Judicial reform: Why the JIC and COJ must go in 2017

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By Maggie Ford

On January 6, 2016, Chief Justice Roy Moore issued a factual and legal Administrative Order. Since then, we have seen the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) file charges against him because of it.

They also shared confidential information with The Montgomery Advertiser and The New York Times, and displayed a conflict of interest by using $75,000 of taxpayer money to hire the formal legal director of the Southern

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Brewbaker bill will end judicial override in capital murder cases

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In Alabama, even when a jury recommends someone only receive life in prison, a trial judge in a capital murder case can ignore that recommendation and impose the death penalty. Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) wants to change this practice, known as “judicial override.”

“The US Supreme Court has made it pretty clear that they do not like it and think this is a bad practice,&#8221

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Insiders say Bentley has chosen Sessions’ replacement

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

During a Cabinet meeting last week, Gov. Robert Bentley said that well over one hundred individuals were seeking the US Senate seat, soon to be vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions. Several present at the meeting believed Bentley slyly tipped his hand as to which individual currently holds the inside track for the appointment. Insiders say the die was cast weeks ago, and the interviews that began last

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The shadowy autocracy of the JIC, the State Supreme Court and the legal elites

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Two State Senators are offering constitutional amendments that would rein in the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) and the Court of the Judiciary (COJ).

The JIC was created to investigate, receive, initiate complaints leveled against sitting judges, and the COJ was formed to hear cases that the JIC felt needed to be adjudicated. In simple terms, the JIC acts as a prosecutor and grand jury, while

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Two Senate bills introduced to rein in JIC, COJ

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The prosecution and permanent suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore has caused several lawmakers to question the legitimacy, even the need for the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) and the Court of the Judiciary (COJ).

The COJ ruling in Judge Moore’s case is under appeal before a specially appointed Supreme Court. However, acting chief justice Lyn Stuart has barred Moore from his office

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Bentley turns to Survey Monkey for Sessions replacement

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The appointment to replace Senator Jeff Sessions rests squarely on the shoulders of Governor Robert Bentley.

In a recent email obtained by the Alabama Political Reporter, Bentley’s Appointments Director, Will Edwards, asks the members of the State’s Republican Party Executive Committee for input on the appointment of Sessions’ successor:

“Dear Alabama Republican Party Executive

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Ethics Commission Continues To Issue Opinions Contrary To Law

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

It is almost laughable and tragically so to use the word “ethics” when referring to the commission charged with overseeing the State’s ethics laws. In a recent opinion concerning Rep. Randy Davis (R-Daphne), the ethics commission approved Davis’ request to take a job from a principal with business before the State. This is not the first time this so-called “ethics” commission

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Senators Question Ethics Opinions

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Recent opinions issued under the guidance of new Ethics Director Tom Albritton are increasingly facing criticism from the press and members of the State legislature.

Ethics opinions written for Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson, and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), have all raised questions regarding the legitimacy and independence

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Gaming Bill Passes Senate Committee

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By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) gaming bill had its day in committee. After some harsh words were exchanged on the Senate Floor, Marsh’s bill was given a favorable report by the Tourism Committee with a vote of 6-2.

When the Senate convened on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) questioned his fellow Republicans’ willingness to destroy

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Brewbaker Against Gambling Expansion

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—As the debate over gambling heats up, one State Senator says he is dead-set against it.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has proposed a Constitutional Amendment that would allow casino-style gambling at seven locations in the State.

“I just can’t bring myself to vote for it, and I won’t, and if I have anything to do with it, I won’t allow a vote in the Senate,”

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