Three days after a state appeals court struck down Alabama’s ban on consensual oral and anal sex, the state’s Republican attorney general, Luther Strange, is asking the court to reconsider its decision .
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Strange argues that he only wants to use the broadly-written statute to prosecute rape and sexual assault cases and that it would never be used to prosecute consensual sex. This is similar to the argument that former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made in his effort to reinstate his state’s criminal sodomy ban.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange Thursday said in a statement that he would ask the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider a decision last week striking down the state's ban on consensual oral and anal sex.
In a statement, the attorney general said the office believed the law was unconstitutional as applied to consensual acts. However, he said he was concerned with the impact the decision may have on prosecutions involving nonconsensual sex.
Strange said in the statement the case "was not about consensual sex." In the appeal, the attorney general agreed and conceded that the state ban was unconstitutional as it applied to consensual acts. However, the office asked the court to preserve language it believed would continue to criminalize nonconsensual sex and send Williams' case back for a new trial.
Strange argued in his statement that the decision could jeopardize convictions for other crimes, citing the case of Thomas Gilbert, a Jackson County man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to sexual misconduct after being accused of getting a teenager drunk and having sex with the teenager without his consent. Court filings indicate that Gilbert is considering an appeal based on the consent issue.
"The Williams decision leaves all Alabamians less protected from nonconsensual sex and potentially calls into question numerous past convictions, involving both heterosexual and homosexual defendants and victims," Strange said in the statement.
The law as written was intended to criminalize all homosexual acts. The Criminal Appeals Court said last week that "no court" in the state had ruled on the statute's constitutionality in the wake of the Lawrence decision.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is best known over his fight to put a Ten Commandments monument in the courthouse rotunda, sided last week with birther activists who, according to The Huntsville Times, “wanted Alabama's Secretary of State to certify the birth certificate of each presidential candidate before allowing their names to appear on the general election ballot.”
Former congressman and Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode filed the lawsuit along with an Alabama resident Hugh McInnish, a conservative blogger and Republican party official. As we noted last year, the pair tapped birther leader Larry Klayman as their lawyer and predicted that Moore would aid their cause.
In his dissenting opinion, Moore wrote:
The Secretary of State has a duty under state law to examine the qualifications of national-convention nominees who ran in the presidential primary before placing their names on the general-election ballot. The jurisdiction-stripping statute forbids inquiry into the eligibility of presidential candidates once an election has occurred, but it does not preclude such an inquiry before the election.
The plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus from the circuit court ordering the Secretary of State to require from each presidential candidate a verified birth certificate. Presentation of a birth certificate is indeed a common means of determining age and citizenship. Although I would not prescribe the manner in which the Secretary of State is to verify eligibility of presidential candidates, I believe she has a duty as the chief presidential candidates, I believe she has a duty as the chief elections official of Alabama official of Alabama to implement the natural-born-citizen requirement of Article II, § 4, of the United States Constitution.
This matter is of great constitutional significance in regard to the highest office in our land. Should he who was elected to the presidency be determined to be ineligible, the remedy of impeachment is available through the United States Congress, and the plaintiffs in this case, McInnish and Goode, can pursue this remedy through their representatives in Congress.
Justice Tom Parker, whose biography touts his work with James Dobson and Pat Robertson, issued his own dissent in which he insisted that the secretary of state should have specifically investigated President Obama’s eligibility:
I write separately, however, to clarify that I do not believe that the Secretary of State has an affirmative duty to investigate, on his or her own volition, all the qualifications of every proposed candidate, but that the Secretary of State's duty to investigate a potential candidate's qualifications arises once the Secretary of State has received notice that a potential candidate may lack the necessary qualifications to be placed on an Alabama election ballot. For the following reasons, I believe that, in the present case, the Secretary of State received notice sufficient to raise a duty to investigate the qualifications of President Barack Hussein Obama before including him as a candidate on Alabama's election ballot.
As I noted in my unpublished special concurrence to this Court's order striking McInnish's petition for a writ of mandamus: "McInnish attached certain documentation to his mandamus petition, which, if presented to the appropriate forum as part of a proper evidentiary presentation, would raise serious questions about the authenticity of both the 'short form' and the 'long form' birth certificates of President Obama that have been made public."
