2009 Archived Articles and Editorials

Interview on constitutional reform with Artur Davis on WBHM-90.3FM (Birmingham)
Friday, November 13, 2009

 

Can 1901 Constitution affect race for governor?

By Bob Blalock - The Birmingham News
October 25, 2009, 5:45 am

Is U.S. Rep. Artur Davis crazy like a fox? Or just crazy?

The question comes to mind after reading an Associated Press story in The News on Tuesday that Davis is the only one of eight major gubernatorial candidates in both political parties who supports letting a convention of citizens write a new constitution for Alabama.
learn more »

 

Old and in the way

From the TimesDaily (of Florence)
Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009

THE ISSUE

Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform will launch a series of statewide meetings Sunday in Florence to discuss holding a constitution convention.
learn more »

Event will kick off statewide effort to reform constitution
The Times Daily
By Bernie Delinski
Staff Writer
October 11, 2009

FLORENCE - Alabama has the longest state constitution in the nation.

A group calling for its reform says it also has one of the worst.

That organization, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform, kicks off a statewide campaign Oct. 18 in Florence.

The event called "Bring It Back Home!" is set for 1 p.m. at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. It is free and open to the public.

"We're trying to make people really understand the problem," said Joan Hudiburg, a Florence resident and member of the reform group. "We have the largest constitution in the United States and very limited home rule. We have a bad tax situation."
learn more »

Constitution redo overdue
The Huntsville Times
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Could 2010 be the year Alabamians break the shackles of the state's repressive, backward, constitution?
learn more »

Bob Davis: State Reform? Who you gonna call?
From the Anniston Star
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rick Bragg was talking about ghosts Thursday.

In his remarks to the crowd gathered for the Bailey Thomson Awards Luncheon in Huntsville, Calhoun County's very own discussed a pair of former occupants of his University of Alabama office at Reese Phifer Hall.

Bragg was talking about two giants who have since passed on — Clarence Cason, author of 90 Degrees in the Shade and a UA journalism professor who pressed for social progress in his native state, and Bailey Thomson, the journalist and professor who wrote with heartbreaking precision about the harm done to Alabamians by its state Constitution.

"They had their hearts right," Bragg said. "They looked after and cared for the people weaker than them."
learn more »

Wasteful session: What's the problem? It's the Constitution
by Craig Baab
Special to The Anniston Star also printed in The Birmingham News

The state Legislature's special session is expected to approve some "fix" for Jefferson County's fiscal crisis. While essential in the near term, this is bad news for the county long term, for all residents of Alabama, for the educational system and for democracy. What most of us don't understand, but must, is that the underlying reason that this special session had to be called in the first place is Alabama's anti-democratic and dysfunctional 1901 Constitution.
learn more »

State constitution needs change
The Decatur Daily
By Mark Ray
7/19/09
Decatur Daily Op-Ed

Anyone who has followed our local jail inmate feeding debacle in recent months, or has traveled to one's local ballot box only to be confronted with a list of proposed amendments having nothing to do with Morgan, Limestone or Lawrence County is surely aware that something is wrong with the way government functions in Alabama.

Much of that "something" can be traced to our antiquated 1901 state constitution, . . .
learn more »

Reform that's still needed
The Anniston Star
Friday June 26, 2009

More than a decade has passed since the late Bailey Thomson wrote editorials that restarted Alabama's constitutional reform movement. Though it lost some momentum when he passed away, the issue remains critical for the state's future.
learn more »

Alabama Voices: Mock convention shows state constitution possible
Montgomery Advertiser
June 25, 2009
by Jim Vickrey

Nine score and 10 years ago, our state's founders wrote the first Constitution of Alabama. They wrote it so well -- in what is now called Constitution Village in Huntsville -- that it was hailed elsewhere at the time as perhaps the most progressive in the nation. No one has similarly labeled any one of that document's five successors "progressive."
learn more »

Mock constitution isn't a scaremonger
The Press-Register
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

THE MOCK state constitution being circulated by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform is short and efficient. It proves that replacing the 1901 version is doable and that Alabama can govern itself without 799 amendments.
learn more »

Legislature misses opportunity to act
The Anniston Star
In our opinion
05-19-2009

The fate of the latest Alabama House resolution concerning the state Constitution has left many shaking their heads in wonder at what passes for the legislative process in Alabama.

The resolution, HJR91, would have called for a popular vote on whether to convene a convention and rewrite the insufferable 1901 Constitution. It should have been adopted.

Harken back to when the state Legislature convened this year. At that time, HJR91 was introduced in the Alabama House (a similar resolution was introduced in the state Senate) and assigned to the House Rules Committee. It sat there until May 6, when it was sent to the full House for debate.

