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AG wants to hire outside lawyers to fight culture war, redistricting issues

The attorney general’s office is attempting to obtain funds to pay for two outside legal contracts.

Attorney General Steve Marshall at the Back the Blue BBQ at the Cooks Museum of Natural Science Tuesday July 27, 2021 in Decatur, Ala.
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The attorney general’s office is attempting to obtain over $175,000 in state funds to pay for two legal contracts regarding culture war and redistricting litigation.

According to state legal contract information, the attorney general’s office submitted a request to have the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, a non-profit law firm, hired as a legal advisor. The description on the submitted contract says the organization will provide, “expert analysis and advice on legal issues, factual issues, and witnesses regarding “gender transitioning.”

The Child and Parental Rights campaign website says the entity is a “non-partisan, non-profit, public interest law firm”, and it was founded to “defend parents’ rights to shield their children from the impacts of gender identity ideology.” Under the legal representation tab on the website it even equates “gender identity ideology” to a “social contagion.” 

Gender identity ideology is essentially a buzzword that gained traction as a backlash to growing societal changes in the U.S. specifically regarding the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. In an article by Human Rights Watch, the term is said to be, “nothing and everything, but is consistently used to attack feminism, transgender equality, the existence of intersex bodies, the elimination of sex stereotyping, family law reform, same-sex marriage, access to abortion, contraception and comprehensive sexuality education.” 

If the contract with the Child and Parental Rights campaign is approved the law firm will be paid $75,000. The term would be for Aug. 30, 2023, to Aug. 29, 2025. 

This request appears to be part of a continuous push by Alabama Republicans to focus on culture war issues specifically regarding trans people and children. ALGOP Chairman John Wahl has recently said that “transgender ideology and woke policies have no place in our schools,” as he has advocated against the Alabama Education Association and National Education Association.

APR spoke with Wahl in July and asked him how he felt about trans children specifically. Wahl never commented directly about his thoughts on the reality that trans children exist yet advocated for not teaching “diversity, equity and inclusion.” 

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The attorney general’s office also submitted another request to have Dr. Wildred Reilly hired as a contractor to provide assistance with redistricting litigation. Under the contract’s description, “contractor will provide opinions concerning race and socioeconomic measurements for Alabama redistricting litigation.

It also says Reilly will provide a, “written report, deposition testimony, if needed, and trial testimony.” As for a justification the contract says simply that the “contractor is an expert.”

Reilly works as the Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Southern Illinois University and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. 

Reilly has also written two books with the first titled, Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left Is Selling a Fake Race War (2019) and another titled, Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About (2020).

In the Taboo book, Reilly delves into current political issues pertaining to race, gender and class he claims are “taboo truths” that you can’t say for fear of being called a bigot. Some of these “truths” are men and women being different yet equal, Black crime rates being higher than white crime rates, the gender wage gap being virtually untrue and there is no crisis of Black people being murdered by police.

If the contract is approved Reilly would make $100,000 for a term from August 31, 2023, to August 30, 2025. 

Alabama is currently undergoing litigation for its 2021 congressional map and the Supreme Court recently ruled in Allen v. Milligan that the state was likely in violation of the Voting Rights Act for diluting Black voting power. The state was then ordered by a federal court and now backed by Supreme Court to make a map with at least two majority Black districts. 

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However, during a special session to draw new maps the Republican supermajority deliberately disobeyed this order and drew a map with only one majority Black district. It was revealed in an article by APR that the ALGOP devised a plan to hopefully have Milligan brought back before the Supreme Court so that Section 2 of the VRA can be struck down.

APR contacted the attorney general’s office for a comment on why state funds should be used to pay for the two contracts. APR left  a voicemail and email with Amanda Priest, communications director for the attorney general. Priest has not responded as of this story’s publication. 

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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