1 year ago

Alabama’s Corey Maze confirmed to federal bench

Corey Maze of Montgomery on Wednesday was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 62-34 vote to be a federal District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.

Maze, a native of Centre, was nominated for the judgeship by President Donald Trump in May 2018. In October, he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration of his nomination and was favorably reported out of the committee.

Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Doug Jones (D-AL) voted “yea” on Maze’s confirmation on the floor Wednesday.

In a statement afterwards, Shelby lauded the successful outcome.

“Corey Maze’s confirmation to be a district judge for the Northern District of Alabama is another important step in the shaping of our courts,” Shelby said. “His strong commitment to the rule of law and ability to adhere to the highest standards of judicial efficacy will allow him to excel in this esteemed role. Corey Maze exemplifies all of the characteristics of a model judge, and I am honored to have played a part in his confirmation today.”

Until his confirmation, Maze was serving as a special deputy attorney general for the state of Alabama, where he was also chief of the attorney general’s Special Litigation Unit.

Prior to that role, Maze served as the solicitor general of Alabama from 2008 to 2011.

He has a distinguished record of public service, beginning his career as an assistant attorney general in 2003. Maze earned his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, summa cum laude, from Auburn University and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Additionally, his experience in the courtroom is impressive, as Maze has served as lead counsel at all three levels of state and federal courts, including three cases in which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also authored three Supreme Court amicus briefs and won a National Association of Attorney’s General “Best Brief” to the Supreme Court Award in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In a statement on Wednesday, Attorney General Steve Marshall extolled the confirmation.

“Through its confirmation vote today, the U.S. Senate acknowledged what those of us in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office already know,” Marshall emphasized.

“Corey Maze is abundantly qualified to serve on the federal bench,” the attorney general outlined. “His record as Solicitor General of the State of Alabama and Special Deputy Attorney General is deep and exemplary. He shepherded the State’s Special Litigation Unit acting as primary counsel in many complex cases ranging from the landmark 2010 BP oil spill case to the state’s opioid litigation.”

After Andrew Brasher’s confirmation in May to serve as U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama, Maze becomes the second employee from the attorney general’s to be confirmed to the federal bench this year. Brasher was serving as solicitor general until his confirmation.

“I was pleased to support Mr. Maze’s nomination by President Trump, and I join all of his colleagues and friends in congratulating him on his confirmation as federal judge for the Northern District of Alabama,” Marshall concluded.

Maze’s confirmation marks the ninth of Alabama’s federal judicial nominees to have been nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, many having been originally nominated by the president in 2017.

Shelby has consistently decried the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats that has occurred during the Trump administration’s attempt to confirm judges.

The previous six presidents combined faced a total of 24 procedural votes on judicial nominees while Trump faced more than 100 during his first two years in office alone.

However, in April, the Senate voted to reduce post-cloture debate time from 30 hours to two hours for certain executive and federal judicial nominations, including district court appointments like Maze’s, preventing further delay on confirming hundreds of qualified nominees. Since this change, the Senate has confirmed nearly twice as many nominees in half the time.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Alabama Power sends hundreds of linemen, support personnel to assist after Tropical Storm Isaias hammered East Coast

Tropical Storm Isaias hit the eastern coast of the United States hard this week, leaving millions of Americans without power while producing high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes.

In the wake of the storm’s wrath, Alabama Power Company on Wednesday morning sent 133 lineworkers and 94 support personnel to New Jersey to assist utility FirstEnergy in its storm response.

A release from the company outlined that Alabama Power upon arrival will support FirstEnergy subsidiary Jersey Central Power and Light, which serves 1.1 million customers in the central and northern parts of the Garden State.

In addition to directly supporting FirstEnergy, Alabama Power advised that it released more than 325 contract lineworkers to assist in storm restoration at various other utilities along the East Coast.

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“Our crews are prepped and ready to offer assistance in the restoration efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias,” stated Kristie Barton, Alabama Power Company’s power delivery services general manager.

“As soon as it is safe to do so, which includes observing all of our COVID-19 safe practices protocol, we’ll be working to restore power as quickly as possible,” she continued.

The company’s help was reportedly coordinated through the mutual assistance program of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, a trade association comprised of several member utilities.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Ivey named to leadership of National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) on Wednesday announced its new executive committee for 2020-2021, with Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) becoming chair of the association that represents the 55 leaders of all American states and territories.

Members of the executive committee were elected during the NGA summer meeting, which was held in a virtual format this year.

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) was one of the governors elected to the nine-member executive committee.

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“I’m honored to have been elected to serve on the [NGA] Executive Committee for 2020-21,” Ivey said in a Wednesday tweet. “I look forward to working with my fellow governors to develop initiatives & policies to support our country now & in the future.”

