By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama State House was buzzing with rumors and speculation as the legislative organizational session began. More startling than the new rules to limit freedom of the press or even the reelection of Mike Hubbard as Speaker, were some of the ideas for new legislation to come in March. The most interesting laws being bantered about are believed to be directly tied to the indictment of Hubbard and his desire to escape justice and punish those who have not offered him aid and comfort.
Several lawmakers have said that Hubbard is planning to have legislation introduced that would eliminate two seats from the State Supreme Court, the Criminal Court of Appeals, and the Civil Court of Appeals. The legislation would be sold under the guise of cost saving as a conservative way to limit government and save taxpayer dollars.
Lawmakers who are aware of Hubbard’s supposed plan say that this would weaken the court, while posing a threat to the members who thus far have not done Hubbard’s bidding. They characterize the move as payback, a means to intimidate justices and have some removed from the bench.
Other lawmakers have stated that the press should be on lookout for legislation that would limit the investigative powers of the Attorney General’s Office. Hubbard is said to be having one of his “young turks” introduce legislation that would limit the investigative powers of the Attorney General’s Office. This is seen as an attempt to punish the AG, diminish the office, and curtail future investigations.
If these rumors hold any truth, then we are witnessing a diabolical scheme by the Speaker to use his office to intimidate and weaken courts and law-enforcement for his own benefit. Perhaps this should not be surprising given the fact that Hubbard is being charged by the State with 23 Felony counts of public corruption, including using his office for personal gain.