The courts might disagree

Riley says he’ll name Langford successor- al.com

It’s not clear that Riley has the authority to name a county commissioner. In 2005, he named a Republican to the Mobile County Commission, and a panel of Federal judges later ruled this was a violation of the Voting Rights Act. (Not because it was a Republican, because changes that affect African-American voters have to be approved by the courts.) It seems likely that Riley will appoint on of the several dozen black Republicans in the state to the post.

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5 responses to “The courts might disagree

  1. Seeing as Riely’s black Republican Mobile appointee didn’t live in the district he was appointed to represent, and having lost the special election is now back to his day job, he might be available to serve Jefferson County too. Good luck with that, guys!

    I cannot believe that having just gone through this whole court nightmare, Riley says he’s going to appoint a county commissioner again. I’m assuming Jefferson County is majority black, is that right?

  2. No, but the district Langford represents is. Though it’s an odd district with a lot of majority-white suburbs.

  3. I’m sorry, of course I meant the district. Duh.

    Maybe the people in Mobile who orchestrated the successful challenge to Chastang’s appointment can just photocopy the file and ship it to Birmingham. That ought to save some time and money.

  4. I’m just thoroughly confused by this story. First, why did the legislature pass a law saying the governor can fill vacant county commission seats? Just more concentration of power in Montgomery. Oh, wait, I guess that explains it.

    OTOH, if the law that was passed says the governor can appoint a new commissioner unless the county has passed a law that says otherwise, doesn’t Jefferson County’s pre-existing statute count?

    And why does Riley want to keep fighting this battle? It doesn’t seem worth the trouble to me.

  5. The FIRST court battle fought by Mobile’s district one addressed this. Mobile County also had a law saying they could have an election. I can’t remember (and I was, and am, confused too) but I think that somehow they had ruled at the time the law was passed that it was unconstitutional, then maybe it wasn’t after all, but they never went back and put it on the books again. Or something. Anyway, they tried to bring that up, and the Alabama Supreme Court said nix, so then they went all civil rights on them. And won. All of the above not only IIRC but II Understood C.

    Either way, the parallels in Jefferson County are numerous. So yes, what in the world is Riley thinking? Unless it’s a way to bestow an honor on a black Republican that will at least last for the year or so it takes to wend its way through the courts.

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