From our correspondent Betty Bean:
Sarah Weddington arrived in Knoxville Friday night and spent the night in the bed where Gloria Steinem once slept—located in the guesthouse at the home of lawyer Wanda Sobieski and her husband, law professor John Sobieski. Weddington will be the featured speaker today at the Women of Faith luncheon sponsored by the Democratic Women of Knoxville. Amendment One will be front and center in Weddington’s speech.
The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Foundry. Tickets are $40 at the door, and some are still available for those who decide to attend at the last minute.
If her name rings a bell, it should.
41 years ago, Weddington represented Norma McCorvey in one of the most important and controversial court cases of the 20th Century. The issue was deemed so volatile that McCorvey was assigned a legal pseudonym Jane Roe, and sure enough, by the time the lawsuit worked its way to the United States Supreme Court, the whole country was talking about Roe v. Wade.
Sarah Weddington was 26 years old, making her the youngest lawyer ever to win a case before the highest court in the land. In the years since, she has been a presidential aide, a professor an author and an acclaimed public speaker. No doubt she’ll be talking about Tennessee’s proposed Amendment One to the state constitution.* And no doubt she’ll talk about how it feels to be re-fighting the battle she (and everyone else) thought she won in 1973.
*This is the text of the amendment, by the way: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”