National Newswatch

Second Tennessee judge blocks Gov. Lee’s mask opt-out

Sep 24 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday handed down a second blow to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's contentious order allowing parents to opt out of school mask requirements, ruling that Knox County Schools must implement a mask mandate to help protect children with health problems amid the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge J. […]

Confederate bust moved from Tennessee Capitol building

Jul 23 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader that had been prominently displayed inside the Tennessee Capitol for decades — over objections from Black lawmakers and activists — was removed from its pedestal Friday. The image of Nathan Bedford Forrest has sparked protests ever since its installation […]

Tennessee immigrant youth shelter sues state over suspension

Jul 21 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A group that runs a Tennessee shelter for unaccompanied immigrant youth has sued the state over its decision to suspend the facility's license after an employee was arrested following abuse allegations. Baptiste Group filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Davidson County Chancery Court, claiming the state violated due process protections while also […]

Tennessee’s transgender bathroom sign law challenged again

Jul 1 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — Tennessee's first-of-its-kind law that requires businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use multiperson public bathrooms of their choice has been hit with another legal challenge. Mike Curb, founder of Curb Records in Nashville and California's former lieutenant governor, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday. In the complaint, Curb argues that […]

Nashville DA won’t enforce new bathroom sign law

May 24 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville's top prosecutor said Monday that he will not enforce a newly enacted law that requires businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms and other facilities associated with their gender identity. “I believe every person is welcome and […]

Tennessee governor OKs transgender youth treatment ban

May 19 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After signing two bills into law targeting transgender people over the past week, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Lee has approved legislation that bans gender-confirming treatment for young minors despite objections that the series of bills unfairly discriminate against an already vulnerable population. The move makes Tennessee just the second state in the […]

GOP lawmaker: Three-Fifths Compromise was to end slavery

May 4 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE — A Tennessee Republican falsely declared Tuesday that an 18th century policy designating a slave as three-fifths of a person was adopted for “the purpose of ending slavery," commenting amid a debate over whether educators should be restricted while teaching about systematic racism in America. During lengthy debate on the GOP-controlled House floor, several […]

Bill on handling of fetal remains advances in Tennessee

Apr 7 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE — Tennessee Republicans are backing legislation that would require medical providers to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions over objections that doing so could stigmatize a legally available procedure. The proposal is gaining traction inside the GOP-controlled General Assembly, where legislative panels in both the House and Senate advanced the measure on […]

Tennessee GOP pushes gun bill over law enforcement concerns

Apr 1 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE — When Tennessee lawmakers pushed last summer to increase penalties against demonstrators demanding police reform, they did so in the name of supporting law enforcement. But when police advocacy groups asked them not to remove background checks and training requirements for most people seeking to carry a handgun, Republicans in charge at the Capitol […]

Tennessee: FBI raid no excuse for not filing campaign report

Feb 10 2021 — Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press — NASHVILLE — Campaign finance officials offered little sympathy Wednesday to a Tennessee Republican lawmaker who said he was unable to complete a recent election finance report due the FBI confiscating all his campaign files. Newly sworn-in Republican Rep. Todd Warner was one of several state lawmakers whose homes and legislative offices were searched by federal […]