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General News    H1'ed 11/6/14

Progressive victories on Ballot Items

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Voters vote progressive, when given specific choices.
Voters vote progressive, when given specific choices.
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Unlike the November 4 election results, which seemed to confirm a Conservative bias -- if one discounts voter suppressive ID laws, gerrymandering from 2010, a tsunami of far Right Dark Money, the lack of many progressive candidate alternatives, etc. -- the individual ballot items voters approved show a more progressive vision, albeit one also imbued with distrust of government over-reach when it came to so-called gun rights, though Washington approved a measure requiring background checks.

3 out of 4 states and the District of Columbia approved some sort of Marijuana decriminalization or legalization: Alaska, Washington D.C., Oregon. Only Florida defeated such an amendment, even though 57% of voters approved legalizing Marijuana for medical reasons. However, 60% was needed for passage.

5 states approved minimum wage hikes, albeit sometimes several years out, including Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In deep red South Dakota, voters even approved an annual inflation-adjusted minimum wage increase.

Although Tennessee approved "constitutional language empowering the legislature to enact, amend or repeal statutes regarding abortion," this really codifies the power the legislature already had (within limits of Federal laws and Supreme Court restrictions), it's not clear whether this had the effect of allowing for further restrictions on abortion, or expanding rights to abortion.

Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist

Amendment 1 supporters took issue with the Tennessee Supreme Court's 2000 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist. The court's ruling struck down multiple laws regulating abortion services, including:[6]

Requirement that second-trimester abortions be performed in hospitals as opposed to clinics.

48-hour waiting period before receiving an abortion requirement.

Requirement of physician-only counseling before an abortion is performed.

Exemption to requirements only in circumstances where a woman's life is threatened.

Mandate to prove residency.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)

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