Alabama Supreme Court issues 'stay' order; impeachment hearings will proceed
MONTGOMERY, Ala. —
The Alabama Supreme Court today on a 7-0 vote, with one justice recusing himself and another seat vacant, issued an emergency stay of a temporary restraining ordered issued by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge Friday prohibiting the House Judiciary Committee from holding impeachment hearings against Governor Robert Bentley.
Because of the Alabama Supreme Court's action, the impeachment hearings will proceed as originally scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Monday.
"This is a great day for the Constitution of Alabama," said Representative Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, chairman of the committee. "I want to thank the members of the Alabama Supreme Court for quickly acting on our appeal and recognizing, what a circuit court judge didn't understand, that there are three branches of government and the Alabama Legislature is free to conduct its business as prescribed in the state constitution."
Although the state's high court stayed Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin's10-day temporary restraining order granted to the governor's attorneys, it's ordered both sides in the case to file briefs no later than 1:00 p.m. Monday.
In response to the Supreme Court's ruling, Governor Bentley's Attorney Ross Garber issued the following statement:
"Given the significance of the issues it is certainly appropriate that the Supreme Court hear this matter quickly. We will be prepared to file our brief as directed on Monday afternoon. It's disappointing to hear the Committee will plow forward while the Supreme Court is considering the case. We have no idea what the Committee has planned for Monday or who its witnesses will be."