Hooker Seeks Clarification on TN Constitutional Amendment Voting Process

Letter from John Jay Hooker, Independent Candidate for Governor; October 28, 2014:

Governor Bill Haslam
State of Tennessee
Nashville, TN 37219

Dear Governor:

I am writing you as an independent candidate for Governor and asking you under your oath, “to take care that the laws are faithfully executed” to join with me in a court action seeking a Declaratory Judgment as to the meaning of the language in Article XI Section 3 relating to voting For or Against a Constitutional amendment.

The language to which I refer:

And if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor, voting in their favor, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of this Constitution.

As a lawyer I am convinced that in order to qualify to vote for or against an amendment the voter must Vote in the Governor’s race under the plain language of the provision. If a voter does not vote in the Governor’s race, in my reading, after talking to several competent high level lawyers, such voters are not permitted to vote For or Against the amendment. Consequently, in your capacity as Governor you have a duty to address this matter before the election.

I say this in the context of the fact that you have said that you sponsor Amendment #2, so as to bring clarity to the Retention‐Election issue. Consequently, it would appear to me that if you have any doubt that I am right in the reading of the Constitution that you join with me to go to the Courts seeking a Declaratory Judgment or in the alternative that you advise the people otherwise, so that we can enter into a public debate about the matter.

Respectfully,

John Jay Hooker