The NGA recently highlighted Alabama’s workforce development efforts under the Ivey administration as a model for other states to emulate.

Ivey assumed the governor’s office on April 10, 2017. In November 2018, she was elected to her first full term as Alabama’s chief executive. That term will expire in January 2023. Ivey could seek reelection in 2022.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

11 hours ago

Mo Brooks: Democrats are banking on creating more moochers in 2020

The latest stimulus bill in Congress is tied up for many reasons, but a major sticking point appears to be the continuation of a $600 a week unemployment booster on top of what states already pay in benefits.

With the current impasse, there is currently no bonus to be given to those who are unemployed.

This is creating a battle between those who want to keep the bonus payment going for the foreseeable future and those who believe that the high payment is keeping people from vigorously re-entering the job market.

The stalemate in Washington, D.C. will eventually break. Some form of sweetener will be included, and the battle for stimulus will move on to the next bill.

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) views this battle as part of the larger ideological battle in the United States.

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Brooks appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Wednesday and referred to the Democratic Party as “the moocher party.” He said he believes this disconnect all started in the 1960s when Democrats embraced the idea of the “Great Society.”

Brooks opined, “Democrats have discovered that’s a huge voting block that they get in elections, so one way to win an election is to turn more independent, self-reliant voters into moochers.”

The congressman from Huntsville believes this is nothing new and noted how political it all is.

“Democrats perceive that that’s going to help them tremendously in the 2020 elections just a few months from now,” he advised.

My takeaway:

Brooks, of course, is right.

The argument from the media and their Democrats is always going to be some version of: “We want to give you [this] and they don’t because they want you to die.”

Free healthcare, free childcare, free college education, and it never stops.

Stopping any of this is the equivalent of kicking a baby in the face and taking its food.

Democrats have bought into this idea for years, and in the time of rampant unemployment and a pandemic, they will kick their grievance politics into full gear to gain new power.

The House, Senate and presidency are at risk this year. Republicans can give in and extend the $600 unemployment benefit (they will), and Democrats will just move to the next free item.

In 2020, this strategy might work.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

13 hours ago

Dollar General opens 450,000 square foot distribution center in Montgomery

Budget shopping chain Dollar General on Wednesday announced the opening of its large, new cold storage distribution center in Montgomery.

The 450,000 square foot facility is the product of a $26 million investment for the company and will support around 65 new jobs in the River Region.

The Montgomery facility is cold storage, meaning it is designed to store goods that must be kept chilled like milk and deli products.

“Welcome to Montgomery Dollar General, thank you for investing in our state and in our people,” said Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday during a digital event celebrating the facility being opened.

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“We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous support from both state and local officials who helped make this project happen,” remarked Rod West, Dollar General’s vice president of perishables growth and development.

The low-cost retailer opened its first store in Alabama in 1965 and now has around 800 retail locations in the Yellowhammer State.

“Dollar General is a trusted company with a long history in Alabama,” said Elton Dean, Montgomery County Commission chairman, in a statement on Monday.

“The River Region has a lot to offer, and we are thrilled that this esteemed organization, that does business across the country, recognizes that,” Dean added.

Dollar General also has a traditional distribution center in Bessemer and claims to employ approximately 8,100 Alabamians in total.

Montgomery’s new distribution center is located on Mobile Highway, around 15 minutes southwest of downtown.

“We welcome Dollar General and look forward to years of partnership and progress to come,” commented Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed on Wednesday,

The company says it will support around 1,500 stores in surrounding areas and help spur the “DG Fresh” initiative “which is a strategic multi-phased shift to self-distribution of frozen and refrigerated goods such as dairy, deli and frozen products” according to a release.

“We are confident that Dollar General recognized our strong workforce and business-friendly environment when choosing a location for this facility. We are excited to welcome Dollar General and countless companies to come, to grow in Montgomery,” concluded Arthur DuCote, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce chairman.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

13 hours ago

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate

The Alabama Forestry Association (AFA) on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Republican nominee Tommy Tuberville in the Yellowhammer State’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

Tuberville, after defeating former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in last month’s GOP primary runoff, is set to face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November’s general election. The AFA had endorsed Sessions in the runoff contest.

In a statement, AFA executive vice president Chris Isaacson said, “We are proud to endorse Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate race. He is a conservative with an impressive list of accomplishments, and we know that he will continue that record in his role as U.S. Senator.”

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“Tommy knows that decisions made in Washington impact families and businesses and will be an effective voice for the people of Alabama,” he concluded.

This comes as another major endorsement for Tuberville from the agribusiness community. The Alabama Farmers Federation endorsed the former Auburn University football coach last year and has been credited as being integral along his path to securing the Republican nomination.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association. The AFA is an excellent organization that stands for pro-business policies. Protecting Alabama industry is a key to our state’s success,” Tuberville stated.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn