Democratic party election on again after Alabama Supreme Court stays ruling

Democratic party election on again after Alabama Supreme Court stays ruling
Party Chair Nancy Worley and others filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to stop a faction of the party's governing committee from meeting this weekend to elect new leaders. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed the temporary restraining order filed by Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley regarding a meeting with the goal of holding state party elections scheduled for this weekend.

Due to the ruling, the meeting will happen Saturday as planned, according to a tweet from U.S. Senator Doug Jones. “THE MEETING IS ON!” Jones said in the tweet, along with a video.

Earlier Friday a Montgomery circuit judge blocked a faction of the Alabama Democratic Party from holding a meeting and election this weekend.

Judge Greg Griffin granted a temporary restraining order filed by party chair Nancy Worley and others, which sought to stop a group of the party’s governing committee from meeting this weekend to elect new leaders.

The defendants - members of the reform group within the party - filed an appeal.

The lawsuit argues the Saturday meeting, where the reform group intends to elect a new chair, is unauthorized and is being held illegally.

“I can’t think of anything more damaging to the party than what’s going on right now. This is a party crying out to the court. Help us,” said Bobby Segall, who is representing Worley, during court Thursday.

Barry Ragsdale, the attorney for the defendant, said blocking the meeting violates the first amendment.

“They are asking you to enjoin everybody on the State Democratic Executive Committee from attending,” said Ragsdale. “I don’t know I’ve heard anything in my entire life more un-American."

An ongoing struggle has split the party's executive committee into two factions. On one side is a reform group whose actions have been approved by the Democratic National Committee. On the other are members aligned with Worley and Joe Reed, the party's vice chairman of minority affairs.

The Democratic National Committee told Worley in 2018 she had to submit new bylaws and hold a new leadership election.

The DNC rejected Worley’s submitted bylaws. Since then, a faction within the party approved a separate set of bylaws that they operate under.

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