Gov. Robert Bentley made his appointments in late July to the Constitutional Reform Commission. The governor appointed Albert Brewer, a former governor; Wetumpka Tea Party president Becky Gerritson; and Vicki Drummond, a supporter of the Alabama Policy Institute, who is from Birmingham. When he was governor, Albert Brewer tried to overhaul the state’s governing document some 40 years ago. Unfortunately for Alabama citizens, his efforts were blocked by certain special interests.
Albert, who served as governor from 1968 to 1971 and is now a law professor at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, established a commission in the late 1960s to consider revisions to the state’s 1901 Constitution, framed to disenfranchise blacks and poor whites. He has continued to champion constitutional reform, and later served on a commission created by Bob Riley to consider limited changes to the Constitution.
The 16-member Constitutional Revision Commission, established by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, is charged with suggesting changes to the state’s governing document. It is scheduled to suggest possible changes to the constitution’s severe limits on home rule next year. Sen. Marsh named Carolyn McKinstry, a survivor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963; Matt Lembke, an attorney at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings; and Jim Pratt, a Birmingham lawyer, who is now president of the Alabama State Bar and past president of the Alabama Association for Justice, a group representing injured parties in lawsuits. Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard appointed Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham; Democratic pollster John Anzalone; and Greg Butrus, a Balch Bingham attorney to the Commission. The members of the Commission seem to represent all segments of our state’s population. While I favor a constitutional convention to write a new constitution, this is a step in the right direction.
Source: Montgomery Advertiser
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