Politics

Rutherford County Courthouse. (Photo: Rutherford County Facebook)

Fired Rutherford Circuit Court Clerk employees file suit claiming harassment

BY: - March 8, 2021

Two men terminated by the Rutherford County Circuit Court Clerk, one of them disabled with cerebral palsy, are claiming they were wrongfully fired after suffering harassment and discrimination. Nicholas Trail, who has the physical disability, and Stephen LaQuire filed the lawsuit Thursday, March 4, in Rutherford County Chancery Court against Court Clerk Melissa Harrell, saying […]

James Burroughs, 84, and other patients wait to get vaccinated at Neighborhood Health in Madison. (Photo: John Partipilo)

U.S. mishandling of Covid response costs tens of thousands of lives, Hildreth says

BY: - March 7, 2021

Dr. James Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College and a member of the new U.S. COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, offered a pointed assessment of the nation’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic, criticizing a lack of coordination among its 50 states and missed opportunities to protect the country’s most vulnerable populations that led to […]

A pickup truck emblazoned with the Jack Daniel's Distillery logo parked in front of the Cordell Hull Legislative Office Building Wednesday. Inside the building, officials with company gave one-fith bottles of Jack to legislators. (Photo: Sam Stockard)

Stockard on the Stump: Holt sidesteps moral dilemma with state job handling booze industry

BY: - March 5, 2021

Retired Capitol Hill reporter Tom Humphrey for years wrote a column called “Humphrey on the Hill.” In his stead, Sam Stockard is taking up the mantle with a new report called “Stockard on the Stump,” a collection of briefs, anecdotes and quotes from the latest week in the Tennessee General Assembly. As a state representative, […]

Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

Tennessee Republicans belittle Congress’ voter rights resolution

BY: - March 5, 2021

Tennessee Republican leaders are belittling Congress’ move this week to change voting laws, mainly by bringing more people into the election process and changing the method for redrawing district lines. On a party-line 220-210 vote, the U.S. House on Wednesday passed wide-ranging voting and ethics legislation. The measure faces a higher hurdle in the Senate, […]

(Photo taken Feb. 3, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee, by Karen Pulfer Focht.)

Clarksville City Council considers becoming Second Amendment sanctuary city

BY: - March 4, 2021

(Update: The Clarksville City Council voted 8-4 Thursday night to approve the resolution to make the city a Second Amendment sanctuary.) A resolution introduced in the Clarksville City Council would proclaim the city as a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” as the state considers legislation that would make the same declaration across all of Tennessee. The resolution, […]

Delta-8 on display at The Perfect Plant in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Reefer madness: Delta-8 produces similar effects to marijuana while still legal

BY: - March 4, 2021

While Tennessee sits on the sidelines of marijuana legalization, Tennesseans are choosing Delta-8, a psychoactive cannabis product nearly identical to marijuana. The two are isomers—chemical compounds with the same formula but different atomic arrangements—that offer similar mental effects with medicinal and recreational applications.  Since legalizing CBD oil in 2015, the Tennessee state legislature has failed […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as other House Democrats listen during a news conference on the For the People Act at the east front of the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House is scheduled to vote on the act today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

BY: - March 4, 2021

The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim majority […]

COMMENTARY
Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Commentary: How “Niceley” to Advocate Nonsense

BY: - March 4, 2021

Few legislators are as unintentionally funny as Tennessee’s Frank Niceley.  He’s a farmer from Strawberry Plains whose state senate district sprawls across Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson and Union counties.  The Republican Niceley was elected to the state house in 2004 and moved up to the State Senate after the 2012 election.  His career has […]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is proposing a permit-less gun carry bill. The bill would allow people to carry a handgun without a permit as long as they are legally allowed by state law. At the same time the governor's bill has created a new set of penalties for those who use weapons to commit crimes. (Photo taken Feb. 3, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Permit-less gun carry bills steamroll through Legislature

BY: - March 3, 2021

Despite opposition from law enforcement officials, permit-less weapon legislation gained momentum in the General Assembly this week, although lawmakers might have to pick Gov. Bill Lee’s bill over one considered to be true “constitutional carry.” The Senate Judiciary Committee passed an amended version of the governor’s bill on a 7-2 vote Tuesday, followed by the […]

A construction worker walks past a sign the reads "Please wash your hands for at least 25 seconds" at a construction site. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Nashville leaders and organizers call for changes to construction safety

BY: - March 3, 2021

Workers-rights advocates will file a bill to hold contractors accountable for incidents that have resulted in Nashville being named one of the most dangerous cities in the South for construction workers. On Tuesday, several Metro council members and community leaders held a press conference to address allegations of unsafe and unhygienic construction sites that have […]

COMMENTARY
Two members of the Tennessee National Guard carry one of the three original Tennessee Constitutions to a waiting vehicle for transport to the new Tennessee State Library and Archives. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Editor’s Column: Tennessee’s Constitution should be handled with care

BY: - March 3, 2021

On Monday, Tennessee officials staged a parade to move three physical versions of the Tennessee Constitution to their new home in the freshly completed Tennessee Library and Archives building. The Tennessee National Guard color guard turned out in smart uniforms, the Tennessee State University drumline high stepped along the downtown parade route, and the constitutions […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Voting rights advocates and Democratic leaders slam GOP efforts to remove judge

BY: - March 2, 2021

A Tennessee plaintiff in the 2020 lawsuit to expand absentee voting during the COVID-19 pandemic says legislation to remove Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle is part of an effort to quell voting rights. Meanwhile, House Democrats contend the move is an unconstitutional effort to remove a sitting judge because Republicans disagree with her rulings. They say […]