The Wire

  • Shots exchanged during road rage incident on I-20 during morning rush hour

    Excerpt from AL.com:

    An apparent case of road rage led to an exchange of gunfire on Interstate 20 Thursday morning.

    It all began about 7:30 a.m. on I-20 westbound just before the Interstate 459 south ramp. The victim – a 22-year-old man from Pell City – told Irondale the suspect cut off him off and then continued the harassment.

    A short time later, the victim said, the motorist pulled out what looked like an AK-47 and opened fire. The victim pulled his own gun and returned shots, said Irondale police Det. Sgt. Michael Mangina.

    The victim was not injured, but police have found at least nine bullet holes in his Nissan. The passenger side window also was shot out, and there was a passenger in the vehicle at the time.

  • TVA Opens Guntersville Dam for First Time Since September 11, 2001 Attacks

    Excerpt from The Advertiser-Gleam:

    TVA has re-opened the dam for very limited public tours. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the tours filled very quickly and no more are scheduled for the immediate future.

    Access to the interior of the dam has not been available since the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. The new tours are a pilot program to get people back in the dam.

    For decades after its construction, the powerhouse of the dam was open to the public. You could go in just about anytime you wanted. The same was true for the top of the dam, where people could walk across. But it all changed due to the security risks after 9/11.

  • Alabama officials oppose possible automobile, parts tariffs

    Excerpt from Decatur Daily:

    Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said large tariffs on imported automobiles and parts — and potential counter tariffs imposed by other countries — could lead to lost jobs in Alabama.

    Canfield said his office will continue to communicate to President Donald Trump’s administration that possible 25 percent tariffs would hurt the state.

    Trump has asked the U.S. Commerce Department to study the tariffs on national security grounds, hoping to bring back jobs, The Associated Press reported this week. But industry experts and analysts say the increased costs will raise prices, hurt sales and bring layoffs. Already, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on some Chinese-made autos and parts, but extending them to Canada and Mexico would hurt the industry more.

11 months ago

Radical Islam, Social Media and the Impact of Trump’s Travel Ban in Alabama

Now that the Supreme Court has approved President Trump’s travel ban, what’s next? Trump has argued that the ban is necessary to determine the best vetting procedures for immigrants from high-risk countries. It’s not altogether clear what changes need to be made, especially with so many questions surrounding the terrorist threat from abroad. Why do some people find the radical ideology embraced by ISIS and other terror groups so attractive? And what, if anything, can the U.S. do to combat the spread of this ideology?

The Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban on residents and refugees from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan can continue as planned. However, the court added a caveat to the ban—if a resident has a credible relationship with a person or entity in the U.S., they are allowed entry. Additionally, visas that have already been approved will not be revoked.

The U.S. has some of the strictest vetting procedures for foreign refugees and those seeking to obtain temporary visas. With these already rigorous procedures, it’s somewhat unclear what can be done to make them more secure.  Visa applicants are subject to extensive background checks conducted by the State Department, National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, etc. Then, they are interviewed by an immigration officer who asks them questions about their home country and the nature of their travel to the U.S. Once the traveler arrives at a U.S. airport, a customs official can access all of the information gathered prior to issuing the visa. Travelers must answer more questions and officials take a second fingerprint to ensure they match. Refugees are subject to an even more stringent process.

The U.S. also has officers stationed in airports around the world. In 2015, these officers determined that 10,648 of the 16 million air travelers to the U.S. were inadmissible. Though the process is stringent, becoming complacent in the way we approach immigration may lead to unintended consequences; not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

For example, the European Union has failed to impose any significant limitations on immigration. In fact, the EU imposes fines on member countries that refuse to accept refugees. However, increasing numbers of refugees and immigrants have caused political and social turmoil in many EU nations. The number of terrorist attacks in Europe seems to have dramatically increased in recent years. London, in particular, has been subject to these attacks, with several occurring in the span of a few months.

Looking to Europe as a warning, it is apparent that action needs to be taken to enforce our already strict policies, but what can be done? One aspect of the system that desperately needs to be reexamined is the Visa Waiver Program. This program allows citizens from 38 mostly European countries to travel to the U.S. without visas; unless they are also citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Many of the countries included in the waiver are those that are experiencing immigration issues of their own. This program needs to be reformed to ensure that these travelers have legitimate European passports and are not taking advantage of the system.

