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TN Politics: Major Court Cases and Their Impacts in Tennessee


Recent court rulings on vaccinations, abortions, and water rights could have a long-term impact on Tennesseans.

In the first case, judges in Louisiana and Kentucky issued an injunction against the Biden Administration's vaccination mandates. Tennessee, which passed a law banning public and private businesses from having mandates, immediately quit issuing exemptions for companies and institutions concerned about the loss of federal funding.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court also held arguments in the closely watched Mississippi case over abortion restrictions. Whatever the outcome, more abortion rights cases are likely to follow. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a case regarding Tennessee's restrictive new laws — a ban on abortions after six weeks — with other states' lining up legal challenges as well.

A separate Supreme Court ruling recently sided with Memphis and Tennessee on the issue of underground water rights. Mississippi claimed ownership of the contents of the aquifer where MLGW pumps its groundwater. The state was asking for more than $600 million in compensation. Judges ruled that water was an intrastate resource — a decision that relieves Memphis of what would have been a huge financial liability.