On March 6, 2012, the Secretary of State was served with McInnish's petition for a writ of mandamus, including the attached documentation raising questions about President Obama's qualifications. That documentation served by McInnish on the Secretary of State was sufficient to put the Secretary of State on notice and raise a duty to investigate the qualifications of President Obama before including him as a candidate on an Alabama election ballot.
In his WorldNetDaily column yesterday, Klayman praised Moore and said that he won’t end his campaign to “remove this anti-American, pro-Muslim and anti-Judeo Christian president” until “the imposter in the White House” is “told to get up off his knees and come out with his hands up.”
To challenge a black president’s qualifications is to be branded a racist. Obama and his minions know this well and have milked his race at every turn to guilt white America, including its judges, into acquiescing to his continued destructive leadership bent on turning the country into not only a socialist pro-Muslim state, but one which is second rate in the world. And, to this end, Obama has succeeded. Today, our economy remains in shambles and Putin’s Russia is now the real superpower, having just seized a chunk of Ukraine – with more Hitleresque conquests on the horizon. As America’s power shrinks under Obama, Putin is bent on reconstituting the former communist empire of the Soviet Union. Thus, the stakes to remove this anti-American, pro-Muslim and anti-Judeo Christian president continue to rise.
Last Friday, one of the few great judges in this land, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court – the jurist who was first impeached for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and then overwhelmingly elected by the people of the state to be their chief justice – had the courage to write a compelling dissenting opinion validating our challenge to Obama’s eligibility to be president. While seven of his nine fellow justices took the easy way out perhaps to show that Alabama is no longer the state once governed by George Wallace and rejected my ballot challenge, Chief Justice Moore without political correctness and without the disingenuous and cowardly sensitivity to Obama’s race, told it like it is. He ruled that Alabama did have a legal duty to verify that candidates for the presidency are eligible to serve as natural born citizens if elected
We cannot quit. The imposter in the White House must be held accountable, and he should indeed be told to get up off his knees and come out with his hands up.
At a public hearing today on a bill that would allow school districts to opt out of Common Core standards, a local Tea Party leader told Alabama state senators that Common Core promotes “acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration and the redistribution of wealth” and that voting in favor of the curricula could potentially affect their fate in the Last Days.
In a video posted by YouTube user Mia Raven, Barbour County Tea Party leader Terry Batton takes to the floor at the state senate education committee hearing to rail against Common Core, which he called a “Trojan horse at the gate of our educational system.”
“We don’t want our children to be taught to be anti-Christian, anti-Catholic and anti-American,” he said. “We don’t want our children to lose their innocence, beginning in preschool or kindergarten, told that homosexuality is okay and should be experienced at an early age and that same-sex marriages are okay.”
He spent a good part of the speech attacking social justice doctrine. “Social justice teaches children that America is an unjust and oppressive society that should be changed,” he said. “Social justice materials typically include far-left proposals such as acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration and the redistribution of wealth.”
“The curriculum and the producers thereof of Common Core are against the principles of faith, family and freedom, when you take in the social justice values aspect,” he went on. “Common Core, if allowed to go forward, will dilute and erode the power and influence of biblical principles in the hearts and minds of our precious children.”
Finally, he reminded the lawmakers that their vote on the bill might affect their chances at eternal salvation: “Do you want this on your record when you come to the End of Days, knowing the Master Teacher said, ‘As much as you’ve done to the little ones, you’ve done it unto me’?”
According to the Associated Press, Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party also spoke against Common Core at the hearing, in particular its inclusion of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.
Get ready. There’s more Republican obstruction on the way.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on 11th Circuit nominee Robin S. Rosenbaum for this Thursday, which is an important step forward in the fight to address our judicial vacancy crisis. Fully a third of the 11th Circuit’s twelve active judgeships are currently vacant, and all four of its empty slots have been declared judicial emergencies by the Administrative Offices of U.S. Courts.
The vacancy crisis in the 11th Circuit is so bad that the court’s chief judge, Edward Carnes, issued an order in December temporarily suspending the standard rule that at least two judges on a three-judge 11th Circuit panel must be members of that court. That means that going forward, two of three judges on these panels could be visiting from someplace else, potentially outvoting the one 11th Circuit judge. It is vital that Judge Rosenbaum be confirmed in a timely manner. And that starts with a timely committee vote.
But it’s unlikely that’s enough reason for GOP Senators to drop their campaign of endless delays for judicial nominations.
