June 8, 2007
Republican Sen. Charles Bishop claimed that Democratic Sen.
Lowell Barron called him a "son of a (expletive)."
"I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said.
Barron refused to comment and went into a closed-door meeting
with other Democrats. Sen. Vivian Figures went into the meeting
carrying first aid supplies, but she said he was not hurt.
Bishop said he regretted throwing the punch because "that's not
the way grown men solve their problems," but added that he would
not immediately apologize to Barron.
The fight came on the final day of the 2007 regular session of
the Legislature. Republicans and a few Democrats have protested all
session the Democratic majority's Senate rules, saying they were
unfair. They want to bring up an election reform bill.
The Senate had just taken a recess Thursday afternoon when
Bishop approached the chair where Barron was sitting. Moments later,
security officers and others rushed to separate the two senators.
Members of the Alabama House said the incident makes the entire
Legislature look bad.
"It's certainly a black eye on the Legislature and the Senate
in particular," Republican Rep. Jay Love said.