Biden’s DOJ Orders Hawkins County Schools to Hire ‘Anti-Harassment Coordinator’ to Oversee ‘Race Discrimination and Harassment Complaints’

Classroom Students

The Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered Hawkins County Schools on Monday to implement a number of measures to “end racial discrimination in its schools.”

A DOJ-led investigation into Hawkins County Schools that began in March 2023 found that the school system was “deliberately indifferent to known race-based harassment in its schools” and was ordered to spend at least three years under a federal settlement with the DOJ.

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Math Professor Fired After Criticizing Slavery Reparations Continues Legal Battle Pennsylvania College

Saint Joseph's University campus

A math professor’s two-year-old lawsuit against Saint Joseph’s University, filed in the wake of controversy over his social media posts criticizing slavery reparations and other comments, continues to wind its way through the court system.

Gregory Manco sued the institution he taught at for nearly two decades, as well as coached baseball for, alleging some administrators conspired with a few left-leaning alumni to effectively “cancel” him over tweets that ran afoul of progressive dogma.

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Tennessee Attorney General Leads Lawsuit Challenging HHS Final Rule on Gender Identity Under the Affordable Care Act

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch led a coalition of 13 other states in filing a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) final rule, which redefines the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on “sex” to include “gender identity.”

As of May 6, HHS’ final rule requires medical providers to perform surgeries and administer hormone drugs to both children and adults for the purpose of gender transition, without regard for a doctor’s medical judgment as to whether that treatment was appropriate.

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Arizona Supreme Court Unanimously Reverses Sanctions Against AZGOP for Its Lawsuit Challenging Maricopa County’s Hand Count

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling on Thursday reversing an award of sanctions against the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) and its attorneys for bringing an election integrity lawsuit. The AZGOP sued Maricopa County election officials over how they conducted the mandatory hand count audit after the 2020 election. The state’s highest court said there is some merit to election lawsuits, even if a “long shot,” and ruling against them for questioning an “election’s legitimacy” would have a “chilling effect.”

The AZGOP issued a statement after the state Supreme Court’s decision.

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Carol Swain Raising Funds Towards Lawsuit Against Harvard University amid Plagiarism Battle

Carol Swain

Dr. Carol M. Swain is actively raising money to file a federal lawsuit against Harvard University to hold the institution “accountable” for its former President Claudine Gay’s alleged plagiarism of multiple academic scholars’ work, including that of Swain’s.

In December 2023, writer and political activist Christopher Rufo accused Gay of plagiarizing “multiple sections” of her Ph.D. thesis from 1997.

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Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia Join Lawsuit Against the NCAA’s NIL Recruitment Ban Led by Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti

The attorneys general of Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia have joined Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ lawsuit challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) name, image, and likeness (NIL) recruitment ban.

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Exclusive: Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti Calls the Biden Administration’s Overhaul of Title IX ‘Extreme’

Skrmetti MPL Show

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said the Biden administration’s finalized rule to rewrite Title IX is “extreme,” noting how the administration’s determination to rewrite anti-discrimination rules to encompass gender identity issues appears to be one of its “highest priorities.”

On Tuesday, Skrmetti led six states in suing the Biden administration’s Department of Education on Tuesday over its finalized rule to rewrite Title IX to encompass gender identity and sexual orientation.

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Tennessee Bill Allows Lawsuits for Damages from Illegally Blocking Roadway

Seattle Traffic Shut-Down

A bill aimed at preventing people from blocking Tennessee roadways was amended and passed by both chambers of the Tennessee Legislature before it next heads to the desk of Gov. Bill Lee along with a glut of late-session bills.

Rather than creating an increased felony charge, Senate Bill 2570 was amended to allow for lawsuits to be filed if a person or company suffers a loss because a “defendant intentionally obstructed a highway, street, or other place used for the passage of vehicles or conveyances.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti Leads Coalition in Lawsuit Challenging the EEOC’s Abortion Rule

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti pursued legal action against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Thursday over its new rule regarding workplace abortion accommodations.

In 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) into law, which protects pregnant workers and their babies by directing that women receive workplace accommodations for “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”

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Michael Patrick Leahy: As a Plaintiff in Covenant Manifesto Case, I Want All Documents Released, Not Just the Killer’s Writings Recovered from Vehicle

Michael Patrick Leahy, editor-in-chief and CEO of The Tennessee Star, said as a plaintiff in the case seeking to compel the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to release the manifesto left behind by the Covenant School shooter, he believes the the full manifesto should be released – not just the “documents in the car” found on the day of the shooting which Metro Legal suggests would satisfy the plaintiffs in the case.

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Lawmakers React After Norfolk Southern Agrees to $600 Million Settlement to Resolve Lawsuits from East Palestine Train Derailment

East Palestine

Norfolk Southern Corporation announced Tuesday that it reached a $600 million settlement in a class action lawsuit in response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, last year.