That is, unless Sen. Marco Rubio or Sen. Jeff Sessions steps in.
Rosenbaum is from Florida, which gives Rubio a special responsibility to urge Republican senators on the committee not to delay the vote. It is a chance for him to prioritize his constituents over politics. Similarly, Sessions, who represents a state (Alabama) covered by the 11th Circuit, also has a unique responsibility, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, to avoid such needless delay.
Will either Rubio or Sessions step up and help move the process in a more functional direction? We’ll learn on Thursday, but if past events are a predictor of future behavior, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who last week announced his support for a convention of states to amend the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, has launched a new campaign to promote the anti-gay amendment, called “I Stand With Judge Moore.”
Moore, who believes that marriage equality is a Satanic influence that will lead to “oppressive” government and divine punishment, told WorldNetDaily yesterday that the legalization of same-sex marriage threatens the Constitution:
“It’s a travesty,” Judge Roy Moore told WND on Monday about the move toward judiciary-imposed same-sex “marriages.” “The courts are exercising wrongful authority over this country.”
He said it was no less than the U.S. Supreme Court itself which, in an earlier ruling, said, “We come nearest to illegitimacy when we deal with judge-made constitutional law with no cognizable roots in the design of the Constitution.”
“If marriage falls,” he said, “the institution of family upon which it is based falls.”
Then, he said, “We no longer have a Constitution. We have a government of individual men who have the power to decide what the Constitution means … .”
The Religious Right group Moore founded, the Foundation for Moral Law, has posted the letter and resolution, “The Marriage Preservation Amendment to the United States Constitution,” [PDF] that Moore sent to the nation’s governors pleading with them to initiate a convention of states.
In addition, Moore dedicated a speech to the Alabama Cattleman’s Association last week to denouncing same-sex marriage:
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was once removed from office for refusing to comply with a court order to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from a government building, is trying to organize a convention of states to push a ban on same-sex marriage into the U.S. Constitution.
He mailed letters Wednesday to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislatures to call for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying the only union recognized by state and federal governments is "the union of one man and one woman." He also is setting up a website to rally public support.
Moore said the only way to stop judges who are finding new rights for gay unions is with a state-initiated constitutional amendment. "Government has become oppressive, and judges are warping the law," Moore said.
In the past, U.S. legislators have introduced federal marriage amendments, but Moore said he doesn't think Congress will offer one this year. The only alternative, he said, is going through Article V of the Constitution to get 34 states to agree that a convention is necessary.
Moore has previously claimed that marriage equality will “destroy this country” and “destroy the very foundation on which this country was built.”
And he means this literally: Moore has predicted that God will punish America over same-sex marriage, which he described as Satanic:
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) appeared on "The Steve Malzberg Show" yesterday to reiterate his warning to all Americans not to use the federal government's healthcare website because of cyber-security problems and the risk of identity theft.
During the course of the discussion, Brooks was asked about the possibility of Congress reaching any sort of budget deal, to which Brooks responded by asserting that if one is not reached, it will be because the Democrats have intentionally orchestrated a government shutdown in an attempt to distract voters from "the calamity known as Obamacare" heading into the 2014 elections ... or maybe even started a war.
Brook declared that 2014 is "going to be a disaster and so the Democrats, they need a shutdown, they need something dramatic - perhaps a war - something that will deflect public attention from how bad this socialized medicine system is, this scheme that they have put forth":
The Alabama Public Service Commission kicked off a meeting on power rates last week with a prayer against gay marriage and reproductive rights. John Delwin Jordan, who was at the meeting to testify on behalf of the Prattville Tea Party, opened up the meeting in prayer after receiving a laudatory introduction by Twinkle Cavanaugh, the head of the PSC.
After asking attendees if they believed in the power of prayer, Jordan concluded his prayer by lamenting, “We’ve taken you out of our schools; we’ve taken you out of our prayers; we’ve murdered your children; we’ve said it’s OK to have same-sex marriage, God. We have sinned.”
Birmingham News columnist John Archibald writes that the sectarian, political prayer may have helped Cavanaugh frame the debate over the PSC’s pro-corporate bent:
She gets – and Alabama Power gets – exactly what they want. They want the issue lost in passionate belief, an ideological tussle designed to pit tree-huggers against coal miners, conservationists against those concerned with jobs, liberals against conservatives.
Which is the best reason to remember what these hearings are about.
