Changing Constitution

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An organization pushing for a new state constitution is regrouping after the death of its founder and planning a grassroots effort for 2004.

Bailey Thomson, a University of Alabama professor, was serving as chairman of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform when he died of a heart attack Nov. 26. He was 54.

Samford University president Thomas Corts said the Legislature isn't going to rewrite Alabama's 1901 constitution simply because the ACCR asks it to, so the group is taking its case to the people.

Corts said his goal was to create an ACCR chapter in every county consisting of members willing to persuade legislators and local officials that changing the Alabama constitution, the nation's longest, is in the state's best interest.

Decatur lawyer Sid McAnnally will serve as the organization's acting chairman until a replacement for Thomson is found.

A statewide chapter meeting is planned for January to determine the organization's events in 2004.