Alabama House Judiciary Committee

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama governor who resigned amid a sex scandal has opened a new dermatology office.

The Tuscaloosa News reports former Gov. Robert Bentley's new location opened Friday in Tuscaloosa. He previously practiced in another site.

Bentley is a longtime dermatologist who entered politics.

Republican Representative Mike Jones of Andalusia is taking over as chairman of the House Rules Committee.House Speaker Mac McCutcheon announced the appointment Wednesday.Jones is perhaps best known for organizing the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation of former Governor Robert Bentley.  Bentley resigned the same day the committee began hearings.McCutcheon said Jones showed "attention to detail and fairness" during the difficult task that won him praise from colleagues.   

The Alabama Senate may debate a bill later today that would prohibit judges from imposing a death sentence after a jury has already recommended life imprisonment.

Alabama is currently the only state in the country that allows judicial override of sentences in capital murder cases.

 A legislative committee has approved a bill that would prevent judges from imposing a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment. 

The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Wednesday afternoon that would give the final decision to a jury instead of a judge. Currently in Alabama, a jury recommends a sentence of death or life imprisonment in capital murder cases, but the judge hands down the final decision.

Strange to Replace Sessions in U.S. Senate

Feb 9, 2017

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has appointed the state’s Attorney General Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate.

Sessions was confirmed yesterday as the 84th Attorney General of the United States, leaving a vacancy for Alabama’s representation in the Senate. Strange will begin serving in the Senate immediately and will hold the position until a special election is held during next year’s general elections. The winner of that election will serve the remainder of Sessions’ term, which ends in 2020.

Top Priorities for 2017 AL Legislative Session

Feb 7, 2017

Alabama lawmakers are back in Montgomery today to begin the 2017 legislative session.

One major priority will be redrawing legislative districts, after federal courts ruled the boundaries of 12 Alabama voting districts relied too heavily on race. Federal judges say they want new lines in place for next year’s elections, so lawmakers will need to work quickly to get a new legislative map in place.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler is asking the House Judiciary Committee to restart an impeachment probe of Governor Robert Bentley.    Zeigler sent a  letter to House Judiciary Chairman Mike Jones on New Year's Day asking the committee to resume the investigation.   

The committee announced November third that it was suspending proceedings at the request of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.  Strange said his office was pursuing "related work.'

Bentley Refuses to Release Documents

Dec 16, 2016

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently turned over lots of documents to a committee investigating the possibility of his impeachment. But he says those documents will not be made available to the public.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Governor said the materials "will not be made public at this time." Several news organizations had requested copies of the documents given to the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.

Bentley, Impeachment Committee Fight Over Documents

Oct 12, 2016
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Wikimedia

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is fighting back as the legislative committee trying to impeach him is attempting to subpoena lots of documents from the governor’s administration.

On Monday, Bentley’s lawyer Ross Garber filed an objection with the House Judiciary Committee to subpoenas they had issued for various documents. Garber says the legislative committee does not have subpoena power and is seeking a large amount of documents that “go far beyond any legitimate inquiry”.

A state legislative committee looking into the possibility of impeaching Gov. Robert Bentley has denied the governor’s requests to suspend their investigation.

House Judiciary Chairman Mike Jones says the impeachment probe is moving forward despite Bentley’s repeated pleas to the contrary.

The governor and his lawyers asked the committee to halt their investigation until lawmakers clarify their concerns. The request was accompanied by an Aug. 25 letter from the House Judiciary Committee's special counsel saying their concerns with the Governor had been well-publicized.

High-profile lawyers have been named to both sides in the impeachment investigation against Governor Robert Bentley, and Alabama's taxpayers will foot the bill.

Bentley's office announced  that it is hiring Ross Garber, who represented the governors of South Carolina and Connecticut during impeachment proceedings.                     

Alabama's House Judiciary Committee named Birmingham attorney Jackson Sharman as its special counsel. That's a role he had with the U.S. House Banking Committee for the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration.

A new national report shows Alabama is trailing the rest of the country in overall child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is out with its annual Kids Count Book this week. The study ranks child welfare based on indicators in four areas including economics, education, health and family. Although Alabama has seen some improvements, the state ranks 46th in the country for economic well-being and 48th in education.

Mobile police shooting
WKRG-TV

A south Alabama police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man during a traffic stop earlier this week, according to authorities.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber says a city officer saw a vehicle cut off another car Monday evening. The officer stopped the vehicle, carrying driver Michael Moore and two passengers.

Barber says Moore had no driver's license and was asked to step out of the car. At that point, police say the officer noticed that Moore had a gun in his waistband and reached for it.

Advocates for people infected with the virus that causes AIDS are meeting in Huntsville starting today. APR’s Pat Duggins reports the group wants to stop laws making the spread of HIV a crime.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the southern U.S. ground zero for the highest number of patients with HIV or full-blown AIDS.

Organizers of the “HIV Is Not a Crime” conference say that’s why brought their event to Alabama. They want to fight state laws like the one that Alabama almost passed last year.

         

Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation to take the state out of the marriage business in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday voted for a bill to do away with state-issued marriage licenses. Instead, couples would bring in a signed marriage contract and file it with the probate office.