We've already noted that the threats seem to be tied to my blog posts about U.S. Attorney Alice Martin in the Northern District of Alabama and the Paul Minor prosecution in Mississippi.
But I suspect my reports about the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling in the ExxonMobil case also could be a factor. I first wrote about the case here, in a post titled "ExxonMobil 1, Alabama 0."
I'm hardly alone in writing about the ExxonMobil ruling, which overturned almost all of a $3.6 billion judgment against the oil giant and for the State of Alabama. Scott Horton, of Harper's, wrote an excellent piece about the case here. Even the mainstream press pulled its collective head out of the sand long enough to focus some attention on the decision.
But I probably have gone farther than most in stating my intentions to show why the Supreme Court ruling was unlawful, not just unfortunate. Here is one of several posts where I have said that I intend to show exactly how the ruling was unlawful.
With so much happening in the Siegelman case, and my own legal situation, I have put off the planned series on the ExxonMobil ruling. But it is still on the drawing board.
I should note this: It doesn't take a legal guru to figure out what the eight Republican justices did in ramrodding the ExxonMobil ruling. Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, the lone Democrat on the court and the only dissenting vote on the ExxonMobile opinion, has already laid it out. You just have to read her dissent. In fact, Cobb all but calls her Republican colleagues crooks.
So when I get around to writing about the ExxonMobil ruling, I won't be doing any pathbreaking reporting. I'll just be shining light on Cobb's scathing dissent. And that's something Alabama GOPers would rather stay out of the spotlight.
Cobb's dissent is readily available on the Web. I just happen to be nosy enough to actually read the whole thing and write about it--hopefully in a way that regular Alabamians can understand.
This should show with stark clarity that regular citizens are not well served by our GOP-controlled courts. More importantly, it will show that criminals control our highest court. The ExxonMobil ruling is about as blatant an example of honest services mail fraud that one could imagine.
The honest services mail fraud statute (18 U.S. Code 1346) is largely responsible for former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman being in prison. It is largely responsible for Mississippi attorney Paul Minor and former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield being in prison.
We have shown that the Minor defendants, without question, are innocent of the mail fraud (and the bribery) charges against them. I have not seen the transcript of the Siegelman case, so I can't come to any absolute conclusions. But the evidence strongly points to his innocence on the mail fraud charge--along with the bribery and obstruction of justice charges.
So we have four Democrats in prison for crimes they almost certainly did not commit. And the clearly guilty GOP justices on the Alabama Supreme Court? They remain cloaked in their black robes, with nary a glance of suspicion from the Bush Justice Department. That's what's called selective prosecution. And it's alive and well in Karl Rove's Alabama.
Could Republicans on our highest court really be crooks? If you read Sue Bell Cobb's dissent, as I have, you will come to this conclusion: Yes.
Goodness knows that is a message that Republicans don't want getting out there. Is it enough for them to try to shut me up by threatening to unlawfully seize my house? Wouldn't surprise me a bit.