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John Little. Photo provided by Metro Nashville Public Schools

The Williamson County district attorney has taken over an inquiry into whether Nashville school board member John Little lives in the district he was elected to represent.

Why it matters: Little purchased a house outside his eastern Davidson County district earlier this year, leading to criticism from some constituents and political opponents that he should be removed from office.

  • It is not a criminal violation, but local elected officials can be removed from office through civil proceedings if they're found to live outside the boundaries of their district.
  • Little told the Tennessean that while he serves on the school board he will maintain two residences, one of which is in his district.

The latest: The matter was referred to the Metro Legal Department earlier this year, leading to an initial inquiry.

  • Little's attorney, Alex Little (not related), pushed back against a Metro Legal letter asking the school board member to provide utility bills and other information.
  • In response, the legal department forwarded the matter to the Davidson County District Attorney's Office. DA Glenn Funk recused himself because John Little backed his campaign in 2014.

Driving the news: After Funk's recusal, the inquiry into John Little's residency was assigned to Williamson County DA Kim Helper.

  • Metro Council passed over John Little when he first sought appointment to the board after incumbent Anna Shepherd died in 2020. Several council members criticized John Little's ties to charter schools and the education reform movement.
  • But Little won the November election to finish the term, which expires next year.

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett teases run in proposed Austin district

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett speaks at a rally at the state Capitol on June 20, 2021 in Austin. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a longtime Democratic congressman from Austin, indicated to Axios that he plans to announce his run for a seat in a newly proposed congressional district in Austin.

Why it matters: The newly crafted district, part of the redrawing of political boundaries every 10 years to account for population growth, is expected to be a safe Democratic seat that will include parts of Travis and Williamson counties.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.