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A Duty to Resist, “Tennessee State Sovereignty Act of 2024” Filed to Protect Constitutional Rights

Image Credit: New York Public Library via Picryl / Public Domain

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

A bill has been filed to enact the “Tennessee State Sovereignty Act of 2024” which would effectively set up a legislative committee to protect against federal infringements on Tennessee’s constitutional rights as a state.

While not the same, this act is reminiscent of the “Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act” previously brought by Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16) under different iterations in 2022 and 2023.

Sen. Bowling’s state sovereignty act was openly opposed by Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) and killed in the state legislature just last year.

This year’s Senate Bill 2058 (SB2058), sponsored by Sen. Adam Lowe (R-Calhoun-District 1), would create a ten member “state sovereignty committee” authorized to receive input, advice and assistance from “interested and affected persons and parties” who are not members of the state legislature.

How would the committee be set up?

The speaker of the House of Representatives and the speaker of the Senate would co-chair this committee together and appoint four members each from their respective chambers of the legislature. 

One of the four senators appointed, and one of the four representatives appointed would have to be a member of the minority political party.

According to SB2058, committee appointments should be “based on knowledge of and experience with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution.”

The state sovereignty committee would be required to meet at least twice a year and whenever deemed necessary by the co-chairs. It would also be required to meet “upon the request of the general assembly” or “upon petition of the people.”

They would also meet under the request of Tennessee’s attorney general and reporter or pursuant to a governor’s executive order.

If necessary, the committee would also be able to call for a special session of the state legislature.

What would the committee do?

Federal acts, laws, orders and regulations that could impact “the jurisdiction, governance, sovereignty or civil liberties of Tennesseans would be monitored and reviewed by committee members.

Members would then decide if an action of the federal government falls under “arbitrary power or oppression,” checking for violations of Article 1, Section 2 of the Tennessee Constitution.

If the committee finds a violation that puts the life, liberty or property of Tennesseans at risk, the committee will issue a resolution of noncompliance or a declaration of resistance to the act, law, order or regulation in question.

Amongst other actions, the committee would be required to submit a resolution of its findings to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Tennessee’s resolution would then be shared with other states.

“Such action by the committee fulfills its duty of interposition between the residents of this state and constitutional violations,” the bill text reads. “It is the duty of both the residents of this state and the general assembly to resist pursuant to Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution of Tennessee.” 

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. 

You can reach Adelia at

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