Opinion | Once again, we dare defend our wrongs

February 8, 2018

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

How many times is Alabama going to go down this well-traveled road? We’re like a Twilight Zone episode. Or many of them.

Our state is beautiful; the people generally are wonderful. We smile and say hi as we pass each other on the street.

Alabama is a great place to live, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

But we’ve got a mean streak. Our state motto – “We Dare Defend Our Rights” – should, more accurately be: “We Dare Defend Our Wrongs.”

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ACLU sues Alabama over transgender people and driver’s licenses

February 7, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Alabama filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s policy of restricting access to drivers’ licenses for transgender people that accurately reflect their gender identity.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three people who report that they experienced this discrimination.

“Transgender people, like all people, deserve to live their lives without the government compromising their privacy, safety, autonomy, dignity, or equality,” Gabriel Arkles, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said. “All people have a right to make their own healthcare decisions free from government coercion. They have a right to keep their personal information private. They have a right not to endorse a message from the government with which they disagree. They have the right not to be discriminated against by the government for who they are. And in addition to endangering transgender people, Alabama’s policy — and other policies like it — violate the law.”

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ADMH reaches agreement to improve care for defendants awaiting mental health evaluations

January 26, 2018

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Department of Mental Health has entered into a legal agreement to provide more timely mental health services to people with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities who are waiting to stand trial.

A federal court Thursday entered a consent decree directing the ADMH and Commissioner Lynn Beshear to provide psychiatric services more quickly to those whose competency to stand trial has been questioned.

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Tom Parker qualifies for chief justice

January 9, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker was at Alabama Republican Party headquarters filing papers to qualify to run for chief justice.

“I am known as a strong social conservative,” Parker told reporters.

“With President Trump leading the fight to decentralize the federal regulatory state and restore our Tenth Amendment rights, the radical left is turning to blue cities in red states to move their agenda forward,” Parker said in a statement. “That’s why the Alabama Supreme Court needs strong, conservative leadership to push back against any unconstitutional infringement of citizens’ rights and why I’m running to provide that leadership.”

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Judge Moore not bowed by threats from DC elites, says spokesperson

May 9, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Washington, DC campaign consulting firm recently pulled out of its contract with Judge Roy Moore after the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) threatened to blackball any shop that worked against its handpicked candidate, Senator Luther Strange. Now, conservatives in Alabama can add elite Washington, DC Republicans to the long list of those who are working to stop Moore’s political career.

“The Beltway establishment is trying to sabotage Judge Moore’s campaign, but they will fail,” said Moore’s Communications Director, Dean Young. According to Young, a very dedicated Moore supporter and well known South Alabama conservative firebrand, “I count it as a good thing. Number one, because they have identified who their candidate [Strange] is and that’s not going to play well down here.” Young added, “They must have missed the 2016 Presidential election when Alabamians overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump to drain the swamp they call home.”
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Prison construction bill to be considered by Senate Committee in March

February 17, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The Senate version of the bill authorizing the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 1, the bill’s sponsor said Thursday.

The plan would authorize the Department of Corrections to issue an $800 million bond to construct three new 4,000-bed men’s prisons and a new women’s prison.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said he wanted to have time to gather more feedback on the bill as it currently stands before bringing it before the Judiciary Committee for review.

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ACLU’s Susan Watson has died

December 6, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday, December 2, 2016 the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama, Susan Watson passed away from a short illness.

On Friday, ACLU Alabama announced in a statement:

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our Executive Director, Susan Watson. Words are not enough under these circumstances to express our grief. We are thankful for your support during this difficult time. We remain committed to Susan’s vision of the advancement of civil liberties in Alabama.”
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Reactions to Supreme Court Decision Against Regulating Abortion Clinics

June 28, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, June 27, the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics. The decision likely impacts a number of Alabama statutes that sought to regulate or limit abortion providers, including one that is almost identical to the Texas statute, which was overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Alabama Statute had already been overturned by federal Judge Myron Thompson in the case of ‘Planned Parenthood versus Strange;’ but was being appealed. A number of Alabama officials commented on the ruling which was viewed as yet another victory for Pro-Choice activists in the Supreme Court.
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Roy Moore Opponents and Supporters Both Rally

January 13, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 12, protesters demanded that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) be removed from office (again), this time for his vocal opposition to granting State marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Chief Justice Moore’s detractors held a raucous rally at noon at the top of the steps of Heflin-Tolbert Judicial Building in Montgomery. Over 75 protesters spoke at the rally organized by Equality Wiregrass in favor of removing Alabama’s Chief Justice.
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Chief Justice Moore Orders Probate Judges to Stop Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

January 7, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, January 6, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) issued a ruling to Alabama’s Probate Judges ordering them not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The twice popularly elected Chief Justice wrote that, “The administration of justice in the State of Alabama has been adversely affected by the apparent conflict between the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in API and the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell (v. Hodges).” Obergefell v. Hodges is the landmark 2015 US Supreme Court ruling that turned millennia of precedent on its head by demanding that states issue state marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Chief Justice Moore, as the Administrative Head of the Unified Judicial System of Alabama, ordered that, “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”
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