Memphis University Hospital is a tax-exempt nonprofit whose CEO, Dr. Michael Ugwueke, took home $1.6m last year; the hospital itself makes an operating surplus of $80m/year -- and it also sues the shit out of its patients, running its own in-house collection agency and filing more garnishment claims than any other hospital in the state. Read the rest
Methodist University Hospital in Memphis is a nonprofit: it pays virtually no local, state or federal tax; but unlike other Methodist hospitals, Methodist University Hospital is relentless in pursuing medical debts from indigent patients. The hospital owns its own collection agency, and is one of the leading litigants in Tennessee's debt courts. Read the rest
Rep. Matthew Hill [R-Jonesborough] is the proprietor of Dock Haley Gospel Magic, a business supplying "Christian-themed magic supplies and teaching aids to customers around the world who use magic shows as a form of evangelism." Read the rest
The state of Tennessee pays doctor-contractors by the case to review Medicare disability claims, leading to a situation in which doctors review four or more cases per hour -- and kick profoundly disabled and terminally ill people out of the program. Tennessee leads the nation in denied disability claims. Read the rest
"[Pornography is] available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store. Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there. All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause." -Congresswoman Diane Black [R-TN] Read the rest
Robyn Dial is suing White County, Tennessee Sheriff Oddie Shoupe for excessive force in the killing of her husband Michael Dial, who was shot in the head after he drove away at low speed from a traffic stop while towing a heavy trailer behind his 40-year-old pickup truck; Sheriff Shoupe was captured on bodycam mics ordering his officers to gun down Dial rather than run him off the road and risk cosmetic damage to their cruisers; after he arrived on the scene and observed Dial's corpse, he was recorded saying "They said 'we’re ramming him.' I said, 'Don’t ram him, shoot him.' Fuck that shit. Ain't gonna tear up my cars. I love this shit. God, I tell you what, I thrive on it. If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit. Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county." Read the rest
Hannah Cohen is a 19 year old who is being treated for a brain tumor at Memphis's St Jude's Hospital, who is "partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused" -- and who was subjected to a violent beating during a secondary TSA screening while flying home to Chatanooga, TN for the holidays. Read the rest
Marsha Blackburn has represented Tennessee's 7th district for more than a decade, on behalf of the Republican party, whose caucus has elevated her to the vice-chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read the rest
A whiny Assistant District Attorney General of Tennessee asked the judge in the case of Tennessee v Powell to order Mr Powell and his lawyer to stop calling her "the Government." The prosecutor complained that being called "the Government" made him look bad. The reply brief is nothing short of genius: as Lowering the Bar has it: You don't get many chances to do this kind of thing, so it is nice to see someone hit it out of the park." Read the rest
David Melson writes that police arrested and jailed a man Friday for using real money.
A clerk at Quik Mart, South Cannon Boulevard, notified police after the marker used to detect counterfeit bills didn't check as real. "The front side of the bill was off center and it didn't feel like a normal bill, it did look to be counterfeit," officer Brock Horner said in his report.
This is the state that just made it possible to sue teachers who tell children how human reproduction works. It's hardly surprising the authorities there don't know what a $50 bill looks like.
Old $50 bill found real, but not before bearer arrested [Shelbyville Times-Gazette] Read the rest
The ACLU of Tennessee has brought suit against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a warrantless raid on an apartment complex where ICE officers believed some illegal immigrants were housed. After ICE agents broke into the complex and were asked for a warrant, one agent reportedly said, "We don't need a warrant, we're ICE," and, gesturing to his genitals, "the warrant is coming out of my balls."
Among the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens, including a child detained and interrogated while playing soccer on the playground simply because of the color of his skin. Looking Latino and speaking Spanish is not enough to justify probable cause for questioning and arresting a person. Another plaintiff was carted away in handcuffs in front of his frightened and crying children.
Unfortunately, the Clairmont raid is not an isolated incident. As the Department of Homeland Security and its enforcement arm, ICE, expand their aggressive immigration enforcement policies, all too often the constitutional rights afforded to everyone living in the United States are violated. Even as ICE carries out its mission, it must act in accordance with the law and in a manner that is humane.