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Judge enjoins law meant to stop AEA from getting payroll deductions
The Huntsville Times reports: A federal judge issued a temporary injunction this afternoon halting a new state law that could potentially cripple a statewide teachers' organization.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith issued the injunction against a law passed by the Alabama Legislature in December that bans school employees from having their Alabama Education Association membership dues directly deducted from their paychecks. The law was to go into effect on Sunday.
Dr. Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of AEA, said the organization had been hoping for a ruling on the injunction before the law goes into effect.
"Once the law goes into effect, we will lose January dues, which are collected in February," Hubbert said shortly before the ruling was filed. "We may also lose February dues, collected in March. A couple of months' worth of loss makes it hard to operate." Hubbert could not be reached immediately after the filing. -- Read the whole story --> Federal judge halts ban on payroll deduction to Alabama Education Association | al.com
Disclosure: I am one of the attorneys representing the AEA. A copy of the opinion is shown below:
Riley v. Plump: supplemental brief filed
My co-counsel and I filed a supplemantal brief in Riley v. Plump, No. 07-1460 in the U.S. Supreme Court, yesterday to bring to the Court's attention the recent developments in the case, including the preclearance of the new law setting a November election to fill the vacancy on the Jefferson County Commission. We argue that these developments moot the Governor's appeal.
Riley v. Plump -- our Motion to Dismiss or Affirm filed
This morning, my co-counsel and I filed the Motion to Dismiss or Affirm the appeal of Gov. Riley in Riley v. Plump, No. 07-1460, U.S. Supreme Court.
We also submitted this letter to the Clerk to inform him of additional developments in the case.
Plump v. Riley: Governor seeks further extension of Bowman's term, loses, and asks Justice Thomas for stay
Riley, not satisfied with one month, has asked Justice Clarence Thomas for a stay for the full time that the appeal is pending.
Gov. appeals Plump v. Riley
Governor Riley has filed a long-winded notice of appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court from the Judgment in Plump v. Riley.
Riley v. Kennedy -- Governor's reply brief filed
Gov. Riley has filed his reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Riley v. Kennedy.
Plump v. Riley, preliminary injunction requested
We have filed an amended complaint and a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Birmingham News has a story on the new filings.
The amended complaint adds new theories to the complaint -- that is, new legal claims on which the court can rule. In addition to basing our claim on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (which is based on the idea that there is a change in election laws that must be precleared), we have added claims that the Governor's action -- even if they are precleared -- have a discriminatory effect.
Plump v. Riley filed
James Blacksher and I have filed on behalf of a Jefferson County voter, Mr. Fred Plump, a suit against Gov. Bob Riley. Despite the earlier ruling in Kennedy v. Riley, the Governor still persists in believing that he has the authority to appoint a county commissioner to fill a vacancy, even when there is a local law to the contrary. Here are the pleadings so far:
Riley v. Kennedy (was Kennedy v. Riley) to be heard by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court agreed to hear Governor Riley's appeal today in the case known in the Supreme Court as Riley v. Kennedy, No. 07-77. The order from the Court is here.
The Governor's reply brief was filed a couple of weeks ago. It is here.
The Questions Presented by the Governor are the following:
This Section 5 litigation involves two decisions of the Supreme Court of Alabama, Stokes v. Noonan, 534 So. 2d 237 (Ala. 1988), and Riley v. Kennedy, 928 So. 2d 1013 (Ala. 2005). Those decisions concern the manner of filling vacancies on the Mobile County Commission and are based on valid, race-neutral, generally-applicable principles of law. The three-judge district court held that both decisions required preclearance to be enforceable. The State submitted the decisions for preclearance, and the Attorney General of the United States interposed an objection. The district court then entered a remedy order vacating a gubernatorial appointment that had relied on these State court decisions to fill a vacancy that had arisen. This appeal presents the following questions:
1. Whether the decision of a covered jurisdiction’s highest court that a precleared State law is unconstitutional and, thereby, invalid as a matter of State law is a change that affects voting that must be precleared before it can be enforced.
2. Whether the preclearance of a trial court’s ruling that affects voting while that ruling is on appeal and subject to possible reversal establishes a baseline such that the reversal of that decision is a change that must be precleared before it may be enforced.
Kennedy v. Riley update, in the Supreme Court
My co-counsel and I have filed a motion to dismiss or affirm the State of Alabama's appeal in Riley v. Kennedy, No. 07-77 in the U.S. Supreme Court. The State's jurisdictional statement is available here.
The case was brought by my clients under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for an injunction against the Governor's appointment of a replacement county commissioner in Mobile County. Our suit asserted that the Governor had not obtained preclearance of an Alabama Supreme Court decision before enforcing it.
Gooden v. Worley -- partial stay issued
Judge Robert S. Vance, Jr., has granted a partial stay of his judgment while the State appeals to the Alabama Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, represented by Ryan Haygood of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and me, had urged the court to issue only a partial stay -- although we had a few more bells and whistles in our proposed order.
The effect of this order is that those convicted of felonies involving moral turpitude may not register to vote unless their right to vote has been restored. Those convicted of a crime not involving moral turpitude may register to vote. For more details on crimes of moral turpitude, see this post
For details on the judgment, see this earlier post.
Gooden v. Worley -- judgment issued by the Circuit Court
The Circuit Court of Jefferson County has issued a judgment on a case seeking to restore many felons' voting rights. Ryan Haygood of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and I represent the plaintiffs in this case. Here are the high points of the decree:
Gooden v. Worley: federal court dismisses case for lack of standing
On 26 May 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama dismissed a challenge to the practice of the Secretary of State of encouraging registrars to bar applicants convicted of any felony from registering. The State Constitution bars only those convicted of felonies involving moral turpitude. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and I had brought suit under Section of the Voting Rights Act to require the Secretary of State to cease this practice until she obtained preclearance for it. You can download the file here.
Selected documents from Kennedy v. Riley
Here are documents in Yvonne Kennedy et al v. Governor Bob Riley:
The suit alleges that the Governor and the State violated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act by failing to preclear a decision of the Alabama Supreme Court which changed the method of filling vacancies on the Mobile County Commission.
Selected documents from Gooden v. Worley (federal case)
Background: This complaint alleges that the Secretary of State of Alabama has adopted a new procedure or practice relating to voting without obtaining "preclearance" for that practice. The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 provides that Alabama and many other states may not enforce new voting practices without first showing that the new practice does not have the purpose, and will not have the effect, of discriminating against racial minorities -- this process is called "preclearance."
Complaint (filed 19 December 2005) [the case has been assigned number 2:05-cv-2562]
Selected documents from Gooden v. Worley (state court)
Background: This case attacks the refusal of state officials to allow voter registration of persons who have been convicted of any felony -- even though the Alabama Constitution has provided, since 1996, that only those with a felony involving moral turpitude may be barred.
Complaint (filed 29 September 2005)
First Amended Complaint (filed 19 December 2005)