The Crimson White

UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

Robert McCurley, attorney and professor of the Alabama Law Institute, has been helping Alabama's Constitutional Revision Commission draft a new constitution. CW | Amellia Armstrong

Ben Jackson

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“There are about four big issues, with some of the biggest being taxation and home rule,” he said.

The Constitution that he and the reform commission drafted seeks to address these issues on an article-by-article basis while leaving some mainstays, like state boundaries and the oath of office, alone.

McCurley became the director of the Alabama Law Institute in 1975. At that time, a new constitution had been drafted by a commission formed during Governor Albert Brewer’s administration. However, when a new governor took office, these reform efforts were abandoned.

In 2011, the newly-elected Republican legislature revived these efforts and established a new Constitution Revision Commission under the leadership of former Governor Brewer. McCurley, along with 12 others, commissioned the re-writing of the 1901 Alabama Constitution. The commission’s newest draft was completed in 2014 and is working its way through the legislative process.

McCurley’s background in law and constitutional reform has given him material and style to teach students for over 25 years. In addition, he has been instrumental in the Honors College Town 
Hall series.

“Mr. McCurley is one of the most interesting people I’ve met in my life and he has a story for everything,” said Maria O’Keefe, a senior majoring in history who has taken every class McCurley has offered through the Honors College since she was a freshman. “He’s taught me that we are always learning and that we are always students no matter our age. He’s never shy with showering his students with praise and honesty.”

Derek Carter, a junior majoring in math and economics, began taking McCurley’s classes during his freshman year.

“With a state constitution as desperate for revision as Alabama’s, I think McCurley is one of the best possible people you could get to be involved in the 
process,” he said.

O’Keefe said she strongly agrees about McCurley’s leadership in this area, citing his past experience as well as his litany of published law books. She said she feels all Alabamians should be following the 
issue closely.

“I think the best place to start to help Alabama out of the bottom is a heavily revised or completely new constitution,” she said. “The constitution is for the people – people should absolutely be interested in constitutional reform because it’s for them.”

Brian McWilliams, a senior majoring in biology, said he believes McCurley’s most recent draft, while not addressing issues like property taxes and guarantees like education and decentralized home rule, will still make real progress.

“I’m very optimistic that the new document will simplify and modernize the state government in a way that will serve as an example for other states,” he said.

Students interested in the issue of constitutional reform in Alabama can take an honors class with McCurley in the Fall 2015 semester and follow the most 
recent draft on ali.state.al.us/
constitutional-revision.html.

Leave a Comment
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    SGA continues Play for Four, Stay for Four executive initiative

  • NEWS

    Co-ops give engineering students ‘real-world application’

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    SAFE Center gets recognition, promotion from SGA Senate

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    Workshop teaches students how to succeed academically

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    UA homecoming weekend gets community involved

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    Students create expanding T-shirt business

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    Fall enrollment sees slight decrease from 2017

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    United Way kickoff to begin annual employee giving campaign

  • NEWS

    Engineering College educates younger students about STEM

  • UA instructor helps write revised state constitution

    NEWS

    Lecture to focus on history of violence against Mexican immigrants

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
UA instructor helps write revised state constitution