Corker leads Tennessee group urging 'yes' vote on anti-slavery amendment

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Former U.S. senator Bob Corker speaks during the memorial service for former U.S. Senator Bill Brock on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Tennessee RiverPlace.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker will lead a statewide, bipartisan coalition of elected leaders urging Tennesseans to approve a measure that would remove language permitting a form of slavery from the Tennessee Constitution.

The constitution is worded: "That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited by this state." Should the constitutional amendment pass, the phrase "except as punishment" for a crime will be removed from the document.

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"When I served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I became aware of the travesty that modern slavery today affects more than 27 million people worldwide. Working with others, we passed legislation to begin to counter this in a more effective way," Corker, a Republican, said.