Amendment 1 – The purpose of this seems to be two-fold. First, it should prevent the application of Islamic law to cases here in Alabama. Additionally, it should prevent acknowledging gay marriage from other states via judicial methods here in Alabama. Similar laws have been struck down by the Federal courts in other districts, but apart from that, it should be a good amendment.
Amendment 2 – This amendment would allow the state to borrow an additional $50M for the national guard. An additional drawback is that it will decrease county funding from the Alabama Trust Fund. Thus, not recommended.
Amendment 3 – This one is tricky. It sounds great on its face. Strict scrutiny is the legal lingo for the highest level of scrutiny that the U.S. Supreme Court uses when assessing whether a law is constitutional. Thus, say someone passes a law in Alabama that prohibits the purchase of all ammo. The courts would then apply high level of scrutiny to this and in theory, strike that ban on ammo down. Thus, that could be a good thing, right? The only problem is that it then implies that some level of scrutiny is allowable and as long as it is strict, then it is OK to scrutinize/remove rights. Thus, it opens a door for liberal courts to scrutinize in a liberal way. Thus, the unintended consequences may be worse that the intended fix. I don’t recommend this one.
Amendment 4 – This makes is harder for the legislature to pass a unfunded mandates to the local level. The plus side to passing this, even for folks not involved in the government run school system, is that it makes is harder for the State to force the County to spend money (thus mandating local tax increases). What that will do is push the local levels to pass more tax bills which will have to be voted on locally. However, the language of the amendment does put boards of education on the same level as counties and cities, and some believe this could be used a back door to allow boards of education. Additionally, 100% of all legislators voted for this amendment, which makes me highly suspect of the motives. Thus, based on that, I recommend not supporting this amendment.
Amendment 5 – Same rationale as Amendment 3 above. I’m very leery of the “subject to reasonable regulations” language in the amendment, thus I would recommend not supporting this one as well.
Thus, in summary, the only one I am in favor of is Amendment 1.
I hope that helps! Sample ballots can be found at the Alabama Secretary of State site. That should allow you to see in advance everything you will be voting on tomorrow.As a reminder...the information here is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. For assistance with your specific legal question, you need to contact us.