Nashville files lawsuit over state’s law to cut the council’s size in half

The long-anticipated lawsuit over a law to shrink the Metro Nashville Council from 40 to 20 was filed Monday.

By: - March 13, 2023 12:01 pm
Metro Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Metro Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Metro Nashville has filed a lawsuit to stop the state from implementing a law to cut the size of its council from 40 to 20.

Last week, lawmakers passed and Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation that capped all city and metro council sizes at 20. The bill effectively targeted Nashville, the only city or metro government with a council larger than 20.

The law — passed with only Republican support — comes nine months after the Metro Nashville Council blocked the 2024 Republican National Convention from coming to the city.

The lawsuit centers around the legal concept that the state can’t pass legislation to target a single city without its consent. Metro officials also had concerns about the legality of extending council members’ terms an additional year. Nashville Legal Director Wally Dietz is also seeking a temporary injunction on the law because of its impact on elections set to take place later this year.

House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, sponsored the legislation.

During several debates about the bill, Lamberth said the legislation didn’t target Nashville specifically because it applied to all councils, adding the goal was to create a more “efficient council.”

Metro Lawsuit by Anita Wadhwani on Scribd


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Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.