Legislative Proposals in NH, TN Set Sights on ‘Activist Judges’


Frustrated by “activist judges,” lawmakers in New Hampshire and Tennessee have proposed bills that would end the judicial branch's ability to rule on the constitutionality of legislation, reports Stateline. Mae Beavers, a Republican state senator in Tennessee, was the lead sponsored of a proposal to limit the judiciary, saying it had “overstepped their bounds.” But she withdrew the bill this week under criticism from members of both parties, including the Republican Senate speaker Ron Ramsey, according to the Tennessean.

Meanwhile in New Hampshire, a feud between the state judiciary and House Republicans reached a peak last October. The state Supreme Court had issued an advisory opinion that the legislature did not have the power to force the attorney general to join a multi-state lawsuit against the federal health care overhaul. The House then overwhelmingly passed a resolution repudiating the court's opinion. A new bill would amend the state Constitution so that “the supreme court shall determine the constitutionality of judicial acts and the legislature shall determine the constitutionality of legislative acts.”

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