The railroad company said in a press release that if the court approves the settlement, all class action lawsuits within a 20-mile radius of the derailment and all personal injury claims within a 10-mile radius of the derailment will be resolved.

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America First Legal Expands Landmark Election Integrity Case to Yavapai County After Maricopa County Tried to ‘Sabotage’ It

Voting Line

America First Legal (AFL) “expanded a landmark Arizona election integrity case” last week, suing Yavapai County. AFL said in a press release that it withdrew the initial election integrity complaint against Maricopa County election officials due to “Maricopa County’s schemes to sabotage the case,” re-filing it in Yavapai County. The new lawsuit, which is substantially the same as the initial one, added an additional allegation, that during the 2022 elections, at least one voting center in Yavapai County had printer malfunctions that caused long lines. 

James Rogers, America First Legal Senior Counsel, said in a statement, “What is Maricopa County’s response to the legitimate concerns of its citizens? Frivolous procedural motions trying to delay the case and ensure it is not heard on its merits. This voluntary dismissal is not the end of this case, but just the beginning.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti Details Consumer Protection Lawsuit Against BlackRock’s ESG Investing

TN AG Courtroom

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said his consumer protection lawsuit against BlackRock’s Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing will force the company to disclose if it is mixing ESG factors when making investment decisions instead of focusing on financial factors relative to the rate of return.

Skrmetti filed his lawsuit against BlackRock in December 2023, alleging that the hedge fund has misled consumers in Tennessee about the scale and impacts of its ESG initiatives for several years.

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Federal Court Bars NCAA from Enforcing NIL-Recruitment Ban After Legal Challenge by AGs of TN and VA

Skrmetti UT

The Eastern District Court of Tennessee granted Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s preliminary injunction request in his lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) illegal name, image, and likeness (NIL)-recruitment ban on Friday.

Through its NIL recruitment ban, the NCAA prohibits prospective student-athletes from discussing potential NIL opportunities with schools and collectives prior to enrolling. Specifically, the ban prohibits student-athletes from negotiating with collectives, reviewing NIL offers before making enrollment decisions, and adequately considering the full scope of NIL-related services a school might offer upon enrollment.

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Goldwater Institute Sues Department of Education over ‘Unprecedented’ $37 Million Fine Assessed Against Arizona’s Christian Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University

The Goldwater Institute (GI) sued the U.S. Department of Education last week over fining Grand Canyon University (GCU) almost $40 million.

The fine was purportedly for “insufficiently inform[ing] PhD students that they may have to take continuing courses while completing their doctoral dissertations,” GI said in a press release. GI noted that the $37 million fine against the Christian university “is 10 times bigger than penalties the Education Department assessed against Penn State and Michigan State for covering up the sexual crimes of Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nassar.”

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Files Lawsuit Against Adrian Fontes over ‘Illegal’ and ‘Most Radical’ Elections Procedures Manual in Arizona’s History

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) filed a lawsuit last week against Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, accusing him of making illegal changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM). Represented by the America First Policy Institute, Davillier Law Group, and Grand Canyon Legal Center, AFEC said the revisions improperly place protected political speech at risk of criminal prosecution and have an unconstitutional chilling effect on protected political speech.

“Secretary Fontes has produced one of the most radical elections procedures manuals in our state’s history,” said Scot Mussi, AFEC’s president. “If the illegal provisions of this manual are allowed to stand, the integrity and transparency of state elections would continue to dissipate at the hands of leftwing ideologues. We hope the court agrees with our arguments and forces the Secretary to adhere to state law.”

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Judge Blocks Ohio’s Social Media Parental Notification Act from Being Enforced

Kids on Phone

Chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Algenon L. Marbley granted NetChoice’s request for a preliminary injunction that stops the state’s Social Media Parental Notification Act from being enforced on Monday.

Last month, NetChoice sued Ohio to block the Social Media Parental Notification Act from taking effect.

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America First Legal Lawsuit Against Maricopa County Over Election Illegalities Raises Issues Other Judges Previously Found Had Merit in 2020 Election Cases

America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Maricopa County, alleging numerous violations of election law since 2020. Some of the issues raised in the complaint were brought up in similar lawsuits brought around the country challenging irregularities in the 2020 election, where judges found they had merit.

The AFL listed eight issues in its complaint, and mainly asked for declaratory judgment to stop the county from repeating the wrongdoing and comply with law. The first was lack of chain of custody for tens of thousands of ballots, a class 2 misdemeanor. The second was failure to conduct reconciliation as required by law, which refers to comparing the number of votes cast at polling centers to the number of voters who checked in. The third was the failure of the voting center printers, disenfranchising voters. The fourth was the racially discriminatory location of vote centers, disadvantaging Native Americans and whites who lived farther from the locations than others. 

