To understand Alabama’s law and government better, one needs to know that the government of the state is organized in accordance with Constitution of Alabama. The government of Alabama can be categorized into Executive, judicial and legislative branches.
The executive branch of the Alabamian government includes the Governor of Alabama, Lieutenant Governor of Alabama and the Cabinet.
The Governor of the state is the upholder of the constitution and the law. He comes to power by election every four years and his time is limited to two consecutive terms. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state’s defense forces that include the Alabama Army National Guard and the Alabama Air National Guard.
The Lieutenant Governor of the state is also the ex-officio President of the Senate. He is also elected every four years by election with the condition that he has lived in the United States of America for 10 years and in Alabama for 7. He is required to be 30 years of age or older prior to the election.
The executive branch of officers include several other office heads like the Attorney General of Alabama, the State Auditor of Alabama, the Secretary of State of Alabama, the State Treasurer of Alabama, the Superintendent of Education of Alabama and the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.
The legislative branch of the Alabamian government consists of the Supreme Court and the ‘Court of the Judiciary’. The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice and eight other associate justices. The Clerk of the Court is also an important member of the Supreme Court family.
The Court of the Judiciary consists of one Chief Judge, two judges from the circuit court and one district judge. Other members of the court of judiciary include two associates of the state bar, three civilians and one member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
The Supreme Court has the authority to make rules regarding the administration, practice and procedures followed in all the courts in Alabama. It also has control over all the appeals where the amount in question exceeds $50,000.
The court of the Judiciary, on the other hand, is ordered to look into matters regarding complaints filed by the Inquiry Commission and other aspects of day to day convening.
The House of Representatives consists of 105 members who are chosen from various districts across the state. They are all elected for a four year term on the conditions that they are citizens of Alabama for three years or more and have lived in the district they have represented for one year or more. The House also has a Speaker, who is elected from amongst the members and serves as the presiding officer.
The members of the House are given a salary of $10 per day or $300 per month. This is supplemented by other perks such as travelling and eating allowances.
There are regular annual sessions of the Legislature that are convened on the first Tuesday of the month of February except under these circumstances:
It is convened on the first Tuesday in the month of March during the first year of the four year term.
It is convened on the second Tuesday in January when the session is convened in the last year of the four year term.
Cabinet Members (as of 2010)
|2008||60.32% 1,266,546||38.80% 813,479||John McCain|
|2004||62.46% 1,176,394||36.84% 693,933||George W. Bush|
|2000||56.47% 944,409||41.59% 695,602||George W. Bush|
|1996||50.12% 769,044||43.16% 662,165||Bob Dole|
|1992||47.65% 804,283||40.88% 690,080||George Bush|
|1988||59.17% 815,576||39.86% 549,506||George Bush|
|1984||60.54% 872,849||38.28% 551,899||Ronald Reagan|
|1980||48.75% 654,192||47.45% 636,730||Ronald Reagan|
|1976||42.61% 504,070||55.73% 659,170||Jimmy Carter|
|1972||72.43% 728,701||25.54% 256,923||Richard Nixon|
|1968*||13.99% 146,923||18.72% 196,579||George Wallace (I)|
|1964||69.45% 479,085||30.55% 210,732||Barry Goldwater|
|1960||42.16% 237,981||56.39% 318,303||John F. Kennedy|