Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 24, 2022

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 24, 2022

On February 24, 1803, the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall decided the case of Marbury v. Madison, enunciating the principle of judicial review under which the Court has authority to review Congressional action and hold them unconstitutional.

In writing the decision, John Marshall argued that acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution are not law and therefore are non-binding to the courts, and that the judiciary’s first responsibility is always to uphold the Constitution. If two laws conflict, Marshall wrote, the court bears responsibility for deciding which law applies in any given case.

Union troops under General George Thomas attacked Confederates led by General Joseph Johnston near Dalton, Georgia on February 24, 1864.

Casualties were light. Thomas suffered fewer than 300 men killed, wounded, or captured, while Johnston lost around 140 troops. The Union generals did learn a valuable lesson, however; a direct attack against Rocky Face Ridge was foolish. Three months later, Sherman, in command after Grant was promoted to commander of all forces, sent part of his army further south to another gap that was undefended by the Confederates. The intelligence garnered from the Battle of Dalton helped pave the way for a Union victory that summer.

The first prisoners of war were moved to Andersonville on February 24, 1864.

The Atlanta Journal was first published on February 24, 1883.

On February 24, 1988, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, that the First Amendment protects publishers against claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress where the plaintiff is a public figure being parodied by the publication.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton is asking the GBI to investigate some council members, according to WTOC.

Mayor Norton said he’s requesting the GBI conduct a criminal and public integrity investigation into the actions of several members of the City Council, but did not give specifics.

He also said that interim City Attorney Joseph Ervin resigned Wednesday due to the conduct of members of council.

Mayor Norton also said Thursday’s city council meeting is canceled due to the city’s lack of a clerk of council and a staff shortage. He said that staff shortage is due to several complaints from employees against Councilman Thomas Barbee.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Port Wentworth’s interim city attorney submitted his resignation letter to mayor and council Wednesday, marking the eighth resignation from a city employee this month.

Joseph Byron Ervin stated in his letter that he was resigning due to “ethical and professional reasons.”

“My goal was to provide unbiased legal guidance to the City,” writes Ervin, “However, due to several events including attempts made to influence my decisions that are not supported by law, questioning my integrity, innuendos of how my longevity could be affected by the decisions I make, along with the fact that it appears that City Council has accepted the legal advice of person or persons outside of my own […] has prompted me to provide you with this letter of resignation.”

City Hall is currently operating with minimal staff and by drive-thru only.

Under the Gold Dome – Legislative Day 20

TBD Senate Rules Committee upon Adjournment 450 CAP

8:00 AM HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE 132 CAP HYBRID

8:00 AM Senate Ethics Committee- canceled 307 CLOB

8:30 AM HOUSE WAYS & MEANS 406 CLOB HYBRID

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES COMMITEE 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 20) House Chamber

10:00 AM Senate Floor Session LD 20 Senate Chamber

1:00 PM HOUSE Judiciary Non-Civil Setzler Subcommittee 132 CAP HYBRID

1:00 PM Senate Public Safety Committee – canceled Mezz 1

2:00 PM HOUSE AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMITTEE 406 CLOB HYBRID

2:00 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Mezz 1

2:00 PM Senate Transportation Committee 450 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee 341 CAP HYBRID

3:00 PM HOUSE CANCELED INDUSTRY AND LABOR COMMITTEE 406 CLOB HYBRID

3:00 PM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee 450 CAP

4:00 PM Senate Government Oversight – canceled 450 CAP

Governor Brian Kemp reacted to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, according to 11Alive.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement condemning the attack and calling it a “callous, indefensible invasion.”

“We stand with our allies and condemn this aggression of tyrants,” Kemp said in a series of Tweets.

He said that this attack could impact members of Georgia servicemembers who are now on “heightened alert.”

Members of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah have already been deployed to Europe, according to a news release. They deployed on Feb. 16 to support U.S. Air Force Europe. The members will help with a tactical airlift package that supplies logistical support and military aid.

Gov. Kemp full statement:

“As Putin and the Russian army violate Ukraine’s sovereignty through this callous, indefensible invasion, we stand with our allies and condemn this aggression of tyrants. We are praying for a quick, just end to this conflict, the safety of Ukraine’s citizens, & the defeat of democracy’s enemies. We are also mindful of how this could impact the brave men and women of our military, including Georgia servicemembers who are on heightened alert. (First Lady Marty Kemp), the girls, and I ask that you join us in praying for their safety, for their families, and for the well-being of all those who fight for liberty around the world.”

Georgia state legislators are considering legislation to remake the legislation governing low THC oil supplies for patients, according to the AJC.

A bill considered in committee Wednesday would attempt to break the stalemate by opening up the medical marijuana market, increasing the number of state licenses from six to 22.

Licenses would go to six companies that received tentative approval from a state board last year, along with 16 companies protesting that decision.

For seven years, state law has allowed registered patients in Georgia to use medical marijuana oil, but they still have no legal way to buy it here.

Under House Bill 1400, licenses would be granted to companies by June 30, and then they’d have one year to begin operations.

Those companies would then be able to sell, grow and manufacture medical marijuana oil, which can have no more than 5% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high.

With the approval of a doctor, patients would be able to buy cannabis oil to treat conditions including seizures, terminal cancers and Parkinson’s disease. Over 20,000 people have registered with the state so far, but they remain unable to buy the oil they’re allowed to consume.

The start-up of the medical marijuana industry in Georgia has been delayed indefinitely by protests filed by businesses that sought but didn’t receive licenses when they were awarded by the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission in July.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Alan Powell, said appeals and potential lawsuits could further delay the medical marijuana licenses for three more years.

“This bill simply would do a rifle-shot way of cleaning that up,” said Powell, a Republican from Hartwell. “This is a real issue that needs to be addressed.”

During the period in which this supply fiasco has played out, my late wife was diagnosed with a terminal disease that qualified her for use of the low THC oil. She registered for the card to permit her to use it. She suffered needlessly without a legal supply, and died.

The oil would not have prolonged her life, but it did alleviate some of her suffering.

I’m not saying anyone has done anything wrong, but this is one example of why many people can be sympathetic to those who suffer, but think that government is a poor way to help them. In the meantime, I can walk into any convenience store or the hippie granola stores and buy CBD products any day of the week because private companies found a way.

There are good, honest people working in government, trying to make a difference. But the checks and balances that protect us also make government less efficient. By design.

My late wife worked for years in Georgia state government to help poor people get housing and medical care. She helped pass a Constitutional Amendment to ensure continued funding for the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission so they could continue their work of helping injured Georgians to have fuller, more rewarding lives.

It’s a bitter truth to say that government betrayed her.

Dalton City Council repealed their mask mandate for city buildings, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Peter Robyn announced he will run for Chairman of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Robyn said he is running because he has concerns about education system and the school board. He doesn’t have children or grandchildren in the district. “I want to return education to the people and people need to be more involved in our education system,” he said.

Robyn was escorted out of a Jan. 5 school board meeting because he wouldn’t comply with the districts’ mask policy. He was at the meeting to speak with the board about his desire to dissolve the school district, his thoughts on their COVID-19 protocols and talk about books that he felt were available to children and young adults in school libraries that he deemed inappropriate.

Robyn wants to dissolve the school district and replace it with an individual school system in which each voting district operates independently from each other. He said it would bring more transparency and better communication between students, parents, teachers, and administration.

Robyn faces Tye Whitely, Roger Moss and Todd Rhodes for the seat as board president on May 24 ballot, which include state and federal elections. Current board president Joe Buck is not seeking reelection, due to a recent health scare.

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