For all of you who don’t know, “Yea Alabama” is the University of Alabama’s (my alma mater) fight song. However, I’m using this phrase completely outside of its usual context, which is Crimson Tide football (although I have no problem using the phrase in that context at all).
Frequently, I become tired of hearing people criticize the state of Alabama and how “backwards” it is. Here, however, is something progressive the state has done. Check out page 2 of the Civil Right to Counsel Update.
In 2008, both Alabama and Louisiana signed into law statutes recognizing a right to counsel, not only where the state seeks to terminate parental rights, but also where the other parent seeks to terminate parental rights. This is a great step forward, especially after hearing testimony at some of the S.C. Access to Justice Commission hearings from fathers who wanted to play a role in their children’s lives but who had problems securing their parental rights because of lack of funds.
Also, as you may have seen in the issue linked above, the state of Alaska’s Supreme Court is poised to make similar determinations in the near future. The issue being whether Alaska’s constitution requires publicly funded counsel for indigent parents in child custody procedures where the opposing party has private counsel.
Read here for the latest update: