The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 17, 2014

Alabama Constitution revisionists aren't giving up

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Advocates of rewriting Alabama's 113-year-old constitution aren't giving up even though the process stalled after an advisory opinion from Chief Justice Roy Moore disputed the legality of the process.

"If I come back in the next quadrennium, I'm going to continue to push for us to finish up the job we started," House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said.

Alabama's 1901 constitution is the longest of any state, with more than 800 amendments. One portion can be amended by the Legislature approving a proposed constitutional amendment and submitting it to voters statewide for ratification. The whole document can be rewritten if the Legislature and Alabama voters approve of holding a constitutional convention with delegates from across the states.

After Republicans won control of the Legislature in the 2010 election, the new Republican leadership began pushing to rewrite the constitution one article at a time. The Legislature created a commission to make recommendations. Then the Legislature turned those recommendations into proposed constitutional amendments, which were approved by lawmakers and submitted to voters statewide for approval.

So far, the process has led to the articles on banking and corporations being revised and approved by voters.

In the 2014 legislative session, lawmakers were working on five articles. After some critics challenged the legality of the process, the chairman of the Senate Constitution and Elections Committee, Republican Bryan Taylor of Prattville, asked the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion. The answers caused the committee to put its work on hold Wednesday.

Chief Justice Moore and Justice Tom Parker wrote advisory opinions this month saying the Legislature's article-by-article revision is not constitutional.

Moore said addressing a few articles each year does not change the reality that the Legislature has undertaken a near total rewrite of the document through an in-house constitutional convention. "By wresting the convention process from the people, the Legislature has unconstitutionally made itself the paramount mechanism of constitutional revisions," he said.

Text Only
State and Nation


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee