Monthly Archives: April 2017

Roy Moore Lost His Appeal

The Alabama Supreme Court today upheld the decision that removed Roy Moore from his position as chief justice.

Moore in a press conference after the decision called the prosecution “politically” motivated and declared that he remains Chief Justice despite the suspension regarding an administrative order against the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“I have done my duty under the laws of this state to stand for the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage as the union of one and one woman,” Moore said during the press conference with reporters in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Alabama State Capitol.

Moore can’t appeal the ruling to the federal courts because there are no federal issues. “This is it,” he said.

Moore also said he would reveal early next week for any plans he may have to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions who is now U.S. Attorney General.

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center which had filed the ethics complaint against Moore issued this statement after the court’s ruling today:

“Roy Moore’s violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics was egregious. He got what he deserved. We’ll all be better off without the Ayatollah of Alabama as our chief justice,” Cohen stated.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary on Sept. 30, 2016 suspended Moore for the remainder of his term as chief justice after finding him guilty of six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics. The charges were brought and prosecuted by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission.

Moore’s term is to end in 2019, but because of his age, 69, he cannot run for the office again. Moore appealed the COJ’s ruling to a special supreme court of retired judges appointed to hear the case.

“We have previously determined that the charges were proven by clear and convincing evidence … we shall not disturb the sanction imposed,” today’s order stated.

Moore’s current suspension was focused on a Jan. 6, 2016 administrative order he sent to the state’s probate judges regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.

Prosecutors with the JIC said Moore’s in his order urged probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 that declared gay marriage legal nationwide and halt their issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore testified that it was only a “status report” to probate judges regarding Alabama litigation regarding same-sex marriage that remained active.

They also have argued that only the Alabama Supreme Court has jurisdiction over administrative orders issued by a Chief Justice and that such orders cannot serve as the basis for ethical charges.

“This opinion and the entire case against Chief Justice Moore is a tragedy,” Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents Moore stated in a press release after the ruling.

“For the first time in the history of Alabama, a justice has been disciplined for issuing an Administrative Order. Under this system, no judge is safe to issue orders or render dissents. The system has to change, and politics should be removed from judicial decision making and disciplinary actions,” Staver stated.

Moore also said today that a federal judge in Mobile had agreed with his legal basis for the administrative order.

Both Moore and one his attorneys, Phillip L. Jauregui, called the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s decision to prosecute him, the COJ’s verdict and suspension, and the special supreme court’s decision “illegal.”

“This case was a politically motivated effort by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and certain homosexual and transgendered groups to remove me from office because of my steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage,” Moore read from a prepared statement.

Moore contrasted his career-ending suspension to that of a probate judge – Leon Archer – who got a six-month suspension from the COJ for transmitting sexually explicit photos of himself to a litigant before his court.

In March cancelled, at Moore’s request, the planned April 26 oral arguments in the case. Instead, the court will consider Moore’s appeal based on written arguments already presented by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and Moore’s attorneys at Liberty Counsel.

Moore had argued that setting oral argument nearly three months in the future has imposed a “substantial financial hardship” on Moore because he has had no income or benefits since his suspension.

Moore’s attorneys with the group Liberty Counsel have said that the “suspension” imposed against Moore is the longest suspension in the history of the Court of the Judiciary. The COJ illegally removed him de facto from the bench “because political opponents disagreed with his legally accurate analysis,” his attorneys have said.

Moore has questioned the COJ’s suspension and argues that court violated its own rules. The COJ couldn’t get the nine votes necessary to outright remove him from the bench, but did get the votes needed to suspend him from the bench for the rest of his term.

Jauregui and Moore also questioned the timing of today’s ruling to affirm Moore’s ouster. The press conference was originally going to be about the delay by the special court and only an hour or so before it happened, the court ruled, they said.

From: al.com


Business Email Glossary 


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Tears, Idle Tears

Tears, Idle Tears
Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1809 – 1892

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!


Sadness 


I lost a dear friend this weekend. She was more than just a friend, she was a lawyer, boss, and mentor. It was the years under her tutelage that I realized that I did not want to practice law and wanted to be a historian. She was a great lawyer and an honest one. That honesty, never made her a millionaire but she taught me to be honest in all that I do. I will greatly miss her.


