Speak Out: Alabama Rep. Demetrius Newton was a legislator without a peer
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Sep 19, 2013 | 1649 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama Rep. Demetrius Newton was the strong champion of constitutional reform. He knew the history of the 1901 Constitution, where the call for white supremacy was to prevail in disenfranchising the black and poor white votes. Therefore, he advocated for a constitutional convention to reform and replace the document.

Newton supported “Let the People Vote” for a convention through bills and resolutions, which did not go well with many legislators. The bills were rejected, but he was a persistent and consistent legislator.

Newton was committed to the removal of the racist language in section 256 of the Constitution. He supported two amendments for that purpose, which the electorate defeated in 2004 and 2012.

Newton achieved many social, civil and political awards. He was the civil rights attorney who had represented Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Newton was a princely legislator, impartial judge, good family man, wise senior, great friend, par excellence public servant and beloved Christian.

Newton will be greatly missed, but his works will continue through agencies that support real constitutional reform in this state. As the team captain of the Madison County Chapter of Alabama Citizens For Constitutional Reform, I can humbly say that Rep. Newton was a rare jewel of a legislator without a peer.

Isaiah J. Ashe
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