By David L. Martin
During this thorough revision of the 1975 variation, the writer has further fabric at the 1983 legislative districts, election legislation adjustments, black political participation, implementation of the unified judicial procedure, the 1982 urban supervisor act, crusade finance, and the expansion of political motion committees, whereas conserving the structure that made the sooner research so necessary. Retained are the cautious definition of phrases, the reason of options, and the examples that have been one of the strengths of the 1st version.
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Extra info for Alabama's state & local governments
The amount of statutory material contained in the state constitution has made it longer and more rigid than any in Alabama's history. Length is not necessarily bad, but the detailed 1901 document encumbered by amendments creates the following problems: 1. Inflexibility cripples governmental operations. The Alabama constitutional prohibition against state debt has been circumvented by judicial interpretations allowing borrowing by some two dozen public corporations and authorities whose officers are state officials, such as the governor.
John W. Walker of Huntsville, northern Alabama's candidate, was elected the convention's president. In apportioning representation in the state legislature, south Alabama wanted to use the United States Constitution formula of counting five black slaves as three white persons, or repre- Page 18 sentation by counties, but north Alabama successfully demanded a white population basis only, which favored that section. Negotiations provided that the first legislature meet in Huntsville, but that subsequent sessions convene at Cahaba along the southern Alabama River until a permanent capital was to be decided by 1825.
Clay, composed what has been considered a liberal document for its time. The 1819 constitution provided for universal white male suffrage without property qualifications for voting or holding office. Slaves accused of more than petty crimes had the right of an impartial trial by jury, and maltreatment of a slave was punishable (except in case of insurrection) as if the like offense had been committed on a free white person. Passage of the strict State Slave Code by the legislature in 1852 meant the constitutional provisions were rarely enforced.
Alabama's state & local governments by David L. Martin