The process that we use to share information about potentially harmful immigrants may also need to be reformed. The administration needs to find a way to ease the process of sharing information through online databases between different government agencies and officials. Some changes could make it easier to consistently check for national security threats contained in an immigrant’s background.

The controversy surrounding the travel ban raises the question of what has happened to make such stringent procedures necessary. Politicians seek to implement these policies as terrorist groups like ISIS increase in violent activity. Even with such a negative and violent reputation, ISIS has been successful in recruiting efforts, with some people abandoning their home countries to join the group. What causes people to be attracted to ISIS and groups like it?

Part of the ISIS recruiting strategy is its social media presence. Social media advertising convinces young people to celebrate the brutality of ISIS because online videos depict violence in the style of an action movie. The excitement of these films masks what the real acts of ISIS- torture and brutal murder.

Recently, a shocking number of women have left their home countries to join ISIS. Why this emphasis on recruiting young women? On the surface, ISIS seems to offer many freedoms that appeal to women who live in countries where they are not politically/socially equal to men. Many young, vulnerable women feel that joining this group will boost their social status. ISIS uses propaganda that makes women feel empowered. They tell them ISIS provides an avenue to exact revenge on their home countries for holding them back. Such propaganda helps to skew their perspectives, making them believe they are accomplishing social change through senseless acts of violence.

ISIS also promises many recruits a better life, and not only to women abroad. Today there’s a breakdown of American families and a disintegration of communities. Americans once looked after one another, and families and communities gave people a sense of belonging. This isn’t as much the case today, where social media has made people more digitally connected than ever before, but lonelier than ever before.

In Midwest, there’s been a particular uptick in ISIS recruits where there are a larger number of people from the Middle East who have refused to assimilate into American Society. This has also led to an increase in American citizens fighting oversees for ISIS.

ISIS offers individuals these young Americans a chance to go on an “adventure.” A chance to belong to something greater than themselves, giving hopeless kids a sense of mission, purpose, and belonging.

ISIS also entices its recruits with things like free housing, gifts, and other amenities. Recruits are given a sense of identity and embrace the idea that the group is a community that will stick up for them. However, recruits find out the hard way how empty and poisonous this ideology can become.

The U.S. needs to make sure that ISIS recruiters are easily identifiable so we can root them out of our society once they have committed a crime against the United States. Young Muslims need to be educated in their mosque that any act of terrorism doesn’t represent a reformed interpretation of Islam. The good news is that America is not like Europe. The U.S. does an excellent job of assimilating our immigrants to our society.  However, ISIS is a group surrounded by much mystery and misleading news coverage, and there needs to be a strong effort to make clear what ISIS stands for is only sorrow and death.

Unfortunately, the fight against terror is not an easy one. Our enemy in this fight knows no nation and doesn’t fight by the rules that govern war. Our enemy is highly motivated to kill and thinks not of their safety since they desire to be martyred. So we have to not only use our military might but our military intelligence to root out the enemy wherever we find them. The travel ban won’t be as effective if our government doesn’t reform the visa waiver program which makes it so easy for ISIS fighters with European passports to get into the United States. In Alabama, there are many high-value targets in Huntsville, Mobile, and Birmingham so we can’t assume that because we live in a rural state that this war won’t come to us. Thankfully, we have some of the best-trained law enforcement anywhere defending us and our way of life. I also believe that President Trump’s Military appointments are the finest we’ve had since the end of WWII. I am glad that our foreign policy will not be governed by weakness but will not back down from showing American strength. I just hope we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and think we can westernize nations overnight.


About the author: A Guest Contributor, Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at  www.reidlawalabama.com.

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1 year ago

What’s Really Behind the Left’s Recent Attacks on Congressman Palmer (opinion)

Congressman Gary Palmer
Congressman Gary Palmer

The election of Donald Trump has created hysteria among the far left members in the Democratic Party. With the repeal of Obamacare on the near horizon, the left has focused their energy on disrupting GOP town halls. Our congressman Gary Palmer was recently a major target of this effort, which begs the question: why did the left organize specifically against Gary Palmer? Some background on Gary Palmer’s life and history will shed light on why the Left is focusing so many resources to take him down.

