AL Supreme Court Ruling Raises Questions About Legislative Session

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By Alabama News Network

Questions are being raised about just lawmakers will go about their work in the upcoming session after the Alabama Supreme Court's recent ruling that the the courts can't enforce rules within the state legislature. 

The Alabama Supreme Court's decision basically means that legislature doesn't have to follow it's own rules, and some are concerned for what that might mean here at the state house. 
 
This case comes after some lawmakers claim that the way the school accountability act passed in the last session violated the open meetings act.
 
Legal analyst James Anderson says that even if that's true, this ruling says it doesn't matter. 
 
"Our supreme court says the courts can't get involved with the legislature because the legislature has to enforce their own rules. So it's kind of a catch-22 situation," said Anderson. 
 
But what exactly does that mean for the 2014 session?
 
"To me it gives them, well we can just meet in secret and decide everything and come out and have a circus for the public," said Anderson.
 
One lawmaker is worried it could go even further than that. 
 
"It is completely feasible that the speaker of the house could sign a piece of legislation, send it upstairs to the pro temp to sign that piece of legislation, then send it across the street for the governor to sign it. And it becomes a law without a single vote being cast," said State Representative Joe Hubbard.
 
He thinks this could make remove democrats completely from the legislative process. 
 
"The minority doesn't always win, in fact it rarely wins. But at least its voice is heard and at least it's part of the process. This opinion essentially cuts the minority out," said Rep. Hubbard. 
 
The Alabama Supreme Court is taking another look at the case and we'll see what that means for lawmakers in this next session.


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