State Auditor Jim Zeigler is publicly opposing a November ballot measure that would require a two-thirds vote in the state Senate to remove an official from office by impeachment, and urging voters to do the same.
The proposal would repeal and replace Article VII in the state Constitution.
In a Tuesday press conference, Zeigler said the change would make it almost impossible to remove Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley calling it “the Bentley Get Out of Impeachment Free Card” as the amendment would change the majority needed to convict on impeachment from a simple majority of 50 percent plus one vote, to a two-thirds super-majority.
The change was proposed in May 2015 as part of a section-by-section rewrite and clarification of the 1901 Alabama Constitution, long before 23 lawmakers signed impeachment articles in April 201 in light of an alleged affair and the possibility of improper use of taxpayer funds.
Regardless of how it began, Zeigler still believes the amendment must fail.
“It is difficult already to get the legislature to impeach and convict Gov. Bentley,” said Zeigler in a news release. “If the rules are changed now to raise the vote required to impeach to two-thirds, it would make it almost impossible to impeach him.”