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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Big Luther Strange Tells A Whopper Of A Falsehood About High Court's Ruling On VictoryLand Search


Luther Strange
Alabama's attorney general is known as "Big Luther" Strange because he stands 6-foot-8. Perhaps the reason for Strange's nickname should be his tendency to tell enormous lies about politically charged cases involving his office.

The most recent example comes with Strange's statements about the impact of the Alabama Supreme Court's recent decision that forced a circuit judge to sign a search warrant for the VictoryLand casino in Macon County. Strange proclaimed in a press release that the ruling was a final determination that electronic bingo is illegal in Alabama and should "end the debate."

Strange's comments, to put it mildly, are a crock of barnyard excrement. How do we know? The words of the Alabama Supreme Court prove it. And those are the same justices who were willing to stretch the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment past the breaking point to give "Big Luther" a search warrant.

First, let's consider Strange's full statement to the public about what the search-warrant ruling meant:

This decision should end the debate on whether so-called 'electronic bingo' is illegal. It is illegal and local officials cannot create rules to make it legal. The only question now is whether the Legislature will enact tough penalties so that people will think twice before they engage in large-scale slot-machine gambling in the future.

How far off base is the attorney general on this one? About as far off base as you can get, given that the ruling had almost nothing to do with the alleged illegality of electronic-bingo machines at VictoryLand--or anywhere else in Alabama. How do I know? Well, I read the Supreme Court's opinion, and I invite readers to do the same; it's available at the end of this post.

Ironically, one reason the high court issued a writ of mandamus in the case is that it found Circuit Judge Thomas Young erred when he claimed the attorney general's office essentially was asking him to declare the VictoryLand machines illegal. In fact, the Supreme Court found, the issue was whether probable cause existed for a search warrant--nothing more, nothing less. From page 40 of the text:

Judge Young errs as a matter of law in refusing to issue the warrant in this case on the ground that to do so would be "in essence ... declaring these machines to be illegal." The quoted premise is incorrect. The issuance of a search warrant does not constitute a binding adjudication that an offense has occurred or a binding declaration that an activity or item is illegal. It is only a determination for purposes of the issuance of the search warrant.

The Supreme Court did not stop there. It explained that its ruling was not a finding that VictoryLand's activities were illegal--and it certainly was not a determination about electronic bingo in general:

As explained in Marshall v. Herndon, discussed supra, the issuance of a search warrant is not binding on either the court itself or the parties in an ensuing criminal case in which the defendant wishes to question whether an activity or item is illegal. See also, e.g., United States v. Del Valle, 587 F.2d 699, 701(5th Cir. 1079) (explaining that decision whether to issue search warrant is limited to the question of the issuance of the warrant and does not dispose of the issue whether the defendant did in fact commit the alleged crime).

Let's boil this down to its essence and compare the statements of Luther Strange to those of the Alabama Supreme Court:

Luther Strange: This decision should end the debate on whether so-called 'electronic bingo' is illegal. It is illegal and local officials cannot create rules to make it legal. 
Alabama Supreme Court: The issuance of a search warrant does not constitute a binding adjudication that an offense has occurred or a binding declaration that an activity or item is illegal.

If you live in Alabama and sense an odd sensation in your hindquarters, it's probably because Luther Strange is blowing smoke up your rectum.

We have shown, beyond a doubt, that Alabama's chief law-enforcement officer is willing to lie to gain a public-relations edge in the battle over electronic bingo. Why does Strange need a public-relations edge? Probably because even he realizes the machines at VictoryLand are legal, based on a constitutional amendment allowing electronic bingo in Macon County.

A reasonable Alabamian should ask this question: If Luther Strange is willing to lie in an official press release about the Supreme Court's actions, what else is he lying about? How deep does Luther Strange's dishonesty go?


37 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Luther Strange" and "whopper" - two terms that are not asssociated in any fashion in the mind of Jessica Medeiros Garrison.

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange is both a lawyer and a lobbyist. He couldn't possibly tell a lie.

Caroline said...

I think this should "end the debate" about whether Luther Strange is a fraud or not.

Anonymous said...

People who are right on the law, and know it, don't usually have to resort to a phony PR campaign.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Jessica the chief of Luther's staff?

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange has never practiced actual law, so we can't expect him to know procedure, much less analyze rulings. I doubt he even knows how to look up a case.

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:11, Jessica was his 2010 campaign manager and now she works for RSLC who coincidentally ?laundered? $100K from Poarch Creek gambling interests into Luther Strange's 2010 campaign. Maybe this for that, tid for tat, quid pro quo position? My guess is yes.

Anonymous said...

According to Anon No. 1, Jessica is Head Chief of Luther's Staff.

