Rep. Steve Cohen Speaks at MTSU

Story and photo by Gus Wright / Contributing Writer

On Oct. 18, Middle Tennessee State University hosted Steve Cohen, Attorney and State Representative.

Born in Tennessee, the Memphis-based politician served Tennessee’s State Legislature and the House of Representatives for years.

One of his most notable achievements is being considered the “Father Of The Tennessee Lottery,” which has helped students in need financially for decades.

Cohen stated that his focus right now is on passing key economic and ethical legislation. He discussed the issue of amending the constitution, with there being a heavy amount of gridlock involved in the process. He brought up that it took until 2002 to have the Tennessee State constitution amended from a proposal introduced in 1984.

The underlying issue that he pointed out is that “people who draft constitutions don’t want their work changed.”

The discussion of amending the constitution then led to the renewed interest in the addition of the Equal rights Amendment, in which he stated that there is a solid legal basis to do so. However, he still thinks there’s still a solid amount of opposition from Republican Representatives.

He then brought up the idea of Limiting the Presidential Pardon Power to reflect better what a pardon should be used for, referencing previous presidencies and local office’s faults in doing so.

At the tail-end of his speech, Rep. Cohen discussed how students might get involved in government, as well as opportunities by volunteering on campaigns and interning for local politicians.

He reminded aspiring politicians to be ready to take losses before anything else.

To contact News Editor Toriana Williams, email

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