He’s Alive


The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hope of sorrow
And half in fear the day
Would find the soldiers breakin’ through
To drag us all away

And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
I hurried to the window
Looked down into the street
Expecting swords and torches
And the sound of soldiers’ feet

But there was no one there but Mary
So I went down to let her in
John stood there beside me
As she told me where she’d been
She said they’ve moved Him in the night
And none of us know where
The stone’s been rolled away
And now His body isn’t there

We both ran towards the garden
Then John ran on ahead
We found the stone and empty tomb
Just the way that Mary said
But the winding sheet they wrapped Him in
Was just an empty shell
And how or where they’d taken Him
Was more than I could tell

Oh something strange had happened there
Just what I did not know
John believed a miracle
But I just turned to go
Circumstance and speculation
Couldn’t lift me very high
‘Cause I’d seen them crucify Him
Then I saw Him die

Back inside the house again
The guilt and anguish came
Everything I’d promised Him
Just added to my shame
When at last it came to choices
I denied I knew His name
And even if He was alive
It wouldn’t be the same

But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried

Then He raised me to my feet
And as I looked into His eyes
The love was shining out from Him
Like sunlight from the skies
Guilt in my confusion
Disappeared in sweet release
And every fear I ever had
Just melted into peace

He’s alive yes He’s alive
Yes He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive yes He’s alive
Oh He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive
Hallelujah He’s alive
He’s alive and I’m forgiven
Heaven’s gates are open wide
He’s alive He’s alive He’s alive
I believe it He’s alive
Sweet Jesus

 
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
     But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”-and that he had said these things to her.
John 20:1-18


 
The song above is one of the most powerful Easter songs I know.  It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. It’s a Dolly Parton song, and it’s one of her most beautiful.  As you listen or read the words to the song, you can almost put yourself in the position that the disciples of Christ found themselves. Not only was there great sadness in the death of their savior but also there was fear of what the authorities would do to them. It must have been agonizing for them. Then He appears to them and: 

He’s alive and I’m forgiven 

Heaven’s gates are open wide

 
For Jesus’ mother, his disciples and his followers, Jesus’ death was a tragedy. You can imagine that all hope was naturally gone. We today can face the same feeling. Many times in life, with homophobic politicians, the increasing rise of anti-gay homophobic groups, and everything that is going on in the world — war, famine, disease, natural disasters, discrimination, and hate — there can be a loss of hope and faith. Yet the resurrection gives us hope that no matter what has happened in our lives, no matter how much faith and hope we have lost, we can experience hope, we can overcome and regain whatever we have lost in our lives.
 
Our hope includes the knowledge that evil does not win. – Sometimes today, it seems that the bad guy often wins. Sometimes it seems that the one who cheats, the one who lies, the one who steps on others to get ahead, is the one who prospers. Far too often, I read of this person cheating or that one (or catching a student cheating) or another kid, gay or otherwise, who has been bullied, lost hope, and committed suicide. How often do we read of politicians cheating, or working to make sure their businesses get the good contract? It seems there is no hope for the little guy, the one who lives right, to ever get ahead.
 
With a positive attitude that through God we can accomplish anything, we truly can make the world a better place. With hope that springs eternal, just as the flowers in spring show the rebirth of the earth, we can be assured that God’s promises will deliver a better day, a rebirth our faith. The promise that Jesus would rise from the grave on the third day is remembered every Easter Sunday, it is the greatest sacrifice God could give for our sins. When we are baptized, it is done in symbolic reverence as our old body dies in its watery grave to be reborn and rise from the dead as Christ did for our sins.
 
 Easter has always been the major religious holiday at my old church in Alabama.  It is a day which has a date for us to celebrate, and it has the most meaning for Christians.  It is the day when the Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah were ultimately fulfilled.  It is the day that Christ rose from the dead.  The resurrection is the most important of the miracles.  When I was a child, our church had dinner on the grounds, and everyone brought a dish and the kids had an Easter egg hunt.  It was always a wonderful day of fellowship.  We no longer have dinner on the grounds because we once had a preacher (he didn’t last long with us) who was extremely hardcore and did not believe in having dinner on the grounds.  I think he believed the only meal that should be taken at church was communion.  Though he is long gone, we never revived the tradition of dinner on the grounds.  I find it quite sad, since early Christian services were often centered around the dinner table where fellowship, worship, and food were part of the gathering.  

