Sanctions are a good response

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2008

The issue: The state Senate has passed a resolution of sanctions in the wake of last year&8217;s punch.

Our view: The Senate is no place for brawling, and the sanctions are a good idea.

Last year, on the final day of the session, the Alabama Senate turned into a sparring ring for a moment.

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Most everyone in the state, and some in the nation thanks to CNN, saw Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Jasper, throw a punch at Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe. We&8217;ll likely never find out what lead up to the punch because both men disagree on that fact.

On the first day of the session, state Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, proposed a resolution that would provide sanctions for people who resort to violence in that chamber. Among those sanctions, the offending individual would have to complete an anger management class.

That&8217;s not a bad idea.

Then, the Senate panel that controls assignments to committees took Bishop off nearly all the committees to which he was assigned. That happened Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Bishop threatened to sue the state, saying the Senate violated his right to due process.

At some point in the night, Bishop had an epiphany and decided not to sue.

This drama has gone on far too long. It has gathered way too much attention.

Brawling in the aisles of the state Legislature doesn&8217;t get anything accomplished. The sanctions are good. Putting Bishop on the Rules Committee, where Barron is chairman, might be a little too much.