Chief Justice files reply brief in judicial ethics appeal

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday filed a final written brief with the specially empaneled supreme court convened to hear his appeals trial.

The brief is Moore’s final filing before his appeal goes to oral arguments.

The 50-page brief, filed by Moore’s attorneys at the Liberty Counsel, reiterates many of Moore’s arguments in his September ethics trial and in his previous brief submitted in December.

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Alabama judicial override safe from Supreme Court review

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to Alabama’s system of judicial override for the death penalty from several death-row inmates in the State.

In a list of orders on pending cases released Monday, the Court denied certiorari in the case of Thomas Arthur v. Alabama. Arthur and two other death-row inmates petitioned the high court in November to review Alabama’s death row laws.

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Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Alabama Supreme Court rules that unborn children are “human beings”

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Friday, December 30, 2016, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit against an OB/GYN accused of contributing to the death of a woman’s unborn child.

The court found that the trial court erred in dismissing Alabama resident Kimberly Stinett’s claim alleging the wrongful death of her unborn baby and granting summary judgement in favor of Karla Kennedy, M.D., on lack-of-proof-causation grounds. Read More

Alabama Supreme Court makes up more bingo law

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Supreme Court (ALSC) has made up more law.

You probably missed this, since it happened on Dec. 23 – the Friday before Christmas. That was the day the ALSC chose to issue its latest anti-electronic bingo ruling – this time against GreeneTrack in Greene County.

The court ruled that machines confiscated from that facility could be destroyed, overruling a lower court’s ruling that found the machines complied with the county’s bingo amendment. Read More

Writing about politics can be depressing

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

There was a time nearly two decades ago that I was having an especially personal exam at my doctor’s office. After he finished what he had to do, I asked him how he could do that every day.

He responded immediately: “How do you cover that Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky mess every day?”

Touché, my good doctor.

I’m asked often how I manage to write about politics on a regular basis. Gee, that’s been a full-time job since 1990, when I joined the editorial board of The Birmingham News, back when it was a daily newspaper and doing some of the best journalism in the country.
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Governor Announces 7-Member Special Supreme Court to Hear Moore’s Appeal

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Monday, Gov. Robert Bentley announced the seven members of the Special Supreme Court that will hear Chief Justice Roy Moore’s appeal.

Sitting on the panel, Bentley announced, will be H. Edward McFerrin, a retired circuit judge from Lowndes, Butler and Crenshaw counties; Robert G. Cahill, a retired Jefferson County district judge; William R. King, a retired Crenshaw County district judge; James H. Reid Jr., a retired Baldwin County circuit judge; Lynn Clardy Bright, a retried Montgomery County district judge; Ralph A. Ferguson Jr., a retired Jefferson County circuit judge; and John D. Coggin, a retired Cherokee County district judge.
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Victoryland Reopens With Blowout Attendance

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

SHORTER—Starting before noon on Tuesday, people were lining up, along with the traffic, around Victoryland in Macon County, for its “Grand” reopening at 2:00 pm.

People poured through the doors and flooded the lobby, as they all rushed to get their chance to gamble at Victoryland, again.

At a press conference last month, Victoryland owner, Milton McGregor, announced the plan to reopen on September 13. The casino opened with 500 electronic bingo machines and had anticipated hiring 200 staff members.
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Alabama Supreme Court Grants Stay in AG’s Appeal of Greenetrack

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Wednesday, the Alabama Supreme Court (ASC) granted a stay, before the deadline, for a response from the attorneys for Greenetrack had expired.

Circuit Judge Houston L. Brown, ruled on June 22, that the machines seized from Greenetrack were, in fact, bingo machines and therefore legal in the State of Alabama. The State responded on July 7, with an Emergency Motion for Stay, Pending Appeal and Memorandum in Support of the ASC.
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We Get What We Deserve

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

I’m often criticized for picking on the Republican political leaders in Alabama. I’m accused of everything from being a Democrat to being a “libtard.” I admit to being a liberal. But I’m not a Democrat. I’m an Independent. I vote for Republicans and Democrats – whomever I deem best qualified in a particular election.

However, if I am to observe and comment on state government in Alabama, inevitably, the focus is going to be on Republicans. They are in charge. Republicans hold every constitutional office; they have supermajorities in the House of Representatives and state Senate. They occupy every seat on the Alabama Supreme Court. All but one member of our congressional delegation are Republicans – some of them about as whacky as many of our state-level officeholders.
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