Updated: September 13, 2010

How can we compete?
Our Constitution keeps
Alabama at a disadvantage!

(photo courtesy of MTM Advertising)

Candidates' Responses to Questionnaire and voting results

Click here to see which of the candidates running in the November elections responded to the questionnaire concerning constitutional reform by convention.

2010 Legislative Session

The 2010 Legislative Session ended without bringing the two pieces of legislation allowing for a constitutional convention to the floor of the Senate.

We had a majority of the Senators as sponsor and co-sponsors and additional promises from three others, but SJR42 and SB177 did not make it to the full Senate for a vote where it had the numbers to pass.

As reported earlier, the legislation in the House, HJR 54 was tabled earlier in the Session.

Click here to read the entire article »

Click here for House Joint Resolution 54 »

Click here for Senate Joint Resolution 42 »

Click here for Senate Bill 177 »

Click here to see past Resolutions »

WHAT'S WRONG WITH ALABAMA'S CONSTITUTION?
Click here to find out »

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

The first step is to convince our legislators to allow bills or resolutions to pass that will allow citizens to write a new constitution.... something Alabama has done six times before.

WHAT'S NEW?
2010 Resolution of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast
Open Secret
Mock Constitution Convention
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Watch the "It's a Thick Book" Documentary

 

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HERE'S WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING...

Editorial: Shifting the power to the people

John Peck
The Huntsville Times
August 17, 2010

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. _ Republican state lawmakers - frustrated by a Congress they say rammed health care down America's throat and which refuses to do anything about illegal immigration - want Alabama voters to fight back by giving Republicans control of the Alabama Legislature for state initiatives aimed at federal actions.

Among the promises in Monday's "2010 Republican Handshake with Alabama" news conference in Montgomery was one to rewrite the state constitution to say that individual Alabamians could "opt out" of the federal health care law recently passed by Congress. Another is to adopt an "Arizona-style" immigration law.

That may sound good and it plays on today's hot topics, but if we're really looking to give citizens more voice, how about supporting a rewrite of the entire Alabama constitution?

Read more 

Advertiser editorial: Need for home rule shown again

The Montgomery Advertiser
June 25, 2010

In a land of common-sense governance, two neighboring municipalities with disputes over boundaries and tax collections could work out a mutually acceptable arrangement and get on with business. After all, it's no concern of any other entity. It's certainly not the concern of the state Legislature.

Read more 

Advertiser Editorial: State's constitution dated, lengthy

Montgomery Advertiser
Thursday, June 3, 2010

A caller who had just left the polls after casting her ballot in the primary election Tuesday was perplexed. Why, she asked, did she have to vote on a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution to allow the Legislature to approve the propane gas industry assessing its members fees to promote the industry? Why would such an arcane issue of relatively little importance to most citizens be a constitutional question?

Read more 

Bob Blalock: Tuesday brought the good, bad and ugly for constitution reformers

Bob Blalock--The Birmingham News
June 6, 2010

For those who dream of a new Alabama constituiton, Tuesday's party primaries played like a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western: There was the good, the bad and the ugly.

We'll save the good for later. First, the "ugly".

Read more 

Advertiser Editorial: State's constitution dated, lengthy

Montgomery Advertiser
Thursday, June 3, 2010

A caller who had just left the polls after casting her ballot in the primary election Tuesday was perplexed. Why, she asked, did she have to vote on a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution to allow the Legislature to approve the propane gas industry assessing its members fees to promote the industry? Why would such an arcane issue of relatively little importance to most citizens be a constitutional question?

Read more 

OUR VIEW: The Supreme Court's ruling that threw out a lawsuit claiming the state constitution wasn't legally ratified leaves in place a 'wrong without a remedy'

The Birmingham News Editorial Board
April 29, 2010

We don't suppose there are any African-American Alabamians, say, about 130 years old or so, who lost their right to vote after the 1901 Constitution of Alabama was ratified.

Because that's what it would take, according to the Alabama Supreme Court, to have proper legal standing in a lawsuit claiming top state officials violated voters' rights by failing to ensure the constitution was ratified legally.

Read more 

Justice or fairness?