They are about Alabama Power's rate structure. Period. It is a structure – though debated to near incomprehension at these hearings – that is high for residential customers and low for industry. It allows the company to write off an $8 million salary for CEO Charles McCrary as Operations and Maintenance, at a government-regulated monopoly.
It lets the company take a return on equity 30-40 percent higher than the national average, according to testimony today that was not disputed, and allows it to take hundreds of millions in higher profits that could be saved by ratepayers and pumped back into the economy.
WorldNetDaily must be pleased with this “scoop”: former GOP congressman and third party presidential candidate Virgil Goode has joined Alabama Republican activist Hugh McInnish in filing a lawsuit arguing that President Obama is not eligible to be president.
But the story gets better: the attorney representing them is Larry Klayman.
And the story gets even better: the judge hearing the case is none other than Roy Moore.
Moore, who was recently returned to office as chief justice of Alabama’s state Supreme Court after he was removed from the post in 2003 for refusing to obey a court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument, is no fan of Obama.
WND also notes that Moore has defended birther hero Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who said he won’t follow deployment orders because he deemed any order from Obama to be illegitimate, and the increasingly unstable Klayman has praised Moore’s “integrity and legal acumen.”
Now, 2012 Constitution Party presidential nominee Virgil Goode and Alabama Republican Party leader Hugh McInnish are asking the state’s highest court to force Secretary of State Beth Chapman to verify that all candidates on the state’s 2012 ballot were eligible to serve.
Attorney Larry Klayman, founder of the Washington, D.C.-watch dog Judicial Watch and now head of Freedom Watch, filed the appeal Tuesday with the Alabama Supreme Court, asking for oral arguments.
“We are hopeful that Chief Justice Moore and the rest of the jurists on the Alabama Supreme Court will follow the law,” Klayman told WND.
Klayman says he and his team “have great respect for Chief Justice Moore and his integrity and legal acumen.”
“He is one courageous and brave man. There are few in this country.”
The case is an appeal of a dismissal by the Montgomery Circuit Court.
In his brief, Klayman says “credible evidence and information from an official source” was presented to Chapman before the election indicating Obama might not have been qualified for Oval Office.
The complaint argues Chapman failed her constitutional duty as secretary of state to verify the eligibility of candidates.
Moore is on the record questioning Obama’s eligibility.
In an interview with WND in 2010, he defended Lt. Col Terrence Lakin’s demand that President Obama prove his eligibility as commander in chief as a condition of obeying deployment orders.
Moore said he had seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a natural-born citizen and much evidence that suggests he is not.
Moore said Lakin “not only has a right to follow his personal convictions under the Constitution, he has a duty.”
“And if the authority running the efforts of the war is not a citizen in violation of the Constitution, the order is unlawful,” he said.
Klayman asserts the secretary of state “has an affirmative duty that stems from her oath of office under both the U.S. and Alabama Constitutions, to protect the citizens from fraud and other misconduct by candidates.”
As a result of her refusal to investigate the qualifications of candidates for president, Klayman says, “a person believed to be unqualified for that office has been elected.”
The remedy, he said, “is to require each candidate to do what every teenager is required to do to get a learner’s permit.”
“It is to produce a bona fide birth certificate … and the Secretary of State is the official to cause that to happen.”
McInnish is a member of the Madison County Republican Executive Committee and also sits on the state Republican Executive Committee.
Citing the investigation of Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, Klayman says Chapman “gained knowledge from an official source that there was probable cause to believe the Barack Obama had not met a certifying qualification.”
The appeal brief notes McInnish visited the secretary of state’s office Feb. 2, 2012, and spoke with the deputy secretary of state, Emily Thompson, in Chapman’s absence.
Moore told WND in an interview after his election last November that the country must return to a standard in which the rule of law prevails over politics.
He said Obama violated the Constitution when he bombed Libya, because the Constitution stipulates only Congress shall declare war.
“No president has the power to violate constitutional restraints of power,” Moore said.
“The Constitution is the rule of law, and [my job is] to uphold the rule of law.” Government’s job, Moore said, is to secure and protect those rights.
“There is little regard for the Constitution in the courts today, even the U.S. Supreme Court.”
In 2009 the National Governors Association announced the Common Core State Standards Initiative to develop educational benchmarks that states can voluntarily adopt, and it has since turned into a right-wing boogeyman.
