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Health department gives names, addresses of Tennesseans with COVID-19 to law enforcement

BY: - May 8, 2020

The Department of Health is providing the names and addresses of Tennessee residents who test positive for COVID-19 to sheriffs and chiefs of police across the state on a daily basis — a practice raising deep concerns about privacy and government intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens. The offer to share the otherwise protected […]

Voters wearing masks wait in line to vote in Milwaukee's April 7 primary. Only staff five polling sites out of 180 were staffed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Isiah Holmes/ Wisconsin Examiner)

The Equity Alliance leaders make case for mail-in voting amid pandemic

BY: - May 8, 2020

Tennessee is one of 16 states that requires an excuse in order to vote by mail, a policy stance under increased scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit and nonpartisan Nashville-based Equity Alliance filed a lawsuit last week seeking to expand vote-by-mail because of the pandemic. Tennessee allows for mail-in voting if someone is ill, […]

A screenshot of the virtual hearing at which Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin gave her ruling on the state of Tennessee's request to allow them to continue implementing the new education voucher program pending its appeal of her ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

TN voucher law in limbo as state loses request to stay judge’s order

BY: - May 7, 2020

A Nashville judge rejected the state of Tennessee’s request to allow parents to continue applying for education savings accounts pending a legal appeal of her earlier ruling that the new law is unconstitutional. Chancellor Anne Martin ruled from the bench on Thursday that the Department of Education can accept no more applications for the new […]

A heat map of COVID-19 cases by Nashville zip code. (Courtesy of Metro Nashville Department of Health.)

COVID-19 spike in heavily immigrant communities tied to fear of ‘Public Charge’

BY: - May 7, 2020

A “heat map” released by Metro Nashville officials shows concentrations of COVID-19 cases in two Davidson County zip codes — 37211 and 37013 — that are home to many of the area’s immigrants.  Some local advocates for the immigrant community say fear of the federal policy known as “Public Charge” is one reason for the […]

TIRRC joins national coalition to protect meatpacking workers

BY: - May 7, 2020

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) discussed a nationwide coordinated effort with other immigrant rights leaders in order to highlight COVID-19’s impact on immigrants. In response to the rising number of infected workers across the country, adult children born in the U.S. have collaborated on behalf of their parents, many of whom  are undocumented […]

Tennessee-based Dollar General sued over COVID response. (

Dollar General hit with labor complaint over COVID-19 response

BY: - May 7, 2020

Dollar General is the subject of a federal unfair labor practices complaint filed by a former corporate employee who said the company has failed to keep its workers safe and pay them adequately during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Twitter thread on Tuesday evening, Daniel Stone, who worked as a marketing and planning analyst for […]

From hospital, Justice Ginsburg slams Trump birth control rules

BY: - May 6, 2020

WASHINGTON — Hospitalization for a gallbladder condition didn’t stop U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from assailing Trump administration’s birth control rules on Wednesday. Ginsburg, 87, was hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday night, but was animated as she participated in an oral argument via teleconference surrounding a Trump administration policy that allows […]

Family eats outside at restuarant in

Rural GOP leaders beg Gov. Lee to end all economic restrictions, completely reopen Tennessee

BY: - May 6, 2020

Eight rural county Republican Party organizations begged Gov. Bill Lee in an open letter this week to reopen the state’s economy and bring the legislature back into session immediately. The letter was from GOP groups in Maury, Lawrence, Giles, Marshall, Lincoln, Coffee, Perry and Wayne counties. Lee began a limited reopening of the economy on […]

Planned Parenthood clinic

Abortion wars in Tennessee expand to new fronts during pandemic

BY: - May 6, 2020

A week after Gov. Bill Lee urged Tennessee schools to shut down, as an initial wave of coronavirus cases grew to 600, Tennessee Right to Life filed a little-noticed lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the city of Knoxville. 

A Tyson Poultry truck backs up to its load dock at a processing plant. (Photo by Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images)

Trump’s order to keep meat plants open imperils workers, critics say

BY: - May 6, 2020

Democratic senators are accusing President Donald Trump of putting workers at risk by ordering meat and poultry processors to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Senate Democrats are asking Trump to amend an executive order he signed last week, which declared meat plants to be “critical infrastructure” and ordered his administration to ensure that they […]

A second Tennessee Democratic Party veteran escapes being booted

BY: - May 6, 2020

On Monday, the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee held a three hour virtual meeting to vote on removing former State Sen. Bill Owen of Knoxville from his post as a member of the Democratic Committee. The charge? Owen, a lobbyist, has made numerous donations to Republican elected officials, including a 2019 contribution of $8,500 to […]