and the governor, via executive order, authority to instruct the attorney general when to file such legal actions. Additionally, when the General Assembly is not in session, the speaker of the House and speaker of the Senate may, by joint agreement, direct the attorney general to file suit. The bill also allows the legislature and the governor to request that the attorney general move to dismiss a lawsuit and allows the legislature to employ outside special counsel.

“The attorney general is the state’s chief litigator, and he should be responsive to the people of Tennessee and their concerns,” stated Senator Brian Kelsey. “This bill makes the office of attorney general more accountable to the people.”

He said, "Over the past few years, Attorney General Robert Cooper has declined to file suit in a number of important lawsuits that either would have, or already have, benefited Tennesseans. One of the most prominent of those was the lawsuit filed to challenge Obamacare. One of the primary outcomes of that case was the United States Supreme Court ruling that states cannot be forced into an expansion of Medicaid. That has been viewed by many as win for Tennesseans, even though their state did not participate in the lawsuit."


Employee At Hanson Pressure Pipe Injured Tuesday Afternoon

An employee at Hanson Pressure Pipe in Sale Creek was injured Tuesday afternoon.  At  1:30 pm , a 911 call was made reporting an employee had sustained an injury to his hand. The Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Hamilton County EMS responded and reported a male in his mid 30s had suffered a hand injury on a piece of machinery. Fire officials reported ... (click for more)

TBI Top 10 Fugitive From Warren County Captured In Florida

A fugitive on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Bryan James Cooke, was captured  Tuesday  morning in Jacksonville, Fl., a day after being added to the list. Early Tuesday morning, Cooke was arrested at a hotel in Jacksonville by officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. A Jeep that had been stolen from the residence of Gail ... (click for more)

On The News Tonight: A Reflection On A Horrifying Crash And Its Aftermath

On the news tonight,  on the news tonight. The unobtrusive tones on the news tonight. It's just make-believe You can't believe everything you see So baby, close your eyes to the lullabies On the news tonight.   "The News" by Jack Johnson On Journalism On Thursday I was in Jackson, Tennessee playing music. I was a minimum of four hours away ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tonight, Take A Second

Peter Whibberley, known globally as “The Time Lord,” will freely tell anyone, “There are consequences of tinkering with time,” but tinker we must because the world – planet Earth -- is spinning slower. So tonight at 7:59:60 p.m. EDT, the Senior Research Scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory will add an extra second to the hour – and our day -- before it becomes 8:00 ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Swimmers Get First Win Of Season

There are a lot of positive and upbeat coaches in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, but perhaps none any more than Fort Oglethorpe veteran Tony Womac. This guy is always happy, always smiling and always offering something positive to those around him. He may have been just a bit more of all the above on Monday night after his Marlins defeated the Cumberland Currents in a home ... (click for more)

John Shearer: A Look At The Origin Of The Lady Vols’ Name

On Wednesday, the University of Tennessee is scheduled to drop the Lady Vols nickname from all women’s sports teams except the basketball squad.   The change has been a source of much debate, particularly in Knoxville. As evidence, several people wanting to keep the Lady Vols name protested last Thursday along Joe Johnson Drive, near where the UT board of trustees was meeting ... (click for more)