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Twitter Blocks Then Unblocks Congressman Blackburn’s Campaign Video

Congressman Marsha Blackburn’s campaign to run for Corker’s open U.S. Senate seat hit a temporary snag this week. On Monday Twitter censored U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign video in which she said she “stopped the sale of baby body parts,” because it considered the phrase “an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” Blackburn was sharing the results of her leadership of a select House committee that investigated Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue.

Twitter suggested that Blackburn edit that comment out of her campaign video, which had been viewed by more than 80,000 YouTubers at that point, and then it would be put back up on Twitter. Blackburn refused. “While we are being censored, Planned Parenthood continues to push their propaganda across the country,” Blackburn said.

Only days later, the social media platform lifted the ban on Blackburn’s content. Twitter noted it would consider revising its censorship policy in the future.

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FACT Joins Friend-of-the-Court Brief Concerning Title IX and Schools

FACT was pleased to join 18 other family policy councils on an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in the Kenosha v. Whitaker “transgender” student bathroom case. The family policy councils are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 7th Circuit’s terrible decision to redefine “sex” in Title IX that applies to bathrooms and locker rooms in our schools.

While the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision is not binding on the states in the 6th Circuit, such as Tennessee, it would be used and will be used by opponents of privacy and biologically based sex determinations as persuasive authority.

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Challenge to TN Abortion Waiting Period Law Proceeds in Court

All nine abortion clinics in Tennessee, in addition to the ACLU, are moving forward with a challenge to the 2015 law requiring women seeking abortions to get in-person counseling from a doctor and then wait at least 48 hours before returning for the procedure. Both sides filed additional arguments last week. The point of the law is to help pregnant women make a more informed decision about the baby in the womb with the hopes that some women would choose life over an abortion. Currently, 27 states have waiting period laws and of those states, 14 require in-person counseling.

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Which Tennessean Will Succeed Corker for U.S. Senate?

“I feel very at peace and know it was exactly the right thing to do,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Corker about his announcement Tuesday not to seek reelection.

Now that Corker has announced he won’t run, who will fill the slot? Among those who are being mentioned as potential Republican Party candidates are U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Gov. Bill Haslam, former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, current state Sen. Mark Green, former state Rep. Joe Carr, and Jeff Webb, the founder and chairman of Memphis-based Varsity Brands. Andy Ogles kicked off his candidacy prior to Corker’s announcement.

It is also reported that Chattanooga Mayor and former State Sen. Andy Burke, current State Sen. Jeff Yarbro, and current Rep. John Clemmons, all lawyers, are considering a run for the Democratic Party nomination. No doubt, there will be more names floated in the coming weeks.

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Tennessee to Create Plan for SEL in Schools

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) announced this month that Tennessee and seven other states will collaborate to create and implement a plan to encourage social-emotional learning (SEL) in schools.

SEL, in concept, is supposed to teach children relational skills, decisionmaking, self-management, and social awareness, which have nothing to do with fundamental academic basics and everything to do with character issues that should be taught by parents at home.

During the Tennessee General Assembly’s Joint Education Committee hearing on August 17, 2016, state legislators expressed to the Department of Education their concern with SEL. State officials initially backed off; however, it appears it is back on the Haslam administration’s agenda.

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