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TN Politics: Are Republican Lawmakers in Sync with Republicans?


Ever since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican-led states have been fast-tracking anti-abortion laws designed to overturn Roe v. Wade, a precedent that currently protects a woman's right to have one. But now that conservatives comprise a majority on the court, it is believed that the case will soon be overturned and states will once again get to decide whether or not women have full ownership of their bodies.

While a majority of Americans believe women should have access to some forms of abortion, political analyst Otis Sanford believes that Tennessee Republicans will move quickly to ban it completely. 

Republican lawmakers in Mississippi are facing a different blowback from voters who passed a citizen-led initiative to legalize medical marijuana, which many in the legislature opposed. In a surprise ruling, the conservative state supreme court ruled that the law that allows citizen-led initiatives was written at a time when there were five congressional districts in the state. Since the 2000 census, there have been four. The court therefore determined that citizens have not had the right to engage in ballot initiatives for two decades, even though other initiatives -- like a voter ID law -- have passed. 

Finally, some congressional Republicans joined Democrats in voting to form a commision to investigate the Jan. 6 capitol insurrection. Tennessee U.S. Rep. David Kustoff, may live in Shelby County, but he has been voting squarely in line with rural Trump supporters lately. While his Democratic counterpart, Steve Cohen of Memphis, has vociferously justified his votes, Kustoff has been largely silent on how he has moved farther to the right. 

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher's favorite haunt is the intersection of history and cultural change. He is WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.