Before being elected to represent the 6th Congressional District of Alabama, Palmer was famous for advocating for conservative solutions to help reform Alabama’s government. In 1989, he founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a think tank that played a pivotal role in defeating a $1 billion tax increase proposal in 2003, which was proposed by a Republican Governor. Palmer demonstrated that he was willing to stand up for his principles even if it meant challenging members of his own party. In 2014, most political analysts believed that Palmer had little chance of winning the GOP primary due to the fact that his opponents were better funded and organized. But what Palmer had was a powerful message that he would not abandon his principles regardless of the cost. Palmer won both due to his command of the issues and because he pledged to the voters that if elected, he would not vote for John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Unlike many politicians, Palmer actually stuck to his promise and famously told then Speaker Boehner that he could not in good conscious vote for him, which took Speaker Boehner by surprise because most freshman congressman wouldn’t challenge the leader of their own party. At first, Palmer was threatened with being sidelined, but in time Boehner actually respected Palmer for being a man of his word, and Palmer was put on some very influential committees.

Now in his second term in Congress, Palmer has also made attempts to curb the out-of-control deficit spending looming over the country. Last year, he proposed an amendment prohibiting bills costing more than $500 million from being brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of the rules. Currently, the rules often allow for bills to be passed quickly while House rules are suspended, which limits debate and encourages the frivolous spending seen over the last 8 years. While this amendment was voted down at the time, it is more likely to pass now that a Republican is in the White House.

Despite the fact that Palmer was aware that the Left was going to disrupt his town hall on Feb 25th, he still attended because he is willing to listen and respond to any constituent regardless of political ideology. Palmer not only fielded every question posed to him by the Left at the town hall, he even made a point to step outside and speak to the protestors who were unable to enter due to the fire code because he wanted to give them a chance to voice their concerns as well.

However, despite Palmer working hard to listen to the concerns of his constituents on the Left, he will likely be a target because he has obtained a significant amount of influence through his appointment to the Budget Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Congressman Palmer has also been appointed to the Republican Policy Committee as Vice President and to the Steering Committee of the Republican Study Committee. These committees are often tasked with working out the details of major pieces of legislation, and Congressman Palmer will have the ability to work behind the scenes on transformative conservative legislation. That is why the Left is so determined to take him down. My grandfather, a WWII veteran, always used to say that you only take flack when you’re over the target, which means the closer you are to achieving your goal, the more opposition you will have. Palmer is up to the challenge of continuing to promote conservative solutions to the problems American face.


Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.

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1 year ago

AL Attorney: How Partisan Tensions Are Destroying Relationships and How We Can Fix them (opinion)

At no time since the Civil War began has our country seen this level of partisan tension. In a survey done in 1960, less than 10 percent of Americans said they would have a problem marrying someone from the other political party. In 2010 that number shot up to nearly 50 percent. Also, according to Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science Stanford University, “In the 1950s and 1960s party affiliation made virtually no difference to interpersonal relations.” However, since the divisive 2016 election we are now seeing partisan tension dramatically affect our lives, From couples divorcing and friendships ending, to widespread boycotts and politically inspired acts of violence, D.C.’s political climate has undoubtedly created turmoil across the country.

The New York Times wrote an article entitled “Political Divide Splits Relationships – and Thanksgiving, Too.” In this article, family after family is ripped apart by the election. One daughter described in the article calls and forbids her parents from seeing their grandchildren ever again due to political differences. One man’s mother claims she, “no longer had a son.” While each family has their own unique history, there is one constant in each story listed in the article. In every case it was the Trump Supporter who was singled out and cut off from the rest of the family. In the article, the Times points out, “Democrats have dug in their heels, and in some cases are refusing to sit across the table from relatives who voted for President-elect Donald J. Trump.”

Trump supporters have not been completely free of political resentments either. During the election, many called their fellow supporters to boycott companies that didn’t align with their views. Macy’s was boycotted for not holding Trump’s clothing line. Oreos were boycotted when they moved their company to Mexico, and Ben & Jerry’s was singled out for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Personally, I could never boycott Ben & Jerry’s because their ice cream is just too delicious.

Democrats had their fair share of boycotts during the election as well. In Detroit, Democrats singled out Don Studvent, owner of the restaurant 1917, for catering a breakfast for Donald Trump, Jr. Though Studvent is a Clinton supporter and has signs supporting her outside his restaurant, he had only two tables filled during what he says was his busiest lunch hour. Studvent argues that the choice to cater for Donald Trump, Jr., was strictly business and that he “can’t take sides” when dealing with his business because he has employees to pay.

The politically inspired boycotts did not end on election night. One political activist group, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, is attempting to sway the future of healthcare through boycotts. The group calls for the boycott of any restaurant that allows a Congress member who voted to repeal Obamacare to eat. Scott Dworkin, an adviser to group said, “Restaurants who don’t ban Members will be boycotted by D.C. residents and close down. We’ve done it before – It worked.”

While anecdotal, the above examples give a glimpse into the lack of civility in our country. In some instances, such political hostility has been known to evoke violence. For example, four teens tortured a mentally disabled teen (who supported Trump) on Facebook Live. Reportedly, the teens threatened the boy with a knife and forced him to drink toilet water. While incidents like this are rare , it is emblematic of the partisan tension that exists.

The solution to the problem of partisan tension isn’t that we all must agree with each other. Americans have always had a diversity of viewpoints on issues, and that is the mark of a free society. However, we cannot subscribe to the mindset that because someone has a different viewpoint that makes them not worthy of our respect or friendship. Many people come to their views honestly after they have given it much thought, and it is foolish for us to demand that people in our lives see the world as we do. Personally, some of the best friendships I have had were with people who didn’t believe virtually anything I did. But what was great about those friendships is that we actually challenged each other by listening to each other’s viewpoint.

There is so much we can learn from each other if we stop yelling and start listening. Listening doesn’t mean we compromise our principles or our faith but it does mean that we try to show respect to each other and demonstrate that even though we disagree we can still show that we care. I once heard a pastor say “No one cares what you say until they know that you care” and that is how we can heal partisan tension. If you really want to persuade people to your way of thinking ,first listen to what they have to say and show them you care, and I promise they will be much more open to what you have to say. Don’t miss out on quality friendships because of different worldviews, just treat people well whatever they believe, understanding that they may or may not come around to your point of view. We must remember that being a good friend is more important than being right, so let’s all do our part to show respect to each other and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.


Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.

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1 year ago

Obamacare “death spiral” necessitates need for replacement plan by GOP (opinion)

ObamaCare premiums and deductibles continue to rise in Alabama.

The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one Trumps biggest agenda items for his first term. As recently as February 16, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing,” and that, “It will keep getting worse unless we act.” In his statement, Ryan speaks to the ever-increasing insurance premiums that the American people are forced to pay, while their co-pays have gone up and their access to quality physicians has gone down.

Currently, House Republicans are working towards a replacement plan that they believe will be lower costs and increase access for most Americans. As of now, there is a substantial difference of opinion regarding healthcare reform between Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats support a single-payer system which would effectively eliminate the insurance companies and give the government complete control over your health care decisions. Democrats claim that this single payer system would work “just like the VA” and provide the same level of quality care to all Americans that we provide our veterans. First, our VA is not the model you want this country to emulate. In the past years it has been proven that incompetence at the VA has led to the deaths of many of our nations most decorated veterans. Sadly, the issues with VA have been around for many years. When my dad was doing his residency in the early 80s as an internal medicine physician, one of his rotations was at the VA in Birmingham. On one occasion while he was working there he heard an alarm go off which meant that a patient was going into cardiac arrest and if he didn’t resuscitate this patient quickly they would die. The normal practice is that when someone is going into cardiac arrest the nurse will go to the room with the doctor to help them revive the patient. However, when this cardiac arrest code went off my dad had to run through the halls and try to find this patient who was in imminent danger of dying and finally he went to the nurses station and asked “what room is this patient in” and the nurse pointed to the room with a chicken wing in her hand and my dad was thankfully able to revive the patient. Obviously he was very angry and confronted the nurse and said why didn’t you assist me in reviving this patient and she said that “she was on her break and hadn’t finished eating her dinner”. Well my dad justifiably let her know his thoughts on the matter and the next day the person who got in trouble was not the nurse who was more than happy letting a veteran die rather than take two minutes away from her dinner, it was my dad who apparently wasn’t sensitive enough to this “so-called”nurse. The problem with giving the government control of our healthcare is that it is almost impossible to fire someone and unlike the private marketplace where you can promote people based on merit, the way you advance in the government system is much different. So if any politician ever says they want to make healthcare run like the VA you need to do everything in your power to make sure that person never wins an election or you may be the person who goes into cardiac arrest during a dinner break and good luck suing the government for negligence because your chances of recovering damages on this when it is in the hands of the government will be slim to none.

That being said the Republicans prefer a replacement plan with health savings accounts, tax credits to help pay for insurance, and high-risk pools for the chronically sick. The Republicans aim to create a more patient-centered system, allowing for greater choice among insurance companies and healthcare providers. The House Republicans’ blueprint also includes a change in Medicaid payments. Under the ACA, the federal government covers the majority of insurance costs for the Medicaid population. Under the Republican’s proposed plan, states would be reimbursed with block grants. Block grants would limit Medicaid spending, which is currently reimbursed as a percentage of whatever each state spends. Although the House leaders have laid out this general repeal-and-replace plan, a definitive plan has yet to be formulated. As of now there is just speculation as to what the final product will be and if states will end up losing federal funds.

Considering the general formatting of plans to repeal-and-replace the ACA, it is important to follow two individuals throughout the next few months. First, we should follow statements made by Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, as tax credits are a large portion of Republicans’ repeal-and-replace plans. Representative Brady has discussed tax credit options with a number of congressmen, as well as a potential widening of health savings accounts. At this point, Representative Brady’s opinions are rather broad. Brady stated, “We’re really looking at a whole range of options.” Although this statement is extremely general, it is important to continue following Representative Brady’s statements and opinions, as his committee will be incredibly influential in the passage of a replacement bill.

The second person to follow is Tom Price, President Trump’s appointment for Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is decidedly against abortion-providing organizations and strongly supports employers’ rights to delegate the level of reproductive healthcare employees receive. While a member of the House of Representatives, Price proposed his own vision for health care reform, The Empowering Patients First Act of 2015. This plan significantly mirrors the plan House Republicans are currently pushing, including giving tax credits to pay for insurance and creating health savings accounts. Considering Secretary Price’s history, it is likely he will gladly support and adopt most anything House Republicans pass in regards to healthcare reform.

With the repeal of the ACA, replacement is vital. Replacement is necessary, as a total repeal without a replacement would disrupt millions of Americans’ healthcare. Many fear, without a replacement, insurers selling individual health plans will exit the market because they will no longer be subsidized. Replacing the ACA would minimize the potential fallout.. Replacement is a complicated issue and undoubtedly much more is to come, but so far, House Republicans appear off to a good start.


Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.

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1 year ago

False perception of corruption could hurt Luther Strange’s political future (opinion)

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange

If you look at Luther Strange’s record, there is no doubt that he is immensely qualified to serve as our senator, and no Republican doubts that he will be as reliably conservative as Jeff Sessions. Luther has shown himself to be one of the best attorneys general in the country, and he ran the office of AG in Alabama with excellence. He effectively negotiated the BP oil spill, he was one the lead AG’s in the fight against Obamacare, and he did everything in his power to fight against the crushing and unnecessary regulations that came from DC. He also was willing to take on corruption in his own party and developed a reputation for putting the rule of law over partisan considerations. However, the problem with his appointment is that the story being told right now has nothing to do with how qualified he is and has everything to do with the perception of self-dealing that his appointment has created.

Ever since the story broke regarding Governor Bentley’s alleged affair with Rebecca Mason, the issue of whether or not the governor used state resources to engage in this affair has not been adequately resolved. The perception in this state was that Luther Strange would be involved in any investigation that would take place to determine whether any laws had been broken by Governor Bentley.

When it was announced by President Trump that Jeff Sessions would be appointed to serve as Attorney General, many conservative pundits believed that Governor Bentley would not appoint Luther Strange because this would create a perception that Luther Strange’s appointment would be a way for Bentley to kill the investigation into his alleged affair. If the Governor’s motive in appointing Luther Strange was to scuttle the investigation, then it will most likely have the opposite effect. Luther Strange’s appointment will actually put more public pressure on the state legislature and AG’s office to investigate the governor than ever before.

In addition, there will be a perception that this appointment was a quid pro quo for Luther to get his office to back off the investigation in exchange for his appointment. This perception could make it harder for Luther to be as effective in the Senate as he would be. It will also make it easier for a primary challenger to defeat Strange in the 2018 Senate race.

