Special Session on Alabama prisons expected

July 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson has ordered the state to reform the system which has been chronically underfunded and overcrowded.
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Judge declares Alabama prisons’ mental health care constitutionally inadequate

June 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US Federal District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) is being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a number of prisoners who claim that their mental and health needs are being neglected by the prison system.

In a 302 page ruling, Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson ordered the State to reform the system and directed them to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center to resolve the issues with the chronically underfunded and overcrowded prison system.
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Third Party Candidate Says that Current Ballot Access Laws Limits Choice and Competition

October 6, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, Constitution Party candidate for the Lee County Commission, Ken Busby issued a statement highly critical of Alabama’s ballot access laws which he says limits choices for voters and the rights of candidates to participate in the political process.

Busby said that Lee County has had two third party candidates run for offices, with zero major party opposition to the incumbent, fail to meet the ballot access requirements, which Busby described as extremely challenging.
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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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Federal Judge Gives Planned Parenthood Southeast a Victory over Alabama Legislature

August 6, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Millions of Americans believe that every woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy for any reason and millions of Americans believe that abortion is the murder of an unborn child.  The majority of Alabamians believe that abortion is murder and if the State’s Republican Supermajority ever has its say on the matter, the State of Alabama would quickly abolish the practice.  The United States Supreme Court however sided with the abortion rights cause in the landmark ruling Roe versus Wade and on Monday, August 4, 2014 U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson sided with America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, in a ruling that struck down Alabama’s controversial Women’s Health and Safety Act sponsored by State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs during the 2014 legislative session.
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Alabama Abortion Law Ruled Unconstitutional

August 4, 2014

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, August 4, 2014 U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that a 2013 Alabama abortion law was unconstitutional. The law, commonly known as the Women’s Health and Safety Act, would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics use traveling doctors, who would not have been able to obtain admitting privileges.  Complying with that aspect of the law would have forced those three clinics to either hire in-state doctors or go out of the abortion business.

Alabama’s Pro-Life leaders expressed their disappointment with the ruling.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) issued a statement regarding U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson’s ruling on the Women’s Health and Safety Act of 2013.  Gov. Bentley said, “We are extremely disappointed by today’s ruling.  Abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life, and I believe that it should only be done as a last possible effort to save the life of the mother. As a doctor, I firmly believe that medical procedures, including abortions, performed in Alabama should be done in the safest manner possible. This law ensures that if a complication arises there is continuity of treatment between doctor and patient.  This ruling significantly diminishes those important  protections. I will always fight for the rights of the unborn, and support an appeal of today’s decision.”

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey (R) said, “As a pro-life advocate, elected official, and a woman, I am disappointed with today’s ruling out of the Middle District of Alabama. It is my hope that the health and safety of women undergoing an abortion procedure would be of paramount importance to those in positions of authority on the issue, but the ruling indicates otherwise. I fully expect the decision will be appealed and I will continue to advocate for the protection of life in Alabama.”

Lt. Governor Ivey is a member of the National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus organized by the Susan B. Anthony List.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “Planned Parenthood and other like organizations claim that legislators who passed this law were simply trying to make it impossible for Alabama women to obtain abortions. Contrary to their opinion, the Women’s Health and Safety Act was designed to protect women. As Republicans we are opposed to abortion, but beyond that we are proponents of life. If a woman does have an abortion, it is important that she receive proper care. By nullifying the 2013 law, we now risk the possibility of women not being correctly taken care of in the event of complications.  While we might not agree with a woman’s decision to obtain an abortion, we cannot neglect her right to medical safety. Planned Parenthood claims today’s ruling as a victory; a clear display that the organization cares more about the right of a woman to have an abortion than her actual safety.”

The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said on Facebook, “Regardless of what a single federal judges say, the Alabama House will not stop in our efforts to provide the unborn with a safe haven in our state. Life is a gift from God, and we will fight today’s ruling to protect it.”

According to media reports, Judge Thompson originally planned to release his decision in July, but decided to delay until after a similar case in Mississippi was decided upon. The Mississippi case featured a similar law and a federal appeal court ruled 2-1 that it was unconstitutional.

The Alabama Legislature passed the Women’s Health and Safety Act sponsored by State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin after incidents in Birmingham where women having complications had to be rushed to area emergency rooms. The bill would have required that the State’s abortion clinics meet the same safety standards as outpatient surgical centers.  Abortion clinic operators claim that complying with the law would have forced them to shut down.

 

Clarification wanted on murky law surrounding bribes and campaign contributions

August 6, 2012

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson who presided over Alabama’s two gambling corruption trials issued an opinion saying that even though the trials ended with total acquittals for the eight defendants, he wanted to “highlight a murky field of federal law.”

He wrote that there is “considerable confusion” about how federal corruption laws apply to campaign contributions, saying a precise definition of bribery would help. Thompson expressed a wish that the US Supreme Court would offer some clarity on political corruption and bribery.
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