Although a relatively small number of cases turned upon constitutional questions during the survey period, some important decisions were handed down in this area. In five separate decisions legislation was declared unconstitutional. The impact of the constitutional decisions varies from the right to millions of dollars in school funds in Shelby County and the salary of the clerk of General Sessions Court of Clay County to approval of permanent tenure for all franchised automobile dealers in the state. The scope of governmental power over the administration of estates, condemnation of private property and the pursuit of private businesses brought forth important and far-reaching judicial pronouncements. Two cases are witness to the diminishing concern for protection of contractual rights as such from legislative infringement. Although most decisions dealt with constitutional limitations on legislative power over business, private property and governmental functions, in one decision the fundamental procedural rights of one accused of crime were upheld in order to free him.
James C. Kirby, Jr.,
Constitutional Law -- 1961 Tennessee Survey,
14 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol14/iss4/10