Let me be clear: I do not believe that Luther Strange did anything unethical or illegal to obtain this Senate seat. He has proven throughout his entire life to be a man of integrity, and I believe when this matter is investigated, Strange is going to be cleared of any wrongdoing. However, the damage has already been done and what is frustrating is that by taking this appointment it will create what I believe is a false perception that Strange is corrupt. If he would have turned this appointment down and told the Governor he couldn’t take the appointment because of the perception of corruption, that would have increased his chances of winning the primary in 2018 no matter whom the Governor appointed. Also, Strange could have been a front runner in the governor’s race if the Senate seat wasn’t an option, and his record of accomplishment is so great that he would have been a tough candidate to beat in the primary.

This is frustrating as a conservative because Luther Strange is one brightest stars in the GOP, and I don’t want this false perception of corruption to hurt someone who could accomplish so many great things for the people of this state. The best path forward is for Luther Strange to address this perception head on and explain this adequately to the voters so he can continue to be an effective leader. Hopefully this choice will not hurt him in the long term.


Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.

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1 year ago

Making Our Courts Great Again: How Trump’s Pick for the Supreme Court Will Impact Your Life for the Better. (opinion)

One reason I love being an attorney is that every day there is something new I get to learn about the world. The law affects everything we do and governs nearly every human interaction. There are laws that govern the food you ate this morning and the car you drove to work. But more importantly, it is the law that can enable your family to live in peace and freedom. Considering the court has become the most powerful branch of government, President Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch may have the greatest impact on your life. Often, the Supreme Court has moved beyond their role of interpreting law to essentially making law. Unlike laws made by Congress which can be reversed by an election, the Supreme Court’s rulings can only be undone by a constitutional amendment. Practically speaking, reversing Supreme Court rulings is nearly impossible. Despite the intentions of our founders, the court now has more power than Congress concerning issues that affect our liberties. Had Hillary won the election, she may have appointed a justice who could have limited second amendment rights and religious liberty. Often, the far left has used the courts to enact laws Congress would not pass because they were politically unpopular. If a left-wing court were to be implemented the role of Congress would be severely limited. Thomas Jefferson once stated the “government which governs less governs best,” which is why we need justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was intended. The Bill of Rights, at its core, is a restriction on the power of the federal government to protect the rights of the people. Neil Gorsuch understands that his role as a judge is to faithfully interpret the law and the Constitution as written instead of imposing his views on the law.

Justice Scalia once had a stamp on his desk that said, “stupid but constitutional” to remind him that his job wasn’t to opine on the wisdom of a given law but to determine whether it was constitutional. Like Justice Scalia, Neil Gorsuch is a brilliant legal scholar who has an unassailable reputation within the legal community and was confirmed unanimously by the senate 10 years ago. One of the most notable endorsements of Gorsuch is Neal Katyal, who served as President Obama’s solicitor general. He stated, “Judge Gorsuch is one of the most thoughtful and brilliant judges to have served our nation over the last century, as a judge, he has always put aside his personal views to serve the rule of law. To boot, as those of us who have worked with him can attest, he is a wonderfully decent and humane person. I strongly support his nomination to the Supreme Court.” Judge Gorsuch is uniquely qualified to fill the seat of Justice Scalia because of his enduring faithfulness to the law and the Constitution. I realize the Democrats are furious that Obama’s pick to the Supreme Court was not given a hearing. Although the GOP was following precedent, I certainly think Obama’s pick could have been treated more respectfully. However, Neil Gorsuch had no part in the decision to deny Obama’s pick a hearing and he should be considered on his qualifications and given an up or down vote. Although the GOP can use the so called “nuclear option” to pass Gorsuch through the senate with a bare majority, I hope it does not come to that. The use of this option will create even greater causticity in DC, which is unneeded considering the current polarity in our political system.

Despite the opposition on the left, I believe Judge Gorsuch will be installed on the Supreme Court and he will faithfully interpret the laws and the Constitution. As an attorney, I see the immense power that the government has to interfere with the lives of its citizens and I believe that the court was set up to protect us from a government that became too intrusive. Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation from extension. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Judge Gorsuch’s appointment will help protect freedom both for us and for generations to come.



Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama, he has worked for republican leadership in the house in DC and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama, you can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. For a full description of his practice area’s go to www.reidlawalabama.com

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