Apr 12, 2023 - News

Top Metro lawyer discusses court victory fallout

Illustration of Nashville City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Metro's top lawyer hopes the city's victory Monday in its legal battle over a state law to shrink the council helps improve relations with the legislature.

State of play: A three-judge panel temporarily blocked the law, which cuts the Metro Council from 40 members to 20, from taking effect prior to the August election.

  • Metro legal director Wally Dietz conducted a press conference Tuesday to discuss the next steps in the wake of the court ruling.

Why it matters: Dietz says the ruling serves as a reminder that the legislature doesn't have "carte blanche" to target Metro.

What he's saying: Dietz told reporters he sensed people all over Nashville were feeling "hopeless and powerless" that nothing could be done to combat the state laws targeting the city.

  • "So in the broader scheme of things, it's really important that the state of Tennessee and Metropolitan Nashville have a good, healthy relationship. We actually believe this ruling can help improve that relationship and rebalance the powers."

What's next: Metro and the state will continue duking it out over whether the entire law that shrinks the council is constitutional.

  • Dietz said the city has suspended its efforts to implement the law.
  • The state could file an appeal and ask the Tennessee Supreme Court to take up the case immediately.

Although the city earned a temporary win in the lawsuit over the council's size, an array of legislation singling out Nashville is still on the table.

Those proposals would:

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