So far, so good.
learn more »

Alabamians should show outrage over Legislature refusing to let voters decide on convention of citizens to write new constitution
Posted by Bob Blalock - Birmingham New
May 10, 2009 2:07 AM

The Legislature resolved to do a whole lot this session.
learn more »

Reform is about trust
The Huntsville Times
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The House should debate a constitutional measure

In the debate over whether Alabama should have a new constitution, the issue comes down to a sing word and a single concept. It's trust.
learn more »

Alabama not alone in quest for reform
Press-Register
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ALABAMA ISN'T the only state with a constitution that doesn't work. Turns out, other states are struggling with their constitutions, too.
learn more »

Supporters want Alabama House of Representatives to debate
constitutional convention plan

Supporters seek debate in House
The Birmingham News
Monday, April 27, 2009

MONTGOMERY - Supporters of a plan that would let voters decide whether to call a convention of delegates to draft a new state constitution say they will try to get the House of Representatives to vote on the proposal this week.
learn more »

Something for voters to decide: Have a say on Constitution
Editorials from the Anniston Star
In our opinion
04-25-2009

Alabama's founding fathers, the ones who wrote the state's antiquated Constitution, were all for letting the people's voice be heard — so long as the Legislature gave its approval.
learn more »

Bob Davis: Goat Hill and its two jobs
From the Anniston Star
04-05-2009

Can you guess the culprit? If you said the state's 1901 Constitution, give yourself a gold star.

The authors of that foul document had two primary goals: 1. Remove voting and other rights from blacks. 2. Keep anyone not rich and powerful from making substantial changes to the established order.

Sadly for us, for democracy and for social progress, they succeeded. Alabama's 1901 founding fathers produced a crippled offspring that it nothing more than a slave to powerful interests.
learn more »

Debating the Constitution: Let's go at it another way
The Anniston Star
In our opinion
02-21-2009

For a number of years, state Rep. Demetrius Newton, D-Birmingham, and state Sen. Ted Little, D-Auburn, have introduced a bill that would allow Alabama voters to decide if they wanted a convention to rewrite the 1901 Constitution or replace it with another.

Every year, the bill has died. It's been stuck in a procedural roadblock known as a budget isolation resolution that requires a three-fifths majority before a measure can be considered.

Newton and Little now think they have found a way solution.
learn more »

Power to the people
From the Huntsville Times
Monday, February 16, 2009

Some candidates still oppose a constitutional convention.
learn more »

Mock Convention Puts Pressure on Reform Opponents
Jennifer Foster Opelika-Auburn
Columnist

Published: February 16, 2009

Saturday in Prattville, former Alabama Chief Justice Gorman Houston swore in the 105 delegates to the first session of Alabama’s mock constitutional convention, sponsored by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.

Yes, the convention was only for show. But it is a powerful visual symbol that the constitutional reform movement, nine years in the making, is getting some serious legs.

It’s about time. Alabama’s current constitution, ratified in 1901 even though almost half of the state’s counties opposed it, is riddled with historical anachronisms, racist language and inefficiencies. It strangles local governments and restricts the ability of our city councilors, county commissioners and anyone else outside Montgomery to respond to local needs.
learn more »

Group of Alabama voters challenges state Constitution

New vote or document wanted
The Birmingham News
Friday, February 13, 2009
ERIN STOCK
News staff writer

A group of Alabama voters who say the state's constitution was never legally ratified by the people are asking for a new vote on it or on a new constitution.
learn more »

Joint resolution to reform constitution is introduced
The Huntsville Times
Friday, February 13, 2009
By BOB LOWRY
Times Staff Writer bob.lowry@htimes.com

Sponsor Little says this way removes two big hurdles

MONTGOMERY - Proponents of reforming the state's 1901 constitution are trying a different approach in the 2009 session of the Alabama Legislature.

Instead of submitting the proposal as a bill, it has been introduced as a joint resolution in the House and the Senate.
learn more »

Constitutional convention idea should be on ballot
From the Opelika Auburn News
Editorial
Published February 12, 2009

We salute Ted Little. The Auburn state senator refuses to give up on reforming Alabama’s outdated constitution — a 107-year-old book of law that has been amended 800 times and is in dire need of stepping into the 21st century with the rest of America.
learn more »

State loses constitution reform champ
Birmingham News Sunday, February 9, 2009

learn more »

A state leader is gone
The Huntsville Times
Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dr. Tom Corts was a major figure in constitutional reform

Alabama lost a leader this week. Dr. Tom Corts of Birmingham, age 67, died of a heart attack.
learn more »

Our Perspective — Disenfranchised: Why doesn't anybody really care?
From The Citizen of East Alabama

Received from the source on January 22, 2009
Thursday, November 13th, 2008

... The real issue that concerns us is the flawed condition of the Constitution of the state of Alabama. While amending it may be bigger than one person, the people of Alabama should demand constitutional reform. As long as no one cares and no one presses the issue, the process will remain forever flawed.
learn more »

DOTHAN EAGLE EDITORIAL
Published: January 7, 2009

... If the Alabama Legislature could muster the will to authorize a constitutional convention in which delegates could draft a new constitution for Alabama, we could cast off the yoke and construct a guiding document that rectifies problems we’ve been saddled with for years.
learn more » »

Constitution redo overdue
The Huntsville Times
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Could 2010 be the year Alabamians break the shackles of the state's repressive, backward, constitution?
learn more »

Bob Davis: State Reform? Who you gonna call?
From the Anniston Star
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rick Bragg was talking about ghosts Thursday.

In his remarks to the crowd gathered for the Bailey Thomson Awards Luncheon in Huntsville, Calhoun County's very own discussed a pair of former occupants of his University of Alabama office at Reese Phifer Hall.

Bragg was talking about two giants who have since passed on — Clarence Cason, author of 90 Degrees in the Shade and a UA journalism professor who pressed for social progress in his native state, and Bailey Thomson, the journalist and professor who wrote with heartbreaking precision about the harm done to Alabamians by its state Constitution.

"They had their hearts right," Bragg said. "They looked after and cared for the people weaker than them."
learn more »

Wasteful session: What's the problem? It's the Constitution
by Craig Baab
Special to The Anniston Star also printed in The Birmingham News

The state Legislature's special session is expected to approve some "fix" for Jefferson County's fiscal crisis. While essential in the near term, this is bad news for the county long term, for all residents of Alabama, for the educational system and for democracy. What most of us don't understand, but must, is that the underlying reason that this special session had to be called in the first place is Alabama's anti-democratic and dysfunctional 1901 Constitution.
learn more »

State constitution needs change
Decatur Daily
By Mark Ray
7/19/09
Decatur Daily Op-Ed

Anyone who has followed our local jail inmate feeding debacle in recent months, or has traveled to one's local ballot box only to be confronted with a list of proposed amendments having nothing to do with Morgan, Limestone or Lawrence County is surely aware that something is wrong with the way government functions in Alabama.

Much of that "something" can be traced to our antiquated 1901 state constitution, . . .
learn more »

Reform that's still needed
The Anniston Star
Friday, June 26, 2009
by the Anniston Star Editorial Board

More than a decade has passed since the late Bailey Thomson wrote editorials that restarted Alabama's constitutional reform movement. Though it lost some momentum when he passed away, the issue remains critical for the state's future.
learn more »

Alabama Voices: Mock convention shows state constitution possible
Montgomery Advertiser
June 25, 2009
by Jim Vickrey

Nine score and 10 years ago, our state's founders wrote the first Constitution of Alabama. They wrote it so well -- in what is now called Constitution Village in Huntsville -- that it was hailed elsewhere at the time as perhaps the most progressive in the nation. No one has similarly labeled any one of that document's five successors "progressive."
learn more »

Mock constitution isn't a scaremonger
Press-Register
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

THE MOCK state constitution being circulated by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform is short and efficient. It proves that replacing the 1901 version is doable and that Alabama can govern itself without 799 amendments.
learn more »

Legislature misses opportunity to act
The Anniston Star
In our opinion
05-19-2009

The fate of the latest Alabama House resolution concerning the state Constitution has left many shaking their heads in wonder at what passes for the legislative process in Alabama.

The resolution, HJR91, would have called for a popular vote on whether to convene a convention and rewrite the insufferable 1901 Constitution. It should have been adopted.

Harken back to when the state Legislature convened this year. At that time, HJR91 was introduced in the Alabama House (a similar resolution was introduced in the state Senate) and assigned to the House Rules Committee. It sat there until May 6, when it was sent to the full House for debate.

