Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court embraces judicial activism, and betrays conservatism, to outlaw electronic bingo

Center Stage Alabama casino
One of the primary tenets of postmodern conservatism is that "judicial activism" is bad, very bad. The theory goes that the executive and legislative branches of government should make laws while the judicial branch should play a restrained, interpretative role.

In short, the conservative doctrine holds that judges must never "make law" from the bench, but should craft rulings grounded in law that already exists.

Someone should get that message to the justices, all Republicans, who comprise the Alabama Supreme Court. That's because the Alabama Supremes recently engaged in one of the most blatant acts of judicial activism any of us ever are likely to see. In a unilateral action that is based on--well, pretty much nothing--the high court effectively outlawed electronic bingo in the state. As Dave Barry would say, "I'm not making this up."

Did this involve any legislative or executive action? Nope. Was it grounded in any legitimate legal precedent? Nah. Is it somehow based in Alabama's archaic and outdated constitution? Not on your life. In fact, it flies in the face of constitutional amendments that voters approved in various counties around the state.

Does it resolve the controversy that started in 2008 when then governor Bob Riley, the beneficiary of millions in Indian gaming money, decided to launch a string of raids against non-Indian bingo facilities in the state--and has continued under Attorney General Luther Strange, another Republican who has benefited from large chunks of Indian campaign cash? It sure looks that way to us.

The ruling in question, styled Houston County Economic Development Authority (HEDA) v. State of Alabama, was issued on November 21, 2014, and involved the Center Stage Alabama casino near Dothan. (The opinion is embedded at the end of this post.) Buried on page 30 of the 40-page opinion is the following:

In accordance with the foregoing, we reiterate today that the game traditionally known as bingo is not one played by or within an electronic or computerized machine, terminal, or server, but is one played outside of machines and electronic circuitry.

Did expert witnesses testify to this effect in the HEDA case? Heck, no. The state, which asked for the machines to be declared unlawful, presented no expert witnesses. The only experts on the record were from HEDA, and they testified that the machines did, in fact, play bingo and were lawful under the relevant constitutional amendment.

So how did the Alabama Supremes come to their conclusion? Citing no law as precedent, they declared that expert testimony was not necessary--and pretty much pulled the ruling out of their collective, berobed rear ends.

Oh, the Supremes did trot out their usual case--Barber v. Cornerstone, 42 So. 3d 65 (Ala., 2009)--in an effort to prove that bingo can be played only on paper cards, preferably by people who are at least 95 years old and have blue hair, white hair, or no hair. Almost as an aside, the Supremes declare in HEDA that the six-point test outlined in Cornerstone now applies to all other local bingo amendments in the state.

That's funny because Cornerstone itself doesn't say that. As we've shown in a previous post, Cornerstone clearly was about narrow issues regarding a preliminary injunction in Lowndes County. Back in September 2013, we wrote the following:

We invite readers to click on the link above and read the entire Cornerstone ruling. Taken as a whole, it states that the court was focusing narrowly on: (1) The electronic-bingo facility in Lowndes County; and (2) The lawfulness of the preliminary injunction against the Riley defendants.

That's it--nothing about any other bingo facility in Alabama, nothing beyond a right or wrong ruling on a preliminary injunction.

But now the Alabama Supreme Court cites Cornerstone to essentially outlaw electronic bingo in counties where voters have approved bingo-related constitutional amendments? And those amendments were crafted through the legislative process? And in some locations, electronic bingo was played lawfully for up to five years before Bob Riley came along, with Indian cash dripping out of his pockets, to launch a crusade against non-Indian gaming facilities?

Heck, we've even found a Supreme Court case, issued AFTER Cornerstone, that seems to uphold the provisions of the constitutional amendment in Macon County and finds the e-bingo machines at VictoryLand are legal. Specifically, the case seems to uphold the amendment's language that it is for the county sheriff, not the courts, to define bingo and set rules for its play.

Why should the HEDA ruling scare the bejeebers out of Alabamians, even those who don't give a hoot about bingo or gambling of any kind? The ruling clearly is based on the whims and personal biases of the Supreme Court justices--and not on any legal precedent. In fact, it circumvents the law-making process and overrides the will of voters who approved constitutional amendments.

That hints that Alabama's high court is tainted on the subject of electronic bingo. It also suggests that some of the Indian gaming money that flowed to Bob Riley and Luther Strange has found its way into the pockets of Supreme Court justices.

Thanks to the reporting of The Montgomery Independent's Bob Martin, we already have seen frightening signs of collusion between the Riley team and members of the Supreme Court. In fact, we've written about that issue multiple times, in 2009, 2010, and 2013. (See herehere, and here.)

The HEDA ruling suggests that something of that sort still is going on. If that's the case, it would represent a criminal conspiracy that, if unmasked by the U.S. Department of Justice, would rock Alabama government to its foundation.

At first glance, the HEDA ruling seems to be about little more than bingo. But we suspect something much more sinister is going on beneath the surface.


Anonymous said...

That cash from the Choctaws and Creeks must feel awfully good when it jingles in your pocket.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm . . . no expert witness testifies that the machines are illegal, but the Sup Ct. finds them illegal anyway.

Somehow, that doesn't smell right.

Anonymous said...

The Big Mules never support anything that might benefit the "little people" of Alabama. UAB football might be good for Birmingham? Kill UAB football. Center Stage would be awesome for Dothan? Kill Center Stage. Been happening for decades.

Anonymous said...

