11:11pm August 6, 2013

Durbin Asks 300 ALEC Companies: What’s Your Position on “Stand Your Ground”

Sotomayor Hearing Day 4

As reported in Roll Call, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has sent letters to 300 companies connected with the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, regarding “stand your ground.”  Durbin is asking the companies whether they support “stand your ground” laws or not. 

Hearings on “stand your ground” will be held in Florida.  That was decided after the Dream Defenders successfully demanded hearings on the law and Florida Republicans agreed.  Sen. Durbin, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, will hold hearings on “stand your ground” in September.   Unsurprisingly, no hearings on the subject are expected on the GOP controlled House side.

Excerpts of Durbin’s letter:

“I write to seek information regarding your company’s position on “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model by an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  In 2005, ALEC approved the adoption of model ‘stand your ground’ legislation entitled the ‘Castle Doctrine Act.’ This model legislation was based on Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law, and it changes the criminal law regarding self-defense and provides immunity for certain uses of deadly force.

“Although ALEC does not maintain a public list of corporate members or donors, other public documents indicate that your company funded ALEC at some point during the period between ALEC’s adoption of model “stand your ground” legislation in 2005 and the present day. I acknowledge your company’s right to actively participate in the debate of important political issues, regardless of your position, and I recognize that a company’s involvement with ALEC does not necessarily mean that the company endorses all positions taken by the organization. Therefore I am seeking clarification whether companies that have funded ALEC’s operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model ‘stand your ground’ legislation.”

About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is an opinion journalist, comms expert and political analyst focused on justice reform policy. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of Black members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke was a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin, Hardball and Up on MSNBC, WVON in Chicago, WURD in Philadelphia and WOL and WHUR in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Managing Editor of Politic365 and a contributing writer for TheRoot and NBC Black where she writes opinion and analysis. Additionally, Ms. Burke has been a contract photographer for Associated Press since 2004. She has authored three books of photography including two on President Obama's 2008 campaign for the presidency and one with Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee. Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Here e-mail is: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. Instagram: LVB325.



H.R. 3713: Urban League, FAMM Voice Concerns on #JusticeReform Bills

In a striking statement that’s a departure from the views of other major civil rights groups, National Urban League President Marc Morial expressed concerns with the two leading sentencing reform bills in Congress: S. 212...
by Lauren Victoria Burke


Rep. John Conyers Supports Criminal Intent Bill, Catches Hell From Left

Other Democrats have been criticized for it, but they weren’t in the position of actually passing legislation on the issue. As of yesterday, the most senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee is.  Rep. John Conyer...
by Lauren Victoria Burke


Nov. 18: Goodlatte-Conyers Bill with New Heroin Penalty Heads to Cmte.

Legislation authored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) that includes an expanded penalty for heroin containing fentanyl, will be considered by the full House Judiciary Co...
by Lauren Victoria Burke



Hollande Plans Response to Worst Attack in Paris Since WWII

French President Francois Hollande is preparing a response to the attacks on his country. “This is an act of war” Hollande said regarding the near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed nearly 130 people and lef...
by Lauren Victoria Burke


Someone Ask Bobby Jindal to Explain Glenn Ford and Albert Woodfox

“What’s your biggest weakness,” was the first debate question for 8 Republican candidates for President one night.  Someone could have answered for Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal, because the answer ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke



  1. [...] – U.S. Senator Richard Durbin is bullying 300 private companiesaffiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of their support of the [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>