Sen. Mark Pody

Dr. Michelle Fiscus (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: The curious case of Dr. Fiscus

BY: - July 16, 2021

We began the week in the soap opera that is Tennessee with the firing of the Tennessee Department of Health’s chief immunization director.  Dr. Michelle “Shelley” Fiscus, a pediatrician by training, was unceremoniously sacked on Monday after four years of service with the state. Fiscus said her termination letter gave no reason for her firing […]

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly on the floor of the House of Representatives. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican lawmakers threaten to dissolve Health Department over child vaccines

BY: - June 17, 2021

GOP legislators came close Wednesday to dumping the Tennessee Department of Health after accusing it of targeting minors for mass vaccinations without parental consent. Instead, the Government Operations Committee ordered Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey to soften the state’s efforts to vaccinate children, mainly by bringing parents into the fold, and report back in July. Republican […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Why it matters that 7 states still have bans on atheists holding office

BY: - June 13, 2021

Tennessee’s Constitution includes a provision that bars three groups from holding office: atheists, ministers and those engaging in duels. Efforts are under way in the state legislature to remove this exclusion for ministers, but not for duelists – or atheists. In January 2021, Republican Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, proposed Senate Joint Resolution 55 […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

U.S. Capitol attack looms over Legislature as lawmakers downplay insurrection

BY: - January 12, 2021

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker who attended the Washington, D.C. protest-turned-riot denied Tuesday she did anything wrong as she faces potential removal for supporting the insurrection. State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, a Lancaster Republican representing the 40th House District, acted as if she was unaware of the Jan. 6 attack in which five people died as […]