Southern Poverty Law Center is a very powerful organization that uses the facade of civil rights to basically do the opposite. As long as that Center is in the South, there really and truly isn't other than a few families that run the entire BINGO of every commerce and industry and with technology the slavery is really real. The South families run the South as families that have been forever, bought and sold by the SPL-Center's owners.

To begin a journal about the corrupt core, dangerous.

What happened in Paris, the incident Hebdo, what happens when the real independent voice wants to get free from the owners of the global machine of slavery.

Roger was put into the first level of very dangerous conditioning and then, Roger was set-free into society, sort of, again. A reminder to all that would exercise the true spirit of an independent American, there is no allowance for other than being a ready to be killed, or any level of losing life-liberty-happiness is allowed.

Roger's blog is now a blog that was warned. People are afraid to be at the blog for fear the tracking of their history. FBI and CIA and FACEBOOK.

America is stupid to have offshored corporations.

And now America wants the military to kill to keep a global dictatorship of unwanted corporations.

Americans losing everything makes the perfect targeted individual and those that are also people who gather to be choosing a higher evolution. Killers in our species are out of control.

The killers do what is getting done, in the taking whatever the predatory want, to get more, there is never enough for the gamblers of the hope addiction.

Electronic gambling has to be monitored as the global monopoly wants. There is only a very powerfully controlled economy.

We are going to be lucky to keep our country from being nuked, for doing what the South does, as one big false flag.

Robby Scott Hill said...

As future former LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling told Black Dynamite in 1979, "I'm not a racist, I'm an economist!" Conservatives are going to do whatever it takes to put money into their own pockets, even if it means violating their own rules. Whenever, Indians, Blacks & Poor Whites refuse to submit & stop spending more than they make, conservatives will bring in uneducated people from the 3rd World to fuel their profit engine.
Black Dynamite was right. We all have to make up our minds that we are going to fight The Man together. One man can't do it by himself. They'll keep putting one man in jail and keep taking his house. Be careful out there because That Frog Kurtis is guarding the door to power & you'll have to do something for him to get in :)

Anonymous said...

watching your site legal schnauzer, your blog, scary word world.

the powers actually in control are out of control and the people not insane are mostly hiding from the mostly insane in control.

the in control insane do not accept there is an internet to prove how insane the insane are in the criminal enterprise of corporation united states.

supreme court said so, the united states of america is not other than a corporation that controls all the controlling power controlling the society-economy.

globally is the reach, and the usa in too many wars went too far and now the other global far reaching powers are demanding more power in every way.

united states people get to know just how scary world the united states is, when the law doesn't have any real power, only the contracts of secret governments.

Anonymous said...

RSH: thus the race wars, drug wars, and whatever war can be conjured into our imaginations to control the imagination in the worst possible control - unbridled apartheid and of course then, genocide for the mass murdering of our own species.

Self-control is actually the first step in true power, especially in living in the finite planet earth with the whole living organism being energy that lives together as countless energies.

The Classical Artists all spoke about our imagination and how that is where happiness is, the other thoughts about life are merely a seed too, imagination is where the seed gets grown into the outer world.

No control in the imagination?

George W. Bush and weapons that were mass destruction were in the imaginations of the NeoConservatives that want to take back the helm of the Corporation War Machine.

Clearly the USA and technology's false BINGO: Global Terror War.

Tragically every American pays the price for the small group of criminally insane running the corporation "government".

What we all get to have is the worst of our "leaders" ever in the USA and their overreach of ownership of slaves globally.

There has to be a leader that can stay alive and get the job done of freeing the Constitutional Republic or slavery is going to end very badly.

The news media doesn't hide the whole ugliness anymore thanks to the Legal Schnauzers of USA.

Anonymous said...

For Legal Schnauzer's readers,

The Federal Reserve System has been made a target - the countries targeting the Fed are China and Russia, and catching up with China and Russia is Iran.

Not Nuclear Weapons we are talking, the Ballistic Missile is being used and Langley, Virginia, where the CIA is run by the Bush Crime Family, has been caught now in all the "False Flags".

Begin with 9-1-1, to get the globe ready for the one world dictatorship.

The "Missile Defense Agency" the MDA, is ready to use the Ballistic Missile system to destroy Russia's "space protection system", that has been neglected and so back into full throttle Russia is with China of course not only joining, the money is all taken care of.

This is about the Fed, the Federal Reserve System and the owners' of the fiat money that have used war to own all of planet earth and of course that means the units of energy.

Humans contain the highest units of energy and always have, slave labor to now the digital fraud to be paid for labor, never-ending the slavery to the Fed.

Well Russia's top General just said the words: HOT WAR.

The "Cold War" is over and a "Gun To America's Head" is happening.

Prepare for the shake-down which is going to be this year for sure. The Fed is over and that is what runs the system of the robed gavel tyrants and the roaches in robes are now totally in full melt-down.

Truly we are witnessing America's "Jurisprudence" go down with ITS' fraudulent money paid to the so-called protectors of the checks and balances. The criminal fraud owners', Fed, are not going to this time around, get away with all their insane transferring America's wealth to a few families that own the City of London and USA.

The Swiss have dumped the Euro and the EU. The Swiss know to keep the USA as a partner manufactures their HOT WAR position and they've said NO MORE FED from the UK-EU-USA.

e.a.f. said...

So can we know look forward to all electronics being banned in Alabama?

At one time children in school used slates, then they progressed to pen and paper, now they use computers. Look forward to seeing computers banned in Alabama.

What a back ward state this is. of course one could come to another conclusion, the surpemeos are ensuring their corporate/political friends get what they want/or paid for.

Anonymous said...

judicial activism is such a polite way of saying criminal racket