Enough is Enough!

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OPINION

This edition of The Strategy Report solely reflects the opinion of the writer and in no way is intended to represent the views or opinions of any client of Public Strategies, LLC.

Today is Election Day in the United States and not in recent memory has our wonderful nation been so divided. We have become a nation, and closer to home a state, that is seriously divided. The fine people of our state and nation are now divided as “us and them” or “you and me” or “Republican or Democrat” or “conservative or liberal”. It seems as if everyone has been ascribed a label of some sort. It also seems as if we have forgotten the very words that are the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

As we vote today for the person who will become the 45th President of the United States we are facing a nation so filled with hatred of the other side that regardless of which candidate wins nearly one half of our population will feel disenfranchised and distrustful of the winner. In our great state of Alabama we are seeing similar divisions surrounding the state Supreme Court and the Justices that comprise that Court.

There are those that are working to politicize the Court to the point that it very well could become difficult for the Court to function going forward. Once again the Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended (actually the first time he was removed) for allegedly disregarding an Order of a Higher Court. I say allegedly because the Chief Justice has appealed the Court of the Judiciary ruling that removed him from the Bench. Within the Supreme Court there are three different factions that are emerging. Associate Justices Stuart, Bolin, Shaw and Main on one side and Associate Justices Parker and Murdock on a differing side and the two newest Members of the Court Justices Wise and Bryan somewhere in the middle.

On Monday, November 7, 2016 Sanctity of Marriage Alabama (SOMA) filed a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) asserting that Associate Justice Bolin violated the Cannons of Judicial Ethics by not recusing himself in what SOMA deemed a timely manner. SOMA asserts that Bolin should have recused months earlier than the entire Court recused last month. SOMA asserts that Bolin was biased and prejudiced in his opinion regarding the pending case/appeal regarding Chief Justice Moore. Forces aligned with Moore have earlier filed a complaint with the JIC against Associate Justice and Acting Chief Justice Stuart for actions she instituted with regard to Moore’s staff and office.

At this point it must be pointed out that both Stuart and Parker are widely expected to challenge each other in the Republican Primary for Chief Justice in 2018 and the political jockeying has already started. Those supporting Chief Justice Moore on one side and everyone else on the other.

It is not the place of this writer to judge when, or if, Justice Bolin should have recused himself. That is a matter for Justice Bolin, his conscience and the JIC to decide. One thing though is abundantly clear – if Justice Bolin is adjudged to have been obligated to recuse then all other Justices, on both sides of this issue, should have also recused at the same time. Bias and prejudice, if they exist, exist on both sides of the issue and just because SOMA believes that Justice Bolin was in error does not excuse the blatant
support for the position of Chief Justice Moore. If Justice Bolin is wrong then those Members of the Court firmly supporting Chief Justice Moore are equally wrong. As has been said many times “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”.

It is time that this partisan and philosophical bickering and sniping stop and we return to that founding principal of WE THE PEOPLE instead of me, me, me.

Enough is Enough!

The Alabama House will reconvene in Regular Session at Noon on Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The Alabama Senate will reconvene in Regular Session at Noon on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The views and opinions contained in this report do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the clients of Public Strategies, LLC.