Tennessee’s Political Residency Racket Gets Foiled


The Tennessee Legislature’s plot to knock a Trumpy candidate off the ballot this year has failed. Morgan Ortagus, who worked in President Trump’s State Department, moved to Nashville last year and is running for an open House seat. A week before the April 7 filing deadline, the Legislature passed a bill to require three years of residency.

This is possibly unconstitutional, but it also stinks like the swamp. A key sponsor of the bill supports one of Ms. Ortagus’s opponents, former state House Speaker Beth Harwell. What an exclusive little club. Gov. Bill Lee neither signed nor vetoed the residency legislation. No action by Tennessee’s chief executive means a bill becomes law after 10 days. That happened Wednesday.


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