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Chairman Kennedy Rallies for Pro-Choice with Planned Parenthood

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday at noon the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party Mark Kennedy addressed a pro-choice  rally with Planned Parenthood and their allies in front of the Alabama Capital demanding that the Alabama Senate vote no on the Women’s Health and Safety Act, House Bill 57.

Chairman Kennedy said, “I was a judge for 22 years.  Every woman in Alabama has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.” Chairman Kennedy said that if the super majority cared about children and education they would not be destroying Alabama’s public schools.  Kennedy said “We need to have a political solution.  We need to demand equal pay for equal work.”  Kennedy said that we need to let you (women) make the decision on whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

Chairman Kennedy addressing an estimated 75 pro-choice protestors said that 51% of the citizens of Alabama are female.  56% of the registered voters in Alabama are female.  Kennedy said, “You find your voice.  You find your walking shoes.  Peggy Kennedy and I will be marching with you.  Hang tough.  I am going to hang tough with you and together we are going to take our state back.”
The group chanted “Not the Church, not the state, women will decide our fate.”
An estimated 15 counter protesters were also present and at points the two overwhelmingly female groups appeared to be on the verge of potential physical confrontation. Some counter protestors held up signs saying, “I regret my abortion.”
Planned Parenthood Policy Director Nikema Williams said women are the majority of voices in Alabama.  “We are the majority.  The Legislators need to listen to us and vote no.”  Williams said that HB 57 would close legitimate services like Planned Parenthood.”  “The top priority of the legislature should be on jobs and economic opportunity not closing reproductive centers.”

The CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Staci Fox said, “We have been providing quality healthcare treatment for 60 years.  CEO Fox said that Planned Parenthood provides HIV testing, STD testing, and birth control in addition to abortion services.  More than a million women will find it hard to get reproductive services without Planned Parenthood and the other abortion providers.  Fox said that if HB 57 passes unintended pregnancies would go up.  “Women should make own decisions about when and if to start a family.”

Milly Kennamer Breeden said, “I am a Christian and a Pro-Choice Republican.”  “I am here to say no to HB 57.”  “This is about shaming women for having sex.  HB 57 will not stop abortions.  HB 57 will stop safe abortions.  I am a prochoice Republican like Betty Ford.  I am a prochoice Republican like Barbara Bush,  I am a prochoice Republican like Laura Bush, I am like the majority of Americans.  I will vote like a woman in 2014.”

Senator Linda Coleman (D) from Birmingham said, “I have a real issue with the majority of the legislature.”  HB 57 is not about safety.”  Coleman said that things will not change until the plumbing around the state house changes.”  “This bill needs to be killed.”

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Despite their efforts later on Tuesday the Alabama State Senate passed the Women’s Health and Safety Act, HB 57. The Senate strengthened the reporting requirements on abortion clinics to include revealing to clients the names of prescription drugs used during the procedures.  Late that night the Alabama House easily passed the motion to concur with the Senate.

HB 57 holds Alabama abortion clinics to the same health and regulatory standards as those applied to other out-patient surgical centers in the state.

Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead has accused Judge Kennedy of being too liberal for the people of Alabama.  Kennedy became Chairman in the aftermath of the Democrat’s crushing defeats in the 2010 election.

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Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs was the sponsor of the bill in the Alabama House.  The Republican majority applauded Rep. McClurkin for her steadfast leadership on this legislation.

The bill now goes to the Governor.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Zeta poses potential threat to Alabama Gulf Coast

Brandon Moseley

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The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Tropical Storm Zeta will come ashore somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle at or near hurricane strength later this week.

Hurricanes/tropical storms can and do change direction in the Gulf of Mexico; but at this point the forecast is for it to come ashore at or near the eastern Louisiana Gulf Coast. The storm could be felt along the Alabama Gulf Coast, which is still in the process of recovering from Hurricane Sally in September.

All Alabamians, but particularly residents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties are being urged to continue to monitor the progress and track of Zeta as it leaves the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the northern Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to bring storm surge, heavy winds, heavy rainfall, and isolated tornados wherever it comes ashore.

ABC 33/40 Birmingham television meteorologist James Spann said that Zeta should be a hurricane by early this morning as it approaches the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. As Zeta moves into the northern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, it should drop below hurricane strength again due to increasing shear and the cooler shelf waters. The NHC is forecasting Zeta to arrive on the Southeast Louisiana coast late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

Zeta is expected to bring widespread rain across Alabama after midnight Tuesday night, and Wednesday will be wet with rain much of the day. The rain will continue into Wednesday night, and will end from west to east during the day on Thursday. Rain amounts could be between one and three inches for most of inland Alabama. For now, no major flooding issues are expected in Alabama.