The Anniston Star Editorial Board
April 29, 2010

When it comes to Alabama’s 1901 Constitution, it has long been known — even acknowledged by those involved — that its ratification was shrouded in fraud.

Most historians agree that in Alabama’s Black Belt, votes were cast in favor of the Constitution even though the voters never appeared at the polls. Additionally, the votes of those who did appear were either not counted or were counted for ratification when, in fact, they were cast against it.

That’s why nine African-American residents in Alabama brought suit recently to have the ratification of the 1901 Constitution set aside because of voter fraud.

Read more 

Take a deep look at our Legislature

The Anniston Star
April 25, 2010

As the political cliché goes, states are laboratories of democracy. So wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1932, and countless others have since reaffirmed the lofty sentiment.

Embracing its accuracy, we must conclude that Alabama's state government is a laboratory full of mad scientists, equipped with outmoded, rusty tools.

Yes, it's another rant against the 1901 Constitution. It's the gift that keeps on giving, or in our case, taking.

Only in Alabama could the conservative position favor a process that calls for centralizing government power to make decisions for hundreds of localities. "Devolution" of government deeper into the grassroots was all the rage during the Republican revolution of the mid-1990s.

Read more 

Overdue reform

The Randolph Leader
March 3, 2010

Alabama's constitution was created in 1901 and now has 836 amendments, making it by far the largest such document in the country. Another 25 amendments will be on the ballot this fall, many of them strictly local issues that should not require a constitutional amendment or a statewide vote.

Under our 1901 constitution, we are not allowed to change it unless our legislators allow us to vote on it, which they have been unwilling to do. A majority of them like things the way they are since the constitution puts all the power in their hands.

Read more 

Editorial: State Constitution suits lawmakers just fine

The Dothan Eagle
February 25, 2010

There are many in Alabama whose faith in the legislative process is such that they firmly believe the state would be better governed by 140 lawmakers chosen at random from a stack of telephone books.

There are also times when such sarcasm begins to sound ... well ... reasonable.

This week is one of those times.

Read more » 

OUR VIEW: The state House of Representatives doesn't trust Alabama voters enough to decide whether they want a new state constitution

The Birmingham News
February 25, 2010

The Alabama House on Tuesday tabled a bill that would let voters decide whether to allow a citizens convention to write a new state constitution. Supporters of a new Alabama constitution are a well-mannered bunch. They are prone to polite petitions, reading the endless document in public, holding mock conventions to draft a better fundamental charter, and such.

Otherwise, they'd take to the House of Representatives gallery today, brandishing signs with not-so-clever messages like "Impeach Rep. Adolf Hitler," and shouting down lawmakers for not allowing the people of Alabama to vote on the issue.

Read more

Bill to rewrite constitution killed

The Montgomery Advertiser
February 24, 2010

Click here to view article

Toxic Brew

The Anniston Star Editorial Board
February 24, 2010

Every once in a while, Alabamians need a reminder about the priorities on Goat Hill.

Tuesday, that reminder arrived with a thud.

Despite so many reasons to support constitutional reform — unfair taxation and concentrated power in Montgomery, for starters — the state House again screamed no. Same story, same disappointment.

Read more

Let the people decide what's best for them
The Daily Home
February 14, 2010

The evidence was right there in the headline of a Birmingham newspaper: “City manager bill gets 31-0 Senate approval.”

A local community wanted to change its form of government to allow a city manager to run the day-to-day operation. All the Vestavia City Council wanted was a professional manager to run its multi-million dollar operation. It sounded reasonable because it was.

The part of this story that’s unreasonable is that the city council had to ask lawmakers in Montgomery for permission. That’s right.

Read more » 

Constitution no laughing matter. Residents should demand action by legislators

By The Gadsden Times
January 11, 2010

Picking on the number of amendments in Alabama’s constitution is almost too easy. That the constitution has some 827 amendments already is indicative of problems with the constitution, but the real issue is more about how power is centralized in Montgomery.

Twenty-five amendments are on the ballots this year with most of them being local amendments.

Three are statewide and one of them illustrates the absurdity of how Alabama’s government is structured.

In November, state voters will decide if the propane gas industry can charge its members a fee to be used to promote the industry.

As the kids say, really?

Read more »