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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer House Republicans for listening to the backlash and reinstating the adoption tax credit into their tax reform bill. They also discuss the allegations of sexual misconduct reported by the Washington Post about GOP Alabama U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore, and while debate over the veracity of the accusations continues, they are appalled at the number of Republican officials in Alabama who don’t see a problem even if the stories are true. And they groan as Bowe Bergdahl may end up getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay from his time in captivity after deserting his unit and misbehaving before the enemy.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America note Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie grabbing a small lead in one poll and greatly closing the gap in others as his tough stance on gang violence resonates with voters. They’re also stunned to see Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones knotted at 42-42 in a new poll of the special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. And they suggest an intervention may be needed after Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig unveils his ludicrous five-point plan to make Hillary Clinton president in the near future.
Robert Bentley, governor of Alabama, appointed Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions as Senator. Strange is expected to take the oath of office today, bringing the total number of Republicans in the US Senate to 52. He will serve as US Senator from Alabama until 2018, when a special election will be held to fill the […]
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Last week, the Supreme Court, in the case of Alabama Black Caucus v. Alabama, overturned a redistricting plan for Alabama’s State Legislature, with the Court’s majority (the four liberals and Justice Kennedy) arguing that the new district lines didn’t do enough to preserve the influence of black voters. As I write in my new column for Defining Ideas, it’s a mistake to accept the redistricting status quo in which the majority party (Republicans, in Alabama) constructs relatively safe districts for itself and then gives the minority party a handful of even safer seats as compensation. As I write:
In a sensible world, the best counter to these dangerous tendencies uses explicit formal requirements to remove this unpleasant form of tit-for-tat politics. Two constraints, taken together, could achieve this result in a relatively simple fashion. The first is to stick with a requirement of rough numerical equality across districts. The second is to require relatively compact districts, which look more like simple squares than some grotesque 28-sided monster that white citizens (outnumbered by 4 to 1) consciously created in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1957 to block the possibility that newly enfranchised black residents would soon take over local politics. Six years after Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court in Gomillion v. Lightfoot struck down this ploy under the Fifteenth Amendment, which provides that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Alabama’s education system has struggled for years. This August, the state was ranked 48th in the nation in a study evaluating math and reading scores, dropout rates, and student-to-teacher ratio.
This week, Alabama’s leadership took a big step in correcting this seemingly intractable problem. Instead of building elaborate new facilities, handing out iPads, or pumping more money into the broken system, the state is giving choice a chance.