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AZGOP Chair Gina Swoboda Explains Why Early Litigation ‘Has to Happen’ to Avoid Election Fraud This Election Cycle

AZGOP Chair Gina Swoboda

Newly-elected chair of the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP), Gina Swoboda, joined Thursday’s edition of The Afternoon Addiction with Garret Lewis on KFYI to discuss how her extensive knowledge of election laws will benefit her in her new position as the party’s chair, in particular her strategy of litigating to protect the party against lawfare this election cycle before it’s “too late.”

Swoboda was elected at the annual AZGOP Mandatory Meeting of the State Committee last week following the resignation of former chair Jeff DeWit.

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Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould Sues AG Kris Mayes over Her Threats to Prosecute Him for Voting to Hand Count Ballots

AZ AG Kris Mayes and Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould

Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould filed a lawsuit against Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes over her threat to prosecute him if he voted in favor of conducting a hand count of the 2024 election. He asked the court in the complaint, which was filed on January 19, to rule “[t]hat Plaintiff should not be subjected to threats and intimidation by the Attorney General for voting to have hand counting be the primary initial method of vote tabulation.”

Represented by Wilenchik & Bartness, Gould described the threat, “This case is about an elected official potentially losing his liberty and being jailed as a criminal, if Defendant Mayes is correct, for voting according to his conscience, and pursuant to the will of his constituents, based on election statutes that appear not to bar his intended support for vote counting based on hand counting and not the use of electronic voting machines.”

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New Hampshire Republican Officials Suffer Setback in Effort to Close State’s GOP Presidential Primary, Assert That Previous Open Primaries Violated the Law

People Voting

An attempt to close the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election to allow only Republican voters has failed so far, even though opening it to all voters may have violated the law. Karen Testerman, who serves as chair of the Merrimack County Republican Committee, unsuccessfully ran for governor, and whose husband is New Hampshire State Representative David Testerman (R-Franklin), drafted a resolution that was adopted by the New Hampshire Republican Party a year ago demanding that New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan close the primaries. She also sued him last fall, but the lawsuit was dismissed on January 9, with the judge stating Testerman and the other plaintiffs did not have standing.

According to The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism (NHCPIJ), Scanlan said he couldn’t close the primary until he received a letter from the New Hampshire Republican Party (NHGOP) chair instructing him to do so, citing RSA 659:14-2 in Special Provisions for State and Presidential Primary Elections. 

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Beacon Center of Tennessee Applauds Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners for Amending Food Truck Permit Fee

Food Truck

The Beacon Center of Tennessee released a statement on Tuesday celebrating the Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners for passing an ordinance setting a uniform rate for both in-city and out-of-city food trucks to operate within city limits.

“We are absolutely thrilled that our lawsuit prompted the City of Mt. Juliet to repeal its unconstitutional $100/day permitting fee for food truck operators located outside of Mt. Juliet,” Beacon Director of Legal Affairs Wen Fa said in a statement. “That exorbitant fee essentially shut out our clients— food truck owners who have served many satisfied Mt. Juliet residents in the past— from Mt. Juliet. We’re delighted for both our clients and for the residents of Mt. Juliet that the food trucks are now able to return.”

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New York Times Sues AI Giants for Alleged Copyright Violation

The New York Times sued artificial intelligence (AI) giants OpenAI and Microsoft on Wednesday for alleged copyright violation.

OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat are large language models that are trained on data from the internet and generate text based on prompts from users. The tech giants trained these chatbots with millions of the NYT’s copyrighted articles without permission, the outlet alleges in the complaint.

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‘Far-Left’ Maricopa County Judge ‘Predictably’ Refuses to Allow Kari Lake to Inspect Ballot Affidavit Envelopes

Judge John Hannah

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah issued a ruling Wednesday denying Kari Lake’s special action that requested to inspect the ballot affidavit envelopes, or the electronic images of those envelopes, from Maricopa County’s 2022 general election. The recorder’s office denied Lake’s initial public records request for the affidavits because they contained voters’ signatures, so she sued the county. During the September trial, Hannah refused to allow most of Lake’s witnesses to testify or her exhibits into evidence.

Shelby Busch, the co-founder of We the People AZ Alliance, which has been investigating illegal election activities for the Lake campaign, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Judge Hannah’s decision was predictably bad. Denying Kari the ability to put forward witnesses, testimony or even a rebuttal to the County is further evidence that he is a far-left Judge trying to legislate from the bench. This is the people’s election and denying them the right to inspect public records is further confirmation that protecting the corrupt institution is their primary goal. Journalists everywhere should be outraged, this is a huge miscarriage to public transparency and accountability, but how many of them will step up?”

