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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shelby, Sessions Split on Iraq

The conventional wisdom that Richard Shelby is significantly more moderate than Jeff Sessions is often exaggerated. However, yesterday saw one of the increasingly rare times when the two part company on a high profile issue.

The vote was on a Republican sponsored non binding resolution that called for the White House to provide more information on it's long-term plan for Iraq. This measure was a counter to a more aggressive Democratic measure that called for a timetable for troop withdrawal. The GOP proposal was nearly identical to the Democratic resolution with the exception of the troop withdrawal portion.

Though, Sessions and Shelby both voted against the Democratic resolution (only one GOPer voted for it), the two were split on the Republican backed measure.

Shelby joined the majority of both parties in supporting the less strenuous proposal, while Sessions was one of 13 Republicans to oppose the measure. The opposition to this resolution saw an unlikely pairing of conservative Republican hawks (who saw any resolution as a sign of weakness) and liberal Democrats (who wanted the tougher Democratic measure).

In my mind this is the highest profile split between Alabama's senators since the 1999 impeachment trial vote (Sessions voted to convict on both counts while Shelby only voted to convict on the perjury charge).

You can draw your own conclusion as to which senator cast the correct vote, but it is always interesting when Alabama's Senate delegation decides to cancel each other out.


Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

I don't know if you mentioned this in an earlier post, but they were also split on the 90-9 vote on the McCain/Graham no torture add-on to the DOD appropriations bill. Shelby voted for it, while Sessions was one of the nine who voted against it.

9:49:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

Yeah, that's another good example. Sessions rarely lets anyone get to the right of him.

10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not say that about Sessions being far Right. Sessions is more Pro-Bush than he is Pro-Right. Rarely does Sessions have anything to say that is not 100% in the Bush corner. Bush might have a reputation amoung the Left as a Right-wing President, but the record speaks otherwise.

1:45:00 PM  
Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

True. That's a good point, anonymous poster.

2:07:00 PM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

Yeah that is fair. The republicans have been very cohesive for most of the Bush presidency with the first cracks coming recently.

Sessions did not speak out in favor of Harriet Miers when her nomination was in trouble. Other than that it is tough to come up with examples of Sessions bucking the Bush line.

3:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montgomery (AP) - Cullman County District and juvenile court Judge Terri Willingham Thomas has announced that she will be a candidate next year for a seat on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

Thomas is running in the June 6 Republican Primary for the seat being vacated by Judge Glenn Murdock, who has said he plans to run for the Alabama Supreme Court next year.

Thomas, 41, said Friday that the Court of Civil Appeals deals with a number of issues that affect women, such as divorce, child support and juvenile matters. But she said there are currently no women on the five-member court.

"I think we need a lady's perspective on the court," Thomas said. She said she believes the appeals court would benefit from her experience in handling juvenile cases. She is currently on a statewide committee to rewrite the juvenile code.

Thomas, who was first elected a district judge in 1996, said she has handled about 8,000 cases a year as a juvenile and district court judge. She has served as president of the Alabama Juvenile and Family Courts Judges Association.

"I have the education, experience and leadership to make sure that every citizen is treated fairly," Thomas said. She also promised to interpret the law and not make new laws as an appeals court judge.

"If elected, I will work everyday to stand against judicial activism and for our constitutional rights and principles," she said.

8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Terri, thanks for clogging up this blog with your self-serving announcment. Your little fantasy has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

By the way, your opportunistic pledge to "work everyday to stand against judicial activism and for our constitutional rights and principles" is just so much blather that every single candidate for judicial office seems compelled to say these days. What the [bleep] does it mean anyway? How would you work everyday to do this? Do you have a clue about anything?

In the future, think about staying on point rather than wasting our time.

8:37:00 PM  
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