The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on Saturday that impeachment proceedings against Governor Robert Bentley can start next week, halting a court order that had blocked hearings stemming from his relationship with a former aide.
Bentley, a 74-year-old Republican, has battled impeachment efforts over the last year and has defied calls from political leaders that he stand down.
The 7-0 decision by the high court allows impeachment proceedings to begin in the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee on Monday even as justices consider new filings in the case.
Bentley, who is in his second term, is accused of inappropriate use of state resources. His troubles began last year when recordings surfaced of him making suggestive remarks to a former adviser, Rebekah Mason, before his wife of 50 years filed for divorce in August 2015.
Bentley has denied having a physical affair with Mason, who
is married. She resigned as questions about the pair’s
relationship began to dominate Alabama politics.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stayed a temporary restraining order issued by a circuit court judge on Friday. The order had halted the impeachment process until hearings could be held on Bentley’s claim that lawmakers did not give enough time to present an adequate defense.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones hailed the decision, saying in a statement, “This is a great day for the Constitution of Alabama.”
The Judiciary Committee will make a recommendation to the full House on whether to impeach Bentley.
Ross Garber, an attorney for Bentley, said his legal team would submit briefs to the Supreme Court by 1 p.m. CDT on Monday, the deadline set by the justices.
“It’s disappointing to hear the Committee will plow forward while the Supreme Court is considering the case,” he said in a statement.
A state court on Friday had rejected Bentley’s
request to block the Judiciary Committee from releasing
evidence about wrongdoing stemming from his relationship with
Mason to be used for impeachment proceedings.
The committee’s report accused Bentley of ordering state law enforcement officers to track down copies of an embarrassing recording that suggested an affair with Mason. It also accused him of retaliating against an official who discovered the relationship.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Ethics Commission also found that Bentley probably violated ethics and campaign finance laws.
Bentley said after the ethics commission findings that he had no intention of resigning.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang and Matthew Lewis)
The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report
President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.
A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.
“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."
Pete Buttigieg says ‘statistically’ we’ve already had a gay president — meet President James Buchanan
In an interview with Axios, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that "statistically" it makes sense that out of the 45 presidents in American history, one of them was LGBT. Statistics aside, the reality is that former President James Buchanan has prompted historians to question.
The moment came when the Axios HBO show questioned what the young mayor would do when he's attacked for being "too gay."
"Republicans claimed that John Kerry was a traitor in Vietnam. That Barack Obama was a Muslim. If you were to win the nomination, they'll say you're too young, too liberal, too gay to be commander-in-chief. You are young. You are a liberal. You are gay. How will you respond?" asked Mike Allen.
New biographer claims she knows how Kim Jong Un will die
A new biography about Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield is uncovering many of the unique moments in the childhood of the North Korean dictator. But one piece that isn't included in the book is her prediction for how the leader will die.
In a CNN interview with Brian Todd, Fifield explained that Kim's chain-smoking, drinking and consumption of rich and fatty foods would likely be his undoing. She doesn't anticipate he'll ever have a coup d'etat, but he could probably have a heart attack.
Other shocking observations she made include that Kim's parents had to bring in children so that he would have someone to play with him, effectively meaning his "friends" were paid for.