Social conservative commentators have leveled harsh attacks against Common Core and now are working to convince lawmakers in the forty-five states which have adopted the standards to blocks its implementation. Republican legislators in the Alabama State Senate and House have proposed bills to repeal the board of education’s decision to approve Common Core, which State Sen. Dick Brebaker warned would “give the federal government a way to drive the education agenda here in Alabama.”
During a speech at the Wetumpka Tea Party, Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women compared the adoption of Common Core to the indoctrination of children in Nazi Germany, with President Obama teaching children and imposing an “anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-America…pro-homosexuality, illegal immigration, unions, environmentalism, gun control, feminism and social justice” curriculum.
“They are going to force us to pay to indoctrinate our own kids,” Zeanah warned, “this is not a novel like ‘1994’ [sic], it’s Common Core.”
Sen. Rand Paul isn’t the only prominent Republican hanging out with birthers these days. Next month, RNC chairman Reince Preibus and Wisconson Sen. Ron Johnson will travel to Alabama to headline a dinner hosted by state GOP chairman Bill Armistead. Armistead raised eyebrows last year when he publicly recommended “Dreams From My Real Father,” a “documentary” that promotes the alternate birther theory that President Obama somehow inherited a Marxist worldview from his “real father” Frank Marshall Davis. Somewhat unbelievably, Armistead stated that he had “verified that it is factual, all of it.”
Interestingly, Priebus and Johnson will be stepping into the middle of a fight over whether Armistead will keep his job. (He faces a challenger backed by his longtime rival, state House Speaker Mike Hubbard.) Charles Dean at the Birmingham News reports that Priebus might be attending as a political favored to Armistead:
Some saw Tuesday's late announcement by Armistead that Priebus had accepted the invitation to attend the dinner as a sign that maybe Armistead had convinced the GOP national party chairman to support him.
Late last week Armistead announced that he was supporting Priebus for a second term as Republican Party Chairman. So far Priebus is unopposed for a second term but rumors have persisted for months that a challenger might step up.
UPDATE: The RNC tells the Birmingham News that Priebus is not taking sides in the party chairmanship race.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice-elect Roy Moore appeared on City On A Hill Radio to lash out at marriage equality and the theory of evolution, warning that they undermine the Constitution. Moore, who has argued that same-sex marriage leads to divine punishment and will “destroy this country,” maintained that the Founding Fathers “would be up in arms” over President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality as it will “destroy the very foundation” of America.
What we’re doing in this country is—if Washington and Jefferson and Madison, name one, if they were alive today would be up in arms. None of them, federalists or antifederalists, never believed that it would come to this. Those that were for big government like Hamilton, Washington, Adams would never have believed that our courts would be doing what they’re doing today, that people would be trying to change the definition of marriage. We don’t take a moment just to stop and clear our eyes and our ears and think: what is happening when a President of the United States can get up and say we need to redefine marriage? You know, when they do that they are attempting to destroy the very foundation on which this country was built.
Moore also denied the theory of evolution and said it was warping people’s understanding of the Constitution by covering up its Biblical precepts. “Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking,” Moore said, “we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes.” He explained that evolution makes people think that they are “smarter” than their predecessors while the Constitution shows that “human nature doesn’t change.”
Barbara Moore: Judge Moore I want to ask you, as you read the United States Constitution you can see that biblical concepts and precepts are within that Constitution, everything from separation of powers because of the sinful nature of man, and I would think that any Bible believing Christian would feel that when they look at our United States Constitution, wouldn’t you say?
Roy Moore: I think they don’t and I think there’s a reason they don’t and I think the reason like you see it maybe because you’ve studied a little bit but I think it’s not evident to those who have lost the knowledge of God. What I mean to say by that is you know we started by teaching history at the beginning of the program and it’s like going to football games and seeing who wins and who loses and going to football games and forgetting the rules. If you know the rules it makes the game more interesting because you know there is some way they get to the end of the game and win or lose and you got to go by the rules. We’re not going by the rules because we don’t think the rules matter anymore.
Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking. It’s not just about where we came from. Of course, we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes. When you think you have evolved then you think you’re better than those who have gone before you. If you’re better than those who have gone before you then you won’t make the same mistakes, you won’t think the same way, you know better, you’re smarter. The point is, human nature doesn’t change and human nature is what the Constitution sought to restrain.