As activist plead with Butts County Superior Court Judge Penny Freesemann to halt the execution of Troy Davis, A Federal Judge in New Orleans has ruled that a white man is mentally unfit to stand trial on charges he fired a shotgun at three black men who were trying to leave New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I kid you not.
On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Louis Moore Jr. ordered Roland Bourgeois Jr. to be taken into federal custody and hospitalized for up to four months before the Mississippi man is re-evaluated.
Bourgeois was freed on bond after he was indicted last year on charges stemming from the 2005 shooting, in which at least one of the men was wounded. Prosecutors called it a racially motivated attack.
A doctor who evaluated Bourgeois last month determined he has psychiatric and medical problems that impair his competency and the he shouldn't stand trial until he has a liver transplant.
Meanwhile,U.S. District Judge John Bates tossed Shelby County, Alabama's challenge to election monitoring. Thank goodness.
U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled against Shelby County, Ala., which sued Attorney General Eric Holder to stop the monitoring required since the Voting Rights Act's initial passage in 1965. The county argued the monitoring is outdated and that it should no longer need federal approval before changing even minor election procedures such as moving a polling place or redrawing school district lines.
Section 5 of the law relies heavily on patterns of past discrimination to determine which state, county and local governments must obtain "preclearance" for election changes. Bates noted that this section has been alternatively called the centerpiece of the country's most effective civil rights law and an impermissible federal encroachment on state sovereignty.
Bates had appeared somewhat sympathetic to the county's arguments at a hearing in February and he questioned whether evidence of racial discrimination from four or five decades ago justified the continued election monitoring.
But he wrote in his 151-page opinion that after reviewing 15,000 pages of records in support of lawmakers' 25-year extension of the law in 2006 that Congress was justified in finding that discrimination in the covered jurisdictions still existed.
Which doesn't explain why Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange by passed the DOJ and went straight to the courts for redistricting approval. Or does it?
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is taking the state’s redistricting plan straight to federal court.
Following remarks at Jacksonville State University Monday, Strange told a reporter the court case – an unusual move – is something he did to save time.
“It’s the quickest route, the most logical route for us,” Strange said.
Maybe he knows the Judge.
I'm just saying....