Three Lawsuits Filed About Anti-Tax Referendum

Attorney Jim Roberts in Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle’s courtroom on November 25, 2019. He was arguing against putting an MLS stadium at the Fairgrounds. He will be back in Lyle’s court next week arguing to put the anti-tax referendum before voters in December.

NASHVILLE, TN – A blizzard of lawsuits have been filed about the anti-tax referendum. On Thursday, October 8, Attorney Jim Roberts with 4GoodGovernment filed suit against the Davidson County Election Commission because they balked at putting the referendum on a December ballot.

Then on October 9, the Election Commission filed a suit against Metro and 4GoodGovernment. On October 12, Metro filed an answer to 4GoodGovernment’s lawsuit and made counterclaims against both the Election Commission and 4GoodGovernment.

“So I filed a motion to dismiss against that, claiming all those claims raised in that filing were claims that could have and should have been raised in the original suit. And that whole case got dismissed. It just wasn’t appropriate,’ Roberts said.

“Inappropriate” is exactly what the Election Commission said about the anti-tax referendum.

Metro’s October 12 filing was a confusing tangle. On its first page the Election Commission is cited as plaintiff and counter-defendant. Metro is listed as defendants, counter-plaintiffs, and cross-plaintiffs. 4GoodGovernment is listed as defendant and cross-defendant. The anti-tax referendum has become a legal catfight worse than a West Brew House bar brawl.

The case fell to Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, who just last week decided in Metro’s favor in the Fairgrounds/MLS Soccer stadium case. (See Fairgrounds)

She ordered Metro and the Election Commission to re-file their claims in 4GoodGovernment’s lawsuit and scheduled a three-day trial beginning on Monday, October 26.

Lyle will have to decide if the referendum is unconstitutional and justify keeping it off the ballot or rule doing that would violate the civil rights of taxpayers who want to vote on the measure and order the Election Commission to schedule a special election.

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