SPECIAL UPDATE: Supreme Court rules against Flowers

The Alabama Supreme Court acted quickly to stop one judge’s effort to force the Republican Party to count votes for someone the party refers to as an &uot;illegal candidate.&uot;

The court issued a stay Thursday afternoon against the rulings of Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price concerning Steve Flowers, candidate for the District 14 Senate seat, which covers parts of Shelby and Bibb counties, all of Chilton County and three ballot boxes in Jefferson County.

State Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors said the party was pleased with the action.

&uot;The responsibility and authority of political parties to police their own qualification rules and the state laws of residency have been upheld,&uot; he said.

&uot;All future court cases will be out of Price’s court and in Shelby County where they belong.&uot;

Judge Price had issued a temporary restraining order earlier in the day to force the party and Connors to certify votes Flowers receives during the primary election next Tuesday.

Price’s ruling enjoined the party and Connors from, &uot;failing to certify all votes cast for Steve Flowers in the June 4, 2002, Republican primary election and in any subsequent runoff election for

state senate 14.&uot;

Price did not stop there, however. The restraining order also prevented the party from continuing an advertising campaign, which appeared in the Wednesday, May 29, 2002, edition of the Shelby County Reporter.

&uot;… Connors is temporarily enjoined to cease and desist immediately from

running any advertisements in newspapers or other publications or making any

public statements concerning his intent or that of the Alabama Republican

Party not to certify votes cast for Steve Flowers.&uot;

The Alabama Supreme Court stated however, &uot;… Petitioner’s (Republican Party) motion for stay is granted, and all proceedings and orders entered as to the petitioner Connors … are stayed pending further orders of this court.&uot;

&uot;This case will be solved in a Shelby County court,&uot; Connors said, referring

to the hearing in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner on June 5, the day after the primary.

Judge Joiner ruled last week he would hear evidence regarding Flowers’ residency issues on that day, prior to the certification of the June 4 vote.

&uot;No matter what happens in the election &045; even if Flowers finishes last &045; I want to continue with the hearing to assure the fact parties have the right to approve their candidates,&uot; Connors said.

The court proceeding on Thursday came just a day after complainants signed

an arrest warrant for Flowers &045; accusing him of assaulting a 9-year-old boy over the weekend.

In response to the accusations of assault, Flowers firmly denies striking the child and in turn argues he was the one assaulted.

The incident occurred over the weekend, when Flowers confronted members of a

political action committee (PAC) who have been involved in a negative ad

campaign against Flowers.

The warrant was the product of a complaint from David Dyer, a private investigator in Shelby County, whose work was used to compile a report to the Alabama Republican Party that originally had Flowers kicked out of the race.

The report was used as evidence in an April 15 hearing in Mountain Brook by a party candidate committee who disqualified Flowers because he had not lived in the district for a minimum of one year.

Dyer is also linked to the PAC, which is based in Alabaster and goes by the

name Truth PAC