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Easter.   I, also, hope that each of you feels the hope of the rebirth that Easter brings to us today. May God’s love eternally bless you.

Moment of Zen: The Beach


TGIF


I got home late last night and wasn’t able to do a proper blog post.


Measuring Up

I ran into a former professor of mine yesterday. I never had a class with him but, he was the graduate director of my program. In my opinion, he brought in a lot of students in his field that were not the caliber of graduate students my program was used to. I wonder how I measure up to those guys. Do they have successful job where they are happy?


Down Home


I went to the southern restaurant in Montpelier for lunch yesterday with a fellow southerner.  The food was good, but the yummiest thing was not on the menu.  It was our waiter. He was fine as wine. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t gay but damn was he good looking. Jet black hair and black eyes. He was model worthy. Perfect white straight teeth and a bit of scruff on his face. I’d love to have gotten into his Fruit of the Looms.


Alabama 

Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee,
From thy Southern shore where groweth,
By the sea thine orange tree.
To thy Northern vale where floweth
Deep and blue thy Tennessee.
Alabama, Alabama
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 2

Broad the Stream whose name thou bearest;
Grand thy Bigbee rolls along;
Fair thy Coosa – Tallapoosa
Bold thy Warrior, dark and strong.
Goodlier than the land that Moses
Climbed lone Nebo’s Mount to see
Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 3

From thy praries broad and fertile,
Where thy snow – white cotton shines.
To the hills where coal and iron
Hide in thy exhaustless mines.
Strong – armed miners – sturdy farmers:
Loyal hearts what’er we be.
Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 4

From the quarries where the marble
White as that of Paros gleams
Waiting till thy sculptor’s chisel,
Wake to like thy poet’s dream;
For not only wealth of nature,
Wealth of mind hast thou to fee.
Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 5

Where the perfumed south – wind whispers,
Thy magnolia groves among,
Softer than a mother’s kisses
Sweeter than a mother’s song;
Where the golden jasmine trailing,
Woos the treasure – laden bee,
Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 6

Brave and pure thy men and women,
Better this than corn and wine,
Make us worthy, God in Heaven,
Of this goodly land of Thine;
Hearts as open as our doorways,
Liberal hands and spirits free,
Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee!

VERSE 7

Little, little, can I give thee,
Alabama, mother mine;
But that little — hand, brain, spirit,
All I have and am are thine.
Take, O take the gift and giver.
Take and serve thyself with me,
Alabama, Alabama,
I will aye be true to thee.

“Alabama,” words by Julia S. Tutwiler and music by Edna Gockel Gussen, was designated the official state song of the state of Alabama in 1931. 

Alabama will always be my home, no matter where I live. I was sadden to see it’s name dragged through the mud yet again yesterday. Governor Robert Bentley, the Luv Guv, resigned as governor over more than just a sexting scandal. It is what he did to try and cover up the scandal that ultimately proved his downfall. In the past year the three highest ranking Republicans in Alabama, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted of corruption and removed from office, Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office for defying a federal court order over same-sex marriage, and now Governor Robert Bentley has been removed for corruption charges. Only in Alabama would an Acting Chief Justice have to swear in the Lt. Governor as the new Governor. Alabama now has her second female governor, Kay Ivey. If Ivey lives up to the grandness of Lurleen Wallace who turned out to be more than a puppet of her husband, George Wallace, then Alabama may have some redemption. However, Ivey should have never become governor. She does not have the wherewithal to hold the office and rumors of her dementia have been widespread in the state. The saddest part of all is that this should be the downfall of the Alabama Republican Party, yet Alabama will always be a one party state. At one time that was the Democratic Party, but now the Republicans have taken over and I’m afraid that the people in Alabama are not smart enough to see it as the party of corruption that it is. There’s even rumors that the next governor will either be a woman bought and paid for by Alabama Power, the state’s largest electric company, or it might just be Roy Moore. I can’t explain how overwhelmingly sad all this is for me.


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