NAACP

A civil rights group challenges Alabama's practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote.  Officials with the NAACP’s Alabama Chapter say the practice has resulted in all-white courts in a state where one of every four people is African-American.

The chapter and four black voters sued the state in Montgomery federal court today.  They argue electing judges through at-large elections in Alabama violates the Voting Rights Act.

A federal judge says a pending lawsuit over Alabama's voter identification law will go to trial in the fall of next year.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler has set the trial to begin Sept. 11, 2017, in Birmingham federal court. Greater Birmingham Ministries and the NAACP challenged the state’s existing voter ID law as an infringement on voting rights disproportionately affecting black and Latino voters.

A federal judge says he will uphold Alabama’s photo ID requirement for voters in the upcoming primary elections.

U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler denied a preliminary injunction sought by groups challenging the state law requiring voters to present photo identification. The groups had asked the judge to expand the state's alternative identification process so people without a photo ID could vote by presenting other documents or identification.

Time is running out if you want to speak out about the settlement from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Residents have until the end of the day today to express their concerns over the deal between BP, the Gulf States and the federal government. The goal of the settlement is a dollar for dollar restoration of the damage done by the spill.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden says all accounts will be taken into full consideration.

A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama, claiming that its law requiring voters to have photo identification will prevent thousands from casting ballots.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Greater Birmingham Ministries filed the federal lawsuit today.

The lawsuit cites state estimates that at least 280,000 people will be disenfranchised because of the law.

         

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.

The Northwest Alabama Regional Airport Board is asking one of its airlines to stop serving the airport.

The request comes after several complaints of unsatisfactory performance by SeaPort Airlines in the Muscle Shoals airport.

Local media reports the airport board unanimously voted earlier this week to request that the airline voluntarily remove its service.

The Oregon-based airline began offering four daily flights from Muscle Shoals to Nashville in January, but reduced its flight schedule to one daily flight earlier this summer.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Alabama’s lawmakers are back in Montgomery for a special session to work on the budget.

Governor Robert Bentley is seeking a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase. He also wants to raise the business privilege tax on larger businesses while giving smaller ones a tax cut. The governor has also suggested ending the ability of taxpayers to claim a state income tax deduction when they pay their federal Social Security taxes.

Tuscaloosa Representative Bill Poole says he is not optimistic the legislature will draft a budget in this special session.

Protest marchers in Alabama on Sunday embarked on the second day of their planned 860-mile trek to Washington, D.C., as part of "America's Journey for Justice."

Sponsored by the NAACP, "America's Journey for Justice" is scheduled to cross through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia before reaching Washington, D.C., in mid-September.

The marchers are expected to cross into Georgia around Friday.

Alabama Unemployment steady, Harpersville Tomato Festive

Jul 17, 2015

Alabama's unemployment is remaining steady. But, it’s still above the national average.

State officials on Friday announced that the June jobless rate was 6.1 percent. That’s the same as it was in May. By comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate in June was 5.3 percent.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has promised not to accept his salary until the state's unemployment rate drops to 5.2 percent.

A Tuscaloosa abortion clinic is suing the state of Alabama over a regulation that could cause the facility to permanently close.

The West Alabama Women's Center filed the federal lawsuit against state health officials last week. The suit deals with a regulation requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, or a contract with a physician who does to handle patients with complications.

Governor Robert Bentley testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington yesterday. Alabama Public Radio’s Stan Ingold reports the Governor was highlighting Alabama’s prison reform efforts.

The goal of the committee’s hearing is to share lessons on successful criminal justice reform from states like Alabama. Several federal reform bills are currently before the U.S. House and Senate covering topics like reducing repeat offenders, changing federal sentencing rules and guidelines, and improving prison practices.

Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer of Raleigh

Organizers of regular protests at the North Carolina Legislature are being joined by NAACP leaders in a half-dozen other states to launch a week of demonstrations.

The North Carolina NAACP says that Friday will be the first of seven days of demonstrations. In North Carolina, a coalition led by the NAACP has protested at the Capitol nearly every week during the past two legislative sessions.

naacp.org

The City of Selma observed the 49th anniversary of Bloody Sunday over the weekend. It was on March 7, 1965 when state and local lawmen attacked protesters on the Edmund Pettus bridge.  The demonstrators were marching for voting rights. Four days of events concluded yesterday in Selma that drew civil rights leaders from across the country.  One was the Reverend William Barber.   He's head of North Carolina’s NAACP. Barber says he looks at the event as not only a remembrance but a call to action.  He says there's been progress, but we have a long way to go.

Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 27 in efforts by an Alabama county to stop enforcement of part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The court initially agreed in November to hear the case brought by Shelby County, and it has now set the date for attorneys to present their arguments.