State officials are continuing to monitor Zeta. At this point, there are no plans to request evacuations of Alabama residents; but residents of coastal Alabama and low lying areas should pay close attention to emergency management authorities as the storm potentially approaches.

2020 has had more named storms and hurricanes than any year on record.

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We are near “a dangerous tipping point” with coronavirus: former FDA head

Brandon Moseley

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11,729 Alabamians were diagnosed with the novel strain of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in the past seven days, by far the worst week in the month of October. So far 29,654 Alabamians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus during the month of October. That is already higher than the entire month of September, in which the state had just 28,643 cases in the entire month.

The state of Alabama is following a national trend of surging cases here in the middle of October. 79,453 Americans were diagnosed with the coronavirus nationally on Saturday alone, shattering the record worst single day of the pandemic in the USA, 77,295 set on July 16.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows admitted that efforts to control the virus have failed.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said on CNN’s “State of the Union. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations.”

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth (R) was one of those diagnosed with the virus this week. The Lt. Gov. reports no symptoms.

Former Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CBS News Sunday that the coronavirus situation in the nation is at “a dangerous tipping point” amid a widespread surge of the coronavirus cases.

Gottlieb told CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” that there may not be any “forceful policy” to prevent a crisis.

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“We’re in a dangerous tipping point right now,” Gottlieb said. “We’re entering what’s going to be the steep slope of the epidemic curve. These cases are going to continue to build.”

326 Alabamians have died from COVID-19 in October to take the state’s total death toll from COVID-19 up to 2,866, 78 of them in just the last week. 384 Alabamians died from COVID-19 in September. 582 died in August and 630 in July, but if the number of cases continue to rise, the death toll will likely rise with it.

“If we miss this window this is going to continue to accelerate and it’s going to be more difficult to get under control,” Gottlieb warned. “Most states have just a lot of spread. That’s going to change over the next two or three weeks. Things are going to look much more difficult. So we need to take steps right now.”

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Gottlieb admitted that there is no public support for a second economic shutdown so we will have to find “other methods”; but lamented that he did not see “any forceful policy happening any time soon.”

920 Alabamians were in the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms on Sunday, the highest number since September 2.

184,355 Alabamians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus thus far in the pandemic. 107,050 of those cases are still active. 74,439 Alabamians have recovered from the coronavirus, but public health authorities warn that COVID immunity drops rapidly following infection, thus people who survived cases six months ago can potentially be reinfected.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Fauci said that a decision on whether or not to approve a COVID vaccine could be coming early in December.

“We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December,” Dr. Fauci said. “The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody — you’ll have to wait several months into 2021.”

Gottlieb warned that a coronavirus vaccine is “not going to affect the contours” of the virus during the next few months.

“Even if vulnerable Americans get vaccinated by the end of the year, they’re”not going to have protective immunity until 2021,” Gottlieb said.

Public health officials are warning citizens to continue wearing their masks, social distance, stay home as much as possible, wash hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, quarantine if you test positive for the coronavirus whether you have any symptoms or not, and get vaccinated for the flu as flu season will soon be upon us. Alabama remains under a statewide “Safer at Home” order with a mandatory mask order thru November 8; but that is likely to be extended past Thanksgiving given the surging virus cases.

The global COVID-19 pandemic 1,159,009 persons through Sunday.

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Vote on Amy Coney Barrett confirmation could come as early as today

Brandon Moseley

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Sunday, Republicans in the Senate voted to end debate on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as a United State Supreme Court Justice. The final Senate vote on her confirmation is expected to come Monday evening.

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) voted to cut off debate and advance Judge Barrett’s confirmation. The Republican Senate majority voted to end debate on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett on a 51 to 48 vote. The move means that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is likely to put forward the vote on Barrett’s confirmation sometime today. Democrats continue to filibuster and use the Senate’s arcane rules to delay the vote as long as possible. It appears that Republicans have enough votes to confirm Barrett to the High Court.

“After speaking with Judge Barrett, I am confident that she is the right choice to serve on the Supreme Court,” Sen. Shelby said. “Judge Barrett is exceptionally qualified for this role and maintains strong conservative values and a deep commitment to our Constitution.”

U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) voted with his party and voted “No” on moving forward on Barrett’s confirmation.

Jones refused to speak with Barrett and admitted to reporters that he has not watched any of Barrett’s confirmation hearings. Focusing instead on his efforts on the campaign trail.

