As a professional law librarian, I have frequently been asked to assist in finding the legislative history and intent for a statute. This article explains how Alabama legislative intent can be divined from legislative history by using the slim resources that are available. As legal professionals, we are well acquainted with federal courts interpreting statutes by using legislative intent through citing to a Congressional report or to the Congressional Record. Despite the examples I’ve cited, federal court use of these sources may be falling out of favor.
On October 22, 2019, the Alabama Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on four consolidated cases that may determine the fate of cameras used to enforce traffic laws in the State of Alabama. Oral arguments will take place at the Leslie S. Wright Center on the campus of Samford University beginning at 9:30 a.m. and lasting until 11:45 a.m. The event, hosted by Cumberland School of Law, the Birmingham Bar Foundation, and Appellate Courts of Alabama, is free and open to the public.
In 2015, the Birmingham City Council passed a city ordinance increasing minimum wage throughout the city to $8.50 beginning in July 2016 and raising to $10.10 in 2017. This ordinance came in response to the City Council’s repeated attempts and eventual resolution to get the Alabama state legislature to increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour across the state of Alabama. The legislature refused the city’s request, leading the Birmingham City Council to increase the minimum wage throughout the city on their own with the purpose of “tak[ing] legislative steps to help lift working families out of poverty, decrease income inequality, and boost [Birmingham’s] economy.” Birmingham, the largest city in the State of Alabama, has thirty percent (30%) of its residents living below the poverty line while also being home to the largest African American population (72%) in Alabama.
In West Alabama Women’s Center v. Williamson, the Eleventh Circuitstruck down a recent Alabama statute that banned dilation and evacuation abortions, holding that the law represented an unconstitutional restriction on a woman’s right to an abortion.
The plaintiff clinicsfiled suit on behalf of their present and future patients, claiming the Act was unconstitutional on its face.The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, passed in 2016, made it unlawful for a medical practitioner to “purposely perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”Put more simply, the Act would require medical practitioners to end the life of a fetus before dismembering that fetus.Violation of this prohibition would be “punishable by up to two years imprisonment and fines of $10,000.”