So far, so good.
learn more »

Alabamians should show outrage over Legislature refusing to let voters decide on convention of citizens to write new constitution
Posted by Bob Blalock - Birmingham News
May 20, 2009 2:07 AM

The Legislature resolved to do a whole lot this session.
learn more »

Reform is about trust
The Huntsville Times
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The House should debate a constitutional measure

In the debate over whether Alabama should have a new constitution, the issue comes down to a single word and a single concept. It's trust.
learn more »

Alabama not alone in quest for reform
Press-Register
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ALABAMA ISN'T the only state with a constitution that doesn't work. Turns out, other states are struggling with their constitutions, too.
learn more »

Supporters want Alabama House of Representatives to debate
constitutional convention plan
Supporters seek debate in House
The Birmingham News
Monday, April 27, 2009

MONTGOMERY - Supporters of a plan that would let voters decide whether to call a convention of delegates to draft a new state constitution say they will try to get the House of Representatives to vote on the proposal this week.
learn more »

Something for voters to decide: Have a say on Constitution
Editorials from the Anniston Star
In our opinion
04-25-2009

Alabama's founding fathers, the ones who wrote the state's antiquated Constitution, were all for letting the people's voice be heard — so long as the Legislature gave its approval.
learn more »

Bob Davis: Goat Hill and its two jobs
From the Anniston Star
04-05-2009

Can you guess the culprit? If you said the state's 1901 Constitution, give yourself a gold star.

The authors of that foul document had two primary goals: 1. Remove voting and other rights from blacks. 2. Keep anyone not rich and powerful from making substantial changes to the established order.

Sadly for us, for democracy and for social progress, they succeeded. Alabama's 1901 founding fathers produced a crippled offspring that is nothing more than a slave to powerful interests.
learn more »

Debating the Constitution: Let's go at it another way
The Anniston Star
In our opinion
02-21-2009

For a number of years, state Rep. Demetrius Newton, D-Birmingham, and state Sen. Ted Little, D-Auburn, have introduced a bill that would allow Alabama voters to decide if they wanted a convention to rewrite the 1901 Constitution or replace it with another.

Every year, the bill has died. It's been stuck in a procedural roadblock known as a budget isolation resolution that requires a three-fifths majority before a measure can be considered.

Newton and Little now think they have found a way solution.
learn more »

Power to the people
From the Huntsville Times
Monday, February 16, 2009

Some candidates still oppose a constitutional convention.
learn more »

Mock Convention Puts Pressure on Reform Opponents
Jennifer Foster Opelika-Auburn
Columnist

Published: February 16, 2009

Saturday in Prattville, former Alabama Chief Justice Gorman Houston swore in the 105 delegates to the first session of Alabama’s mock constitutional convention, sponsored by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.

Yes, the convention was only for show. But it is a powerful visual symbol that the constitutional reform movement, nine years in the making, is getting some serious legs.

It’s about time. Alabama’s current constitution, ratified in 1901 even though almost half of the state’s counties opposed it, is riddled with historical anachronisms, racist language and inefficiencies. It strangles local governments and restricts the ability of our city councilors, county commissioners and anyone else outside Montgomery to respond to local needs.
learn more »

Group of Alabama voters challenges state Constitution

New vote or document wanted
The Birmingham News
Friday, February 13, 2009
ERIN STOCK
News staff writer

A group of Alabama voters who say the state's constitution was never legally ratified by the people are asking for a new vote on it or on a new constitution.
learn more »

Joint resolution to reform constitution is introduced
The Huntsville Times
Friday, February 13, 2009
By BOB LOWRY bob.lowry@htimes.com

Sponsor Little says this way removes two big hurdles

MONTGOMERY - Proponents of reforming the state's 1901 constitution are trying a different approach in the 2009 session of the Alabama Legislature.

Instead of submitting the proposal as a bill, it has been introduced as a joint resolution in the House and the Senate.
learn more »

Constitutional convention idea should be on ballot
From the Opelika Auburn News
Editorial
Published February 12, 2009

We salute Ted Little. The Auburn state senator refuses to give up on reforming Alabama’s outdated constitution — a 107-year-old book of law that has been amended 800 times and is in dire need of stepping into the 21st century with the rest of America.
learn more »

State loses constitution reform champ
Birmingham News Sunday, February 9, 2009

learn more »

A state leader is gone
The Huntsville Times
Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dr. Tom Corts was a major figure in constitutional reform

Alabama lost a leader this week. Dr. Tom Corts of Birmingham, age 67, died of a heart attack.
learn more »

Our Persepctive — Disenfranchised: Why doesn't anybody really care?
From The Citizen of East Alabama

Received from the source on January 22, 2009
Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The real issue that concerns us is the flawed condition of the Constitution of the state of Alabama. While amending it may be bigger than one person, the people of Alabama should demand constitutional reform. As long as no one cares and no one presses the issue, the process will remain forever flawed.
learn more »

DOTHAN EAGLE EDITORIAL
Published: January 7, 2009

... If the Alabama Legislature could muster the will to authorize a constitutional convention in which delegates could draft a new constitution for Alabama, we could cast off the yoke and construct a guiding document that rectifies problems we’ve been saddled with for years.
learn more »