Jones said after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died that he would not support any Trump nominee before the November 3 general election.

Judge Barrett is a Notre Dame graduate and instructor. She is a devout Catholic with seven children, including two adopted children from Haiti. She currently serves on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She was appointed by President Trump in 2017.

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After graduating from law school, Judge Barrett clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Barrett practiced both trial and appellate litigation in Washington, D.C. at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca, & Lewin, and at Baker Botts. She worked for more than 15 years in academia, shaping the next generation of legal minds and supporting the professional development of her students, before being appointed to the federal judiciary by Pres. Trump.

Republicans, including Coach Tommy Tuberville. have been very critical of Doug Jones for his refusal to support Barrett and his No vote on the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Tuberville is challenging Jones in the November 3 general election.

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Bill Pryor, Kevin Newsome are on Trump’s short list for the next Supreme Court seat

Brandon Moseley

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Supreme Court of the United States building in Washington

Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended that Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The full Senate is expected to vote to confirm Barrett to the High Court as early as Monday. The next president we elect on November 3 will likely shape the future of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary for decades to come.

While former Vice President Joseph R. Biden (D) has not disclosed his list of possible Supreme Court picks; Donald Trump produced a list before the 2016 election and as updated his list throughout his presidency. Two of his possible future Supreme Court picks have strong Alabama ties.

Kevin Newsom presently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is a former Alabama Solicitor General. Pres. Trump lists Newsom as a possible future Supreme Court Justice.

Trump also listed Judge Bill Pryor as a possible future Supreme Court picks. Judge Pryor presently also serves on the important U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is a former Alabama Attorney General. Pryor was on Trump’s original list of possible jurists.

The Republican Attorney Generals Association pointed out that thirteen current and former Republican AGs and senior staff are currently included on President Trump’s SCOTUS short list, including Pryor, Newsome, and sitting Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) former legal counsel, AG Cameron had the unique experience of working side by side with the Majority Leader to help usher over 200 federal judges through the confirmation process, including Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Other former Republican AGs and senior staff on Trump’s list include:

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  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz a sitting United States Senator and former Texas Solicitor General
  • Judge Kyle Duncan who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a former Assistant Texas Solicitor General and Louisiana Appellate Chief.
  • Judge Allison Eid presently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She is a former Colorado Solicitor General.
    Judge Britt Grant serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is a former Georgia Solicitor General.
  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) is a United States Senator and former Missouri Attorney General.
  • Judge James Ho serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a former Texas Solicitor General.
  • Justice Carlos Muniz serves as a Florida Supreme Court Justice. He is a former Florida Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff.
  • Judge Lawrence VanDyke serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. VanDyke is a former Nevada and Montana Solicitor General.
  • Judge Don Willett serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a former Deputy Texas Attorney General.
  • Judge Patrick Wyrick serves on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. He is a former Oklahoma Solicitor General.
  • Other possible future picks on President Trump’s list include:
  • Judge Bridget Bade who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Justice Keith Blackwell who serves on the Georgia Supreme Court.
  • Justice Charles Canady from the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Judge Steven Colloton from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
  • Paul Clement who is a partner with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) is a sitting United States Senator.
  • Steven Engel who is Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Noel Francisco is a former United States Solicitor General.
  • Judge Raymond Gruender who serves on United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
  • Judge Thomas Hardiman who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Judge Greg Katsas serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Judge Raymond Kethledge who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Judge Barbara Lagoa who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Ambassador Christopher Landau who is the United States Ambassador to Mexico.
  • Judge Joan Larsen who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) a sitting United States Senator.
  • Justice Thomas Lee who serves on the Utah Supreme Court.
  • Justice Edward Mansfield who serves on the Iowa Supreme Court.
  • Judge Federico Moreno who serves on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
    Judge Martha Pacold who serves on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Judge Peter Phipps serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • Judge Sarah Pitlyk serves on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
  • Judge Allison Jones Rushing who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Judge Margaret Ryan who serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
  • Judge David Stras serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
  • Judge Diane Sykes serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  • Judge Amul Thapar serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Kate Comerford Todd is the Deputy White House Counsel.
  • Judge Timothy Tymkovich serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
  • Former Justice Robert Young of the Michigan Supreme Court (retired).

Selecting federal judges is one of the longest lasting effects that a President can have on the country. President George H. Bush (R) was elected President in 1988 and served just one term, but his Supreme Court pick, Clarence Thomas, is still serving on the court three decades later. If Trump’s three Supreme Court picks last as long they could be serving past the middle of this century.

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