7 Things: AG Barr says redacted report is almost ready, Trump spikes talk of new family separations, Marshall rolls on illegal gambling and more …
7. Alabama bill would require the Pledge of Allegiance in all schools
— House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) introduced the bill after finding out that his grandchildren didn’t know the Pledge of Allegiance because they hadn’t been reciting it in school, despite the Alabama Board of Education’s requirement to do so. Ledbetter said that the state school board can’t enforce reciting the pledge. Ledbetter clarified that the bill would not require students to actually say the pledge, but it would require schools to start the day with it.
6. Moms Demand Action group is protesting allowing churches to defend themselves
— Protesting a non-existent danger of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms, the gun-grabbing Alabama Moms Demand Action group will meet with legislators on Wednesday and testify against SB 4 at the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 4 would allow gun owners to carry concealed without permits or a background check. The group of volunteers will also be opposing HB 49, which is an expansion of the state’s Stand Your Ground law that would allow religious groups to use force in physically threatening situations. The meetings will be held at the State House beginning at 10:30 am on Wednesday, April 10.
— Representative Byrne spoke on the House floor to bring his concerns about congressional investigations Democrats have started about the personal and business dealings by President Trump. Byrne said, “These actions are not only blatantly partisan but raise serious constitutional concerns. Let’s be clear: these so-called investigations set a dangerous precedent. The majority wants to use Congress to investigate the past personal and business dealings of an elected official and his family. This is yet another attempt to coerce and intimidate people with whom they disagree.” Byrne also warned that setting this precedent could threaten to undermine legitimate investigations in the future. This is all happening after an almost two-year investigation into the president and multiple parts of his life.
4. ACLU continues to pretend that lawsuit costs should keep Alabama legislators from banning abortion
— The executive director of ACLU of Alabama, Randall Marshall appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” where he warned that the effort by a state legislator to ban abortion would cost taxpayers. Marshall said that Alabama would be forced to pay the legal fees incurred by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to challenge the law proposed by Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) to ban abortion. Marshall referenced previous situations that reflect the same outcome, stating, “I will say the last challenge that we won, the state of Alabama ended up paying the ACLU and Planned Parenthood $1.7 million. The case before the Supreme Court right now, if the review is denied, is going to cost the state that much and probably more. This ban is clearly unconstitutional.” However, with Amendment 2 passing, Alabamians have shown their support for the rights of unborn children, which fuels the push for an abortion ban in Alabama and that will set up a battle with the United State Supreme Court and everyone involved seems to want that.
3. Attorney General Steve Marshall’s Office has raided illegal gaming operations — More could follow
— The appearance of a hands-off approach to gambling enforcement by the attorney general seems to be over when it comes to illegal electronic bingo. Recently, local law enforcement was given the responsibility of handling local enforcement. The election of Democrat Sheriff Mark Pettway led to the assumption that gambling would be allowed to operate in Jefferson County, but this is apparently not the case. All told, four Jefferson County bingo halls were raided, 1,100 electronic bingo machines were removed and at least 11 people arrested.
— As the media frets of new attempts to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, President Trump said he is not planning to reinstate the policy of separating children from parents who had illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch told the committee that his sector has apprehended people from 50 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Egypt and Romania. Karisch added, “People are traveling across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the US, using the same pathways as the Central Americans.” Karisch also noted more families have illegally crossed so far this year than in all of 2018.
— On Tuesday, Barr testified before a congressional panel where he was questioned by Democrats on his handling of the Mueller report summary. Barr said, “More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016.” His comments come after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated over the weekend that he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department alleging misconduct by DOJ and FBI officials during the Russia investigation. Barr also mentioned on Tuesday that he would be releasing a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week. While Democrats continue to talk about how an unredacted report must be released, Barr has made it clear that is not going to happen. Barr has also noted that Mueller is involved in the redaction process.