No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
Recent Tweets @ebeh
Posts tagged "alabama"



Plaintiffs’ Proposed Plan for March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965

This plan submitted to the court pertains to the march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights in 1965. In association with this lawsuit, the marchers submitted a plan for the court’s approval defining their proposed route, number of participants, distance covered per day, and other details.

via DocsTeach

The records of the United States District Courts (RG 21) can often be filled with fabulous material!  This is an excellent example.


Montgomery, AL police chief apologizes for his department’s appalling civil rights history.

Raw Story:

Rep. John Lewis (R-GA) was moved to tears on Saturday by an apology from a police chief in Montgomery, Alabama, who said his department utterly failed to protect civil rights marchers as they disembarked from a Grayhound bus into a segregated terminal in 1961.

Lewis was one of 21 protesters who stepped off that bus and into an angry melee as more than 300 white southerners attacked the group with baseball bats and other blunt objects. Despite an order by U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to protect these so-called “Freedom Riders,” police backed off in Montgomery and let the mob have its way.

Appearing with Lewis on Saturday after a symbolic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma, Alabama — where 600 civil rights marchers were brutally attacked by police in 1965 — Montgomery Chief of Police Kevin Murphy formally apologized for the bus terminal incident and presented Lewis with his badge.

“It means a great deal,” Lewis said, according to MSNBC. “I teared up. I tried to keep from crying.”

it pays to point out that Chief Murphy was in no way responsible for what his predecessors did in ‘65. Yet he apologized anyway. And there’s a lesson here for anyone who’s ever argued “I didn’t do ____, that happened a long time ago. Why should I be held responsible for ____?”

They’re not being held responsible for the act, they’re being held responsible for the consequence. America’s history of slavery, segregation, and racism has left this a profoundly unequal society and that inequality benefits whites. You may not be responsible for the crimes of the past, but you benefit from them — whether those crimes are slavery or Native American genocide or the conquest of Mexican lands or any of a raft of other crimes. No one’s asking anyone to give anything back. No one’s asking anyone to be punished for anything. All that’s being asked is that people acknowledge a simple fact — that they would not be where they are today if it weren’t for the crimes of their forebears and that many of the privileges they take for granted come at the expense others who were less fortunate in the parentage sweepstakes.

It’s about looking at the world with a measure of realism and recognizing that history influences all of our lives, for good or for bad,

God bless Rep. Lewis.


Citizen’s attempt to use second amendment freedoms to protect himself from govt. fails miserably.

It’s all over,” a local law enforcement official told Reuters. “The boy is OK.” And thus ends the saga of Second Amendment Hero Jimmy Lee Dykes.

Dykes first used his freedoms to murder an innocent schoolbus driver and kidnap an autistic child. He apparently had some sort of a plan to use the child to avoid legal trouble caused by Dykes’ previous use of a firearm. This is what it looks like when someone uses a gun to protect themselves from government — an armed standoff with police. The NRA and the rest of the gun freaks would have you believe the founders intended this sort of thing — I’m guessing they didn’t, because from everything I’ve read about them, they’re weren’t psychos.

That’s the problem with the “we have the Second Amendment to guard against tyranny” argument — who decides who’s a tyrant? Dykes obviously felt his legal trouble was unjust and took up arms to correct that injustice. Now he’s dead and, frankly, his community is a lot safer without him. The NRA’s view of the Second Amendment is the view of terrorists and criminals, holed up in a bunker, ready to take potshots at cops. It’s not the view of patriots.

Go Texas! (sarcastic)

Go Texas! (sarcastic)

(via bostonreview)


Lawyers for the Justice Department and intervenors in the Texas voter ID case told the court yesterday that the court should put off consideration of Texas’ claim that section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional until the Supreme Court decides the pending Shelby County v. Holder case next year.  

That case involves a challenge to the statute by Shelby County, Alabama, contending that Congress acted without sufficient evidence in 2006 in extending section 5 coverage for another 25 years and that the formula for determining what states and sub-divisions are subject to section 5 is outdated.

The State of Texas disagreed and told the court that it should go ahead and decide the constitutional question being raised in the Texas case or otherwise its voter ID law “will be stuck in limbo until the end of the current Supreme Court term.”  

The state told the court that “while Texas’s constitutional claims overlap with Shelby County’s to some extent, they may present distinct arguments (such as a challenge to the “non-retrogression” doctrine) whose resolution will not be affected or informed by the opinion in Shelby County.

In the alternative, the state asked the court to enter a final order denying preclearance so that the state could go ahead and separately appeal the ruling on that portion of its claims to the Supreme Court.  The intervenors told the court the state had missed its window to request such relief.

Here are the parties’ position papers:


State of Texas



A key pillar of American civil rights law is now in danger of being nullified by the Supreme Court.

