Pluribus AM: Arizona v. Amazon Prime

Good morning, it’s Thursday, May 16, 2024. In today’s edition, Arizona sues Amazon; New York seeks social media restrictions for minors; West Virginia Senate president loses renomination bid:

Top Stories

CONSUMER PROTECTION: Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) filed two lawsuits against Amazon Wednesday, alleging violations of consumer fraud and antitrust laws. The suits relate to Amazon Prime memberships and the way the e-commerce giant treats third-party sellers. The suits are similar to those filed in 2022 by California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) and in 2023 by 17 other states. (Pluribus News)

SOCIAL MEDIA: New York lawmakers are racing to clear legislation that would regulate the way social media companies display their feeds to minors. The bill would require companies to offer feeds in chronological order, rather than through an algorithm. Lawmakers have until June 6 to finalize the bill. (State of Politics)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The New Hampshire Senate will vote this week on legislation allowing entities to create separate bathrooms, locker rooms and sporting events based on biological sex rather than gender identity. One bill would bar gender reassignment surgery for minors, and another would require schools to give two weeks’ notice to parents before teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity. (Boston Globe)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) will sign a juvenile justice bill that will create new rehabilitation and diversionary programs for young children alleged to have stolen cars, and codifying a state program targeting youth who may be victims or perpetrators of gun violence. The bill expands the list of charges 10- to 12-year olds can face to include firearm offenses, animal cruelty and serious sex offenses. (Baltimore Sun)

GUN POLITICS: The National Rifle Association has filed suit to block implementation of New Mexico’s new seven-day waiting period for gun purchases. The NRA’s suit says the law violates the 2nd and 14th Amendments. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

AGRICULTURE: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation requiring specific labels for plant-based meat and egg alternatives. The law will require products made by brands like Impossible Burgers and Beyond Burgers to include phrases like “meatless” or “imitation.” (Des Moines Register)

EDUCATION: Iowa Gov. Reynolds signed legislation mandating a comprehensive review of educational standards and requiring certain topics — including World War I, World War II, the Holocaust and September 11 — to be taught in social studies. The law also requires schools to teach about the negative consequences of communism. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

MORE: Minnesota lawmakers finalized a bill prohibiting book bans and requiring schools to implement policies relating to cellphones. School leaders will be given information about best practices surrounding cellphone policies. (MPR News)

MARIJUANA: Minnesota lawmakers have finalized legislation allowing certain entrepreneurs to begin growing marijuana later this year. The bill is meant to ensure a supply of marijuana when retail markets open. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

In Politics & Business

LOUISIANA: The U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency injunction to allow Louisiana to use a congressional district map that creates a second Black-majority district. Republican state officials and civil rights groups had asked justices to block a lower court ruling that invalidated the new maps. (NBC News)

MORE: A Louisiana House committee has approved a bill that would give Gov. Jeff Landry (R) the power to appoint the majority of the state Board of Ethics. Landry has yet to resolve a dispute over his failure to disclose a private flight he took to Hawaii on a campaign donor’s plane. (Louisiana Illuminator)

WEST VIRGINIA: Senate President Craig Blair (R) lost his bid for renomination Tuesday, one of eight incumbent Republicans ousted in party primaries. Health and Human Resources Committee chair Mike Maroney (R), a doctor who advocated against a bill increasing vaccine exemptions, also lost his bid for a new term. (Associated Press)

GEORGIA: Conservative activists are preparing to challenge the validity of thousands of state voter registrations. Several conservative groups have relied on a Georgia-based artificial intelligence firm to flag voters who may have moved out of state. Most of the hundreds of thousands of challenges to voter registrations in recent years have been rejected. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

By The Numbers

30: The number of legislative leaders, across 19 states, who are not seeking re-election this year. Eight are running for another office, four face term limits, and 18 others are retiring from public service. (Pluribus News)

46 hours: The length of a filibuster mounted by nine Missouri Democrats in hopes of derailing legislation to overhaul the process for amending the state constitution. It’s the longest filibuster in Missouri history — surpassing a record set earlier this year by members of the far-right Freedom Caucus. (Kansas City Star)

1,852: The net growth of Detroit over the past year, according to new Census Bureau estimates. It’s the first time Detroit has added residents in decades. The city’s population, 633,218, is about a third of the 1.8 million residents who lived there in the 1950s. (Associated Press)

19%: The share of nursing homes in Maine that have closed since 2010, the highest in the nation, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Across New England, 15% of nursing homes have closed over that span. (Maine Public Radio)

Off The Wall

A Delaware district court judge has ruled in favor of Kari Lynn Overington, a cancer survivor who wanted to keep her vanity license plate reading FCANCER. The Department of Motor Vehicles had rescinded the plate, but the court found the state has no actual rules governing obscene, vulgar or profane language on license plates. (Law & Crime)

Longtime readers know we’re suckers for vanity plate stories.

The Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved the transfer of Pimlico Race Course to state ownership that will allow the historic track to undergo a massive renovation. Pimlico hosts the 149th Preakness Stakes this weekend — and the thousands of beer-soaked fans who will crowd the infield. (Baltimore Sun)

Congratulations to Dorothy Jean Tillman, 17, the youngest person ever to earn her doctorate degree from Arizona State University. Tillman, of Chicago, began taking college classes at age 10. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“The key to being a good leader is to keep the people who hate you away from the ones that are undecided.”

Washington Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D), quoting legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel, on advice to his successor. (Pluribus News)