Anonymous said...

God, I love double entendres! Can't wait for more on this big puss of a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Alabama deserves better than a lier, cheater and an abuser of the law for an Attorney General. Hopefully we will remember election time.

HLM said...

As a lawyer and lobbyist, Big Luther couldn't possibly tell the truth.

JRod said...

How did we elect this guy again? Has anybody checked the ballots to make sure we really did elect him?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how Big Luther makes himself completely unavailable to the press to answer questions. He preaches through press releases about illegal gambling yet there has not been a single arrest. WHY???? Would not someone who is in charge of upholding the laws of this state want to arrest everyone who is operating illegal gambling machines and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. WHY??? I have zero respect for Alabama's AG.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how the main stream media allows him to get away with lying unless they are just ignorant to the truth.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:33--

You ask good questions. I can think of only two answers: (1) Luther knows he doesn't have a criminal case and could not get convictions; (2) Luther isn't interested in criminal matters, he's only interested in destroying the business at VictoryLand. That's what the Indian-gaming backers of Team Riley want him to do. The Jack Abramoff scandal is still going; it never ended in Alabama.

Spasmoda said...

Is Luther Strange the most unqualified attorney general in the history of the republic, in any state?

Anonymous said...

LS, didn't you write recently about a politician who stepped down because of sleaze that was revealed after a public-records request regarding his state-issued cell phone? Isn't it likely that Luther Strange has a state-issued cell phone? What would those records show?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:47--

Yes, here is URL to the post I wrote about the guy in Nebraska. And you ask great questions. Not sure if Alabama has a public-records law similar to the one in Nebraska. Need to research that:

http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2013/02/nebraska-republican-resigns-amid-sex.html

Anonymous said...

I understand that Jessica's official title in Luther's office is Chief of Shaft.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is URL to Alabama pubic records law. Not sure yet how it compares to the law in Nebraska:


http://www.sunshinereview.org/index.php/Alabama_Public_Records_Law

Anonymous said...

Luther Strange makes Troy King look like Professor Kingsfield.

Anonymous said...

From the Alabama Public Records Law:

"Public records are defined by the Code of Alabama as 'all written, typed or printed books, papers, letters, documents and maps made or received in pursuance of law by the public officers of the state, counties, municipalities and other subdivisions of government in the transactions of public business and shall also include any record authorized to be made by any law of this state belonging or pertaining to any court of record or any other public record authorized by law or any paper, pleading, exhibit or other writing filed with, in or by any such court, office or officer.'"

Anonymous said...

Chief of Shaft. Gold.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Luther is becoming famous for his weak staff. They need to tighten up! Loose lips sink ships!

Anonymous said...

If Luther can't tell the truth, why should we believe his flunkies told the truth in the affidavit before Judge Young?

Anonymous said...

More from the Alabama Public Records law:

The Alabama Public Records Law states that "Every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by statute."

"Alabama grants every "citizen" the right to access open records. It is unclear whether "citizen" indicates citizens of the state of Alabama or U.S. citizens."

legalschnauzer said...

Here is information about the Nebraska Public Records law, which was at the heart of my earlier post. It sounds similar to what we have in Alabama. Don't think there is much doubt that citizens would be entitled to phone records on Luther Strange, Bob Riley, Supreme Court justices, etc.


http://www.sunshinereview.org/index.php/Nebraska_Public_Records_Law#What_records_are_covered.3F

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer:

Hate to tell you, but the comments are getting to be much better reading than your posts.

legalschnauzer said...

I know. I'm starting to get concerned about that.

I ask my wife, "Have you read the post yet?"

She says: "Hell no, I'm still reading the comments! I'll get to the post later--maybe."

Anonymous said...

Take heart Roger without your awesome articles there would be no good comments. You bring out the best in us.

Anonymous said...

I hate to sound stupid, but who is Professor Kingsfield?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:05--

Professor Kingsfield was the John Houseman character in "The Paper Chase," the classic movie about law school. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Was released in 1973:

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0032794/

Anonymous said...

Luther got really excited today. Realizing he can pull precedents from the 1890s and use them successfully with the Alabama Supreme Court, he's dusting off 1896's "Plessy V. Ferguson" and he's gonna reinstitute segregation!

jeffrey spruill said...

Let Luther keep running his big mouth.

Luther KNEW there was no adequate alternative to mandamus.

Anonymous said...

Saw Big Luther on Channel 13 tonight. He still insists the Supreme Court as determined the machines were illegal.

legalschnauzer said...

Big Luther might want to try reading the opinion. Apparently he thinks the public is stupid.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed that Strange Luther looks as if he may cry in this photo. Not becoming of an AG.