Shelby County, Alabama, is seeking to have Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the law that first guaranteed the right of blacks in the South to vote, declared unconstitutional.

A cursory review of recent Republican shenanigans with voting rules should put the notion that the VRA is obsolete entirely to bed. With voting growing more racially polarized, the temptations to alter voting rules to disenfranchise particular constituencies is obvious. Indeed, the Department of Justice successfully challenged Texas’ redistricting map because it diluted the voting power of Latinos. If the court strikes Section 5 down, one of the most effective and important powers the federal government has for ensuring that the right to vote is not abridged on the basis of race will be destroyed. 

Because, you know, racism and voter suppression efforts just don’t exist in America any more.


Everyone and anyone who has ever complained of people being “politically correct” need to take a look at this fucking map, which tracked the number of racist Twitter posts that went up after President Obama won a second term, then fuck right off.

And way to go, racist Twitterers of Mississippi and Alabama.  You must be very proud of your 144-character-limited selves.

(via the New York Daily News)



Cecelia Crawford of Pike Road, Alabama, was more upset than most by Mitt Romney’s vow to eliminate federal funding for PBS despite his affinity for Big Bird and Jim Lehrer.

Get your civic agency on, baby girl! 

All yours, Mitthead.


4 Little Girls / 16th Street Baptist Church / 1530 6th Ave / Birmingham, Alabama / 06.01.12 / 10:40PM

(via womanistgamergirl)


March 13, 1965. After meeting with Governor Wallace, LBJ steps outside the White House and issues this statement explicitly tying Selma to voting rights legislation, with Wallace standing behind him: 

“Last Sunday a group of Negro Americans in Selma, Alabama, attempted peacefully to protest the denial of the most basic political right of all—the right to vote. They were attacked and some were brutally beaten….

“At all times the full power of the Federal Government has been ready to protect the people of Selma against further lawlessness.

“But the final answer to this problem will be found not in armed confrontation, but in the process of law. We have acted to bring this conflict from the streets to the courtroom. Your Government, at my direction, asked the Federal court in Alabama to order the law officials of Alabama not to interfere with American citizens who are peacefully demonstrating for their constitutional rights.

“When the court has made its order, it must be obeyed.

“The events of last Sunday cannot and will not be repeated, but the demonstrations in Selma have a much larger meaning, They are a protest against a deep and very unjust flaw in American democracy itself.

“Ninety-five years ago our Constitution was amended to require that no American be denied the right to vote because of race or color. Almost a century later, many Americans are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes.

“Therefore, this Monday I will send to the Congress a request for legislation to carry out the amendment of the Constitution.”

Full text here


March 11, 1965. Demonstrations are now happening daily in Selma, as a hearing begins in federal court on the SCLC request for an injunction to block the state’s interference in the march.                           

When we reached the crest of the bridge, I stopped dead still. …

“There, facing us at the bottom of the other side, stood a sea of blue-helmeted, blue-uniformed Alabama state troopers, line after line of them, dozens of battle-ready lawmen stretched from one side of U.S. Highway 80 to the other.

“Behind them were several dozen more armed men—Sheriff Clark’s posse—some on horseback, all wearing khaki clothing, many carrying clubs the size of baseball bats.

“On one side of the road I could see a crowd of about a hundred whites, laughing and hollering, waving Confederate flags. Beyond them, at a safe distance, stood a small, silent group of black people.

John Lewis, with Michael D’Orso, Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1998, pg. 338-9. (via lbjlibrary)

On another matter, I should like to say that all Americans should be indignant when one American is denied the right to vote. The loss of that right to a single citizen undermines the freedom of every citizen. This is why all of us should be concerned with the efforts of our fellow Americans to register to vote in Alabama.

“The basic problem in Selma is the slow pace of voting registration for Negroes who are qualified to vote. We are using the tools of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in an effort to secure their right to vote. One of those tools of course is legal action to guarantee a citizen his right.

“One case of voting discrimination has already led to a trial which has just been concluded. We are now awaiting a decision in this case. In the meantime I hope that all Americans will join with me in expressing their concern over the loss of any American’s right to vote. Nothing is more fundamental to American citizenship and to our freedom as a nation and as a people. I intend to see that that right is secured for all of our citizens.


In papers filed today, plaintiffs in the Kinston, North Carolina case asked the Supreme Court to review the case and rule on the question of whether the preclearance requirements of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act continue to be constitutional.

A copy of the petition can be found here.

An appeal from a parallel case out of Shelby County, Alabama is expected to follow.

If the Supreme Court takes the cases, the cases probably would be argued in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2013.

In 2009, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality question but ended up deciding the case 9-1 on alternative grounds.

If the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida, the assassination attempt on former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, the massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, and a shooting spree outside an Alabama bar earlier this week haven’t punctured the legislative arena, it’s hard to imagine that the Colorado incident will be received any differently.