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FBI Asks Judge to Block Discovery in Tennessee Star’s Lawsuit Seeking Covenant Killer Records

Earlier this month, attorneys for Star News Digital Media Inc., the parent company of The Star and The Star News Network, filed a motion after the leak of three pages of Covenant Presbyterian School mass murderer Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s writings. The motion asserts the leak proves, “assuming the three pages’ authenticity,” that the FBI “could have selectively released” redacted portions of the manifesto without jeopardizing ongoing investigations.

The FBI has yet to confirm the authenticity of the manifesto pages shared online, but the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) has confirmed they are Hale’s writings. Prior to that admission, The Star was among the first outlets to independently verify the pages were part of Hale’s manifesto.

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FBI Won’t Comment on Whether Covenant Killer’s Manifesto Pages Constitute a Hate Crime

In the three pages released last week from Covenant Killer Audrey Elizabeth Hale’s manifesto and related writings, the hand-written notes were filled with racial and anti-LGBT slurs. Hale expressed at great length her hatred for white people, and in particular, her animus for the white children at the private Christian elementary school.

However, officials at the FBI won’t say whether or not they are handling the investigation of the March 27 school shootings as a hate crime.

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EXCLUSIVE: Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell Stands by Metro Law Director’s Claim That Covenant Killer Manifesto is ‘Locked’ Under Court Seal

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell is standing by his man, Metro Law Director Wally Dietz, and his suspect claim that a court order prohibits the release of the Covenant Killer’s manifesto.

“To be clear: I’m not intent on withholding anything, but I’m not going to violate the best understanding I have of what the law is,” the mayor told The Tennessee Star in responding to questions about Dietz’s controversial assertions.

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Abe Hamadeh and AZ Voters Rights File Lawsuit Against Maricopa County Demanding Decertification of 2022 Election in Attorney General’s Race

Abe Hamadeh and AZ Voters Rights filed a Complaint in Special Action against Maricopa County this week demanding that the court issue a writ of mandamus ordering the county to decertify the Maricopa County and Arizona canvass for the 2022 General Election race for attorney general. Hamadeh has been challenging the outcome of his loss in that race in court, uncovering evidence during the litigation of votes that were not counted, decreasing his loss to only 280 votes. The trial court judge refused to give him a new trial based on the newfound evidence, which he has appealed.

The complaint, which was drafted by attorney Ryan Heath of The Gavel Project, argued that votes “were not counted due to various wrongful acts by Maricopa County officials — which disproportionately impacted Election Day voters, the majority of whom were Republicans and conservative leaning independent voters.” 

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AZGOP Files Motion to Intervene to Stop 14th Amendment ‘Lawfare’ Lawsuit Seeking to Boot Trump from the Ballot

The Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) filed a Motion to Intervene on Wednesday defending against a lawsuit that is attempting to keep Donald Trump off the ballot for president in Arizona. John Anthony Castro, a third-party presidential candidate, has been filing lawsuits in various states claiming Trump is not qualified due to the 14th Amendment. 

The 40-year-old Republican’s lawsuits against Trump state, “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment creates an implied cause of action for a fellow candidate to obtain relief for a political competitive injury by challenging another candidate’s constitutional eligibility on the grounds that they engaged in or provided ‘aid or comfort’ to an insurrection.” 

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Tennessee Appeals Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Covenant Killer Records Case

The Tennessee Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments Monday afternoon in The Tennessee Star’s lawsuit demanding the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County release the Covenant School killer’s manifesto and related records.

The court is weighing whether to overturn Davidson County Judge I’Ashea Myles’ ruling to allow Covenant Presbyterian School parents, staff and others to intervene in the lawsuit and argue why the manifesto should remain locked away from the public.

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Judge Rules Wisconsin School District’s Gender Affirming Policy Without Parental Consent Violates Constitutional Rights

In a major victory for parental rights, a Waukesha County judge has ruled the Kettle Moraine School District’s policy of affirming students’ preferred gender identities without notifying guardians is a violation of basic constitutional rights.

Judge Michael P. Maxwell, in what is expected to be a nationally watched ruling, found the southeast Wisconsin school district violated parents’ constitutional rights to raise their own children by allowing minor students to change gender identity at school without parental consent, and even over their objection.

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Attorney General Skrmetti Files Complaint Against DHS and ICE After the Agencies Failed to Provide Information on Illegal Migrants Being Bussed to Tennessee

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed an official complaint against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, alleging the two entities have failed to produce documents regarding the release of immigrant detainees into Tennessee.

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Wisconsin Pro-Life Groups Call on Liberal DAs to Enforce Abortion Law and Stop Planned Parenthood

Pro-life groups are calling on liberal district attorneys in the Badger State’s two largest cities to enforce abortion statute as Planned Parenthood resumes performing abortions in Wisconsin.

Members of Wisconsin Right to Life, Wisconsin Family Action, and Pro-Life Wisconsin held a press conference last week at the state Capitol demanding Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and his liberal counterpart, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm follow statute 940.04, which prohibits most abortions in the state.

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