Alabama Supreme Court allows Dems to meet

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FILE – In this July 9, 2007, file photo, former Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley arrives the Montgomery County Courthouse,in Montgomery, Ala. A dispute over control of the Alabama Democratic Party is headed to court. Alabama Democratic Party Chair Worley and others filed a lawsuit Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, seeking to stop a faction of the party’s governing committee from meeting this weekend to elect new leaders. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Update (11/1): The Alabama Supreme Court has paved the way for an insurgent wing of the Alabama Democratic Party to meet on Saturday.

Justices late Friday stayed a temporary restraining order issued by a Montgomery judge blocking the meeting. The court said the stay will remain in place until the merits of the case are decided.

An insurgent wing of the party plans to meet in Montgomery on Saturday to elect a new chair and vice chair. Current Chair Nancy Worley and other party leaders filed a lawsuit to block the meeting.

U.S. Sen Doug Jones wrote in tweet, “THE MEETING IS ON,” after justices allowed the meeting to proceed.

An ongoing struggle has split the party’s executive committee into two factions.

Update (11/1): A Montgomery judge has blocked a meeting of a faction of the Alabama Democratic Party’s executive committee that’s scheduled to hold leadership elections Saturday.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Circuit Judge Greg Griffin wrote in an opinion delivered about 5 p.m. Friday that the court is satisfied plaintiffs have at least a reasonable chance of prevailing upon, at a minimum, the key question of which set of bylaws constitute the current and valid bylaws.

Barry Ragsdale, an attorney for the faction seeking to hold the election, said in an email Friday that they would file an appeal and a request an emergency stay with the Alabama Supreme Court.

SDEC members are set to begin their meeting at 8 a.m. Saturday. Ragsdale argued in court Thursday that granting the injunction would violate his clients’ First Amendment rights to assembly.

Original (11/1): The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is backing plan to elect new leadership for Alabama’s beleaguered Democratic Party.

A statement filed in court by the head of the national party, Tom Perez, says a party meeting planned for Saturday to elect new leaders complies with rules.

The current chair of the party, Nancy Worley, and others have filed suit to block the meeting. They contend it would be improper.

A judge is considering their request following a hearing.

Insurgents seeking new leadership are aligned with Alabama’s only Democratic statewide officeholder, Sen. Doug Jones. Jones says he’s supporting state Rep. Chris England for chair.

Perez’s statement says Alabama likely won’t get to send representatives to the Democratic National Convention next year without changes approved by the national party.


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