What do you think of the Alabama trifecta?
1) Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is blocking the appointment of over 300 military officers in the armed forces. “We’re going to be in a holding pattern for a long time,” he said, if the Pentagon refuses to end its policy of paying for travel when a service member goes out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care.
2) Federal judges said Tuesday (9.5.23) that they will draft new congressional lines for Alabama after lawmakers there refused to create a second district representing black voters, despite the Federal Court order to do such.
3) Alabama’s attorney general, Steve Marshall, said the state has the authority to bring conspiracy charges against and prosecute groups who help women travel to another state for an abortion.
Here is more detail:
1) Politico and CNN: The leaders of three branches of the U.S. military criticized Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama.) over his monthslong blockade of senior military promotions Tuesday (9.5.23).
“I would have never imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communists and other autocratic regimes around the world,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro — a Cuban-born Navy veteran — said Tuesday during an interview on CNN alongside Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth.
“This is having a real negative impact and will continue to have a real negative impact on our combat readiness,” Del Toro added.
Tuberville’s eight-month hold has forced more than 300 officers to extend their current tours or be sent on temporary assignments to wait out the blockade, according to the Pentagon. It’s also stifled any movement up the ranks for junior officers, freezing the status of even more military members and leaving military families in limbo.
“Our potential adversaries are paying attention,” Kendall said Tuesday on CNN. “It is affecting how they view the United States and our military capabilities and support for the military. This needs to stop.”
“It is just unprecedented to be attacking apolitical general officers and flag officers in this way,” Wormuth said. “It is taking our apolitical military institution. That’s a core principle of our constitutional democracy and eroding its foundation.”
2) AP: Federal judges said Tuesday (9.5.23) that they will draft new congressional lines for Alabama after lawmakers there refused to create a second district where Black voters at least came close to comprising a majority, as suggested by the court.
In blocking the newly drawn congressional map, the three-judge panel wrote that they are “deeply troubled” that Alabama lawmakers flouted their instruction to create a second majority-Black district or something close to it. The panel directed a court-appointed special master to submit three proposed new maps by Sept. 25.
“The law requires the creation of an additional district that affords Black Alabamians, like everyone else, a fair and reasonable opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. The 2023 Plan plainly fails to do so,” the judges wrote in the ruling.
The Republican-controlled Alabama Legislature hastily drew new lines this summer after the U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld the panel’s finding that the map — that had one majority-Black district out of seven in a state where 27% of residents are Black — likely violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act.
3) AP: Alabama’s attorney general, Steve Marshall, argued in a court filing that the state has the authority to bring conspiracy charges against groups who help women travel to another state for an abortion.
Alabama bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Marshall argued while it’s legal for a woman to travel out of state for an abortion, he suggested groups that help her do so could face prosecution.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office made the assertion in a Monday motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an abortion assistance fund and others arguing such prosecutions would be unconstitutional.
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