If you’ve been reading here long, you know I’m a big supporter of rewriting Alabama’s obscenely racist and ridiculously unwieldy constitution. The constitution was ratified by a fraudulent vote in 1901, and its stated intent was to disenfranchise everyone who wasn’t white, male, and rich. It’s been amended ad nauseum, and quite a few articles have been nullified by federal civil rights statutes, not to mention the 15th, 19th, and 24th amendments.
Today, the House held a public hearing to discuss a bill that proposes allowing the citizens to vote on a constitutional convention. Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform also held a “Let the People Vote” rally on the Capitol steps (more about that later, with pictures).
I spoke to several reform supporters who attended the hearing, and it sounds like the rhetoric got a bit heated. They were told they were “enemies of the state” and accused of being paid by the Ford Foundation to push for a new constitution. Hey, I’ve been collecting petition signatures and teaching classes, but I never got my check. No fair!
But by far, my favorite quote was this one:
“You say [the] constitution is long and old. Well, so is the Bible,” said Patricia Godwin of Selma.
Yeah, but the Bible hasn’t been amended 772 times.