Minnesota Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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Early Returns Show Voters in Five States Defending Abortion-Related Measures

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that returned the question of abortion limits back to the states, unofficial election results in five states show voters opted to codify abortion as a constitutional right, defend expanded access to abortion, and deny lifesaving care to infants born alive despite an abortion attempt.

More than 133,000 Vermont voters – about 72 percent – appear to have supported a ballot measure that made the state the first to enshrine abortion in its constitution. Nearly 42,000 voters, or about 22 percent, voted against the measure, while 9,000, or about 5 percent, left the ballot question blank, The Hill reported.

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Democratic Secretaries of State Warn ‘Independent State Legislature Theory’ Would Upend Elections

Thirteen Secretaries of State led by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper, a case that will have the court considering the “independent state legislature” theory.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moore v. Harper in December, a case brought forth after the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature adopted a new congressional voting map based on 2020 Census results. A group of Democratic voters and nonprofit organizations alleged the map was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution and challenged it in court, according to Ballotpedia.

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Suspended Vermont Student and Coach Father Sue School District for Retaliating After Complaint About Biological Male in Girls’ Locker Room

A Vermont high school volleyball player who was suspended from school and her father, the team’s coach, who was suspended from his job, are suing the school district for retaliating against them following their complaint about the policy that allows biological males in the girls’ team locker room.

Blake Allen, 14, a student at Randolph Union Middle School, and her father, Travis Allen, who coaches his daughter’s volleyball team, spoke out against a biological male, claiming to be female, being allowed in the girls’ team locker room while they were changing. Now, the family is suing the school district after Blake was suspended and Travis was fired from his job, asserting the district retaliated against them, the Daily Signal reported Thursday.

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Vermont High School Girls Volleyball Team Banned from Locker Room After Objecting to Trans Player’s Presence

The Randolph Union High School girls’ volleyball team in Vermont was reportedly banned from its locker room after some girls on the team objected to the presence of a biological male, who claims to be female, while the girls were changing clothes.

School officials, WCAX-TV reported, banned the girls from their locker room because Vermont’s policy states transgender athletes can participate on sports teams and use the private facilities consistent with their chosen gender.

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Vermont Poised to Become First State to Guarantee Right to Abortion in its Constitution

With support from its Republican governor, Vermont is on a course to become the first state in the nation to guarantee a right to abortion and contraception in its constitution.

The Vermont House voted 107-41 for Proposition 5, a proposed amendment that would guarantee sexual and reproductive freedoms to Vermonters once it is placed on the ballot and voters give their support in November.

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State Attorney Generals Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

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Patrick Leahy, Vermont Senator Since 1975, Announces Retirement

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy announced his retirement Monday morning in his home state.

Leahy, 81, was first elected in 1975 and is in his eighth term. He is the president pro tempore of the Senate, making him third in the line of presidential succession after Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and he is the chamber’s longest-serving member.

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Commentary: The Sour Revolution of Bernie Sanders

Truly transformative social movements usually complete cycles. They start with a crisis, build momentum, organize, gain power, and then institutionalize. The French Revolution combined intellectuals, peasants, and convicts into a force that the mighty King Louis XVI and his professional army could not stop. Their effort culminated with the king’s execution on the guillotine in 1793.

After this, the various revolutionaries had to face the question of which vision of that revolution would be imposed. Many of them did not survive that stage of their revolution. Like their former king, many of them were guillotined and, eventually, all of the elements they detested about the monarchy were restored under Napoleon Bonaparte.

This cycle isn’t unique to the history of France and, indeed, it’s the template for most “revolutions.”

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Biden Dominates Super Tuesday States, Upsets Sanders in Minnesota

Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Tuesday night in Minnesota’s Democratic primary, a shocking upset in what was a tough night for the Vermont socialist.

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Commentary: Ninety Three Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education

In just a couple of weeks, 50 boys with learning disabilities will take to a stage in Vermont, one after the other, to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. It’s a daring experiment undertaken each February at the Greenwood School and its population of boys who’ve struggled in public schools. Diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia, and executive function impairments, Greenwood’s boys stand before an auditorium full of people (and once even a Ken Burns documentary crew) to recite powerful words many adults would struggle to retain.

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