Our judicial election climate requires a new litmus test for judges

June 9, 2017

By Win Johnson

One of the great benefits of living in Alabama is the ability to vote for our judges; one last bastion of our Democratic Republic. But how to vote? Here are some questions to ask a candidate for judge so you’ll know. Would you share this w/other friends, particularly those in Alabama?

Our Judicial Election Climate Requires a New Litmus Test for Judges:

With the recent appointment of a new Justice to the Alabama Supreme Court, the malicious disciplinary trial of Chief Justice Roy Moore, and the upcoming season for candidates to announce runs for judicial office, it seemed timely to give the people of Alabama some questions that they should ask candidates and judges. Also, I’m concerned about the rule of law because it has lost its plumb line, and certain judges impose their will, instead of the law, upon the rest of us. I’m concerned about the consciences of judges. How do they deal with this dilemma? The 6 questions below are a litmus test, a new, higher bar, if you will, offered in the hope that we can elect judges who will stand for the law – without compromise. Actually, they represent what should always define a judge.
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Death Row inmate Thomas Arthur executed after seven previous attempts

May 26, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — He escaped death seven times, but he didn’t escape the eighth. The Alabama Department of Corrections executed death row inmate, Thomas “Tommy” Arthur, late Thursday night after several hours of delays.

Arthur was put to death by lethal injection at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, using a controversial three-drug cocktail. He had been convicted for the 1982 murder-for-hire of North Alabama businessman, Troy Wicker.

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The best “Justice” money could buy

May 1, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

When Gov. Kay Ivey announced that Lyn Stuart would lead Alabama’s Judicial system as Supreme Court Chief Justice, she said, “To ensure a continuity of leadership and a smooth transition that keeps the ship of State steady, I have appointed Justice Lyn Stuart as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”

Stuart was appointed as Acting Chief Justice by then Gov. Robert Bentley after the Judicial Inquiry Commission suspiciously found probable cause to charge Chief Justice Moore with ethics violations that led to his removal from office. Stuart’s actions during the period in which she served as Acting Chief Justice would seem to cast a large shadow over the Ivey Administration’s campaign for transparency and honesty while righting the ship of State.
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Lyn Stuart becomes State’s second female Chief Justice

April 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — For the first time in Alabama’s history, women are at the helm of two of the State’s Branches of Government.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Associate Justice Lyn Stuart to lead Alabama’s judicial system as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Stuart, only the second woman to become chief justice in the state, had been serving as Acting Chief Justice since Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension in May 2016.

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Strange says Gorsuch will be confirmed before the end of the week

April 5, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Politcal Reporter

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the US Senate continued its debate on whether or not to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia last year. US Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) said that Senate Democrats have begun a talkathon to delay confirmation of Gorsuch, whom he called: “A mainstream judge.”

Sen. Strange said, “Tonight, the Democrats’ political theater over the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch continues. It’s disappointing to see a proud tradition of the Senate trampled by the Democrats for the sake of politics, especially over a mainstream nominee as eminently qualified as Judge Gorsuch.”
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Legal response filed in Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker’s case

March 14, 2017

Sam Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A legal response has been filed for Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker in his ethics case.

The Liberty Counsel, a conservative non-profit advocacy group, filed the legal response on Friday March 11, in Parker’s case.

The case was started when the Southern Poverty Law Center filed an ethics complaint against Parker for an interview he participated in. In October 2015, Parker went on a conservative talk radio program hosted by Bryan Fischer. Fischer is a member of the conservative group American Family Organization.
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Special Alabama Supreme Court approves Roy Moore’s cancellation of oral arguments

March 14, 2017

Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The Special Alabama Supreme Court has approved suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s request for cancellation of oral arguments for his appeals case.

In court documents, Moore cited “substantial financial hardship” for his cancellation. Since his suspension in September 2016, Moore has not received pay or benefits for his position as Chief Justice.

Moore’s request for cancellation was made in February. Now that it has been approved, the case will move directly into a decision based only on briefs given by Moore and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.
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Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore asks to cancel oral arguments

February 23, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has asked the Special Supreme Court tasked with hearing his appeal to expedite his case and decide his appeal on previously filed briefs.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Moore’s attorneys asked the Court to waive oral arguments and consider the appeal on its merits. Oral arguments were previously set for April 26, 2017.

Moore argues that the scheduling of oral arguments in April presents a great financial hardship for him and his family.

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Alabama’s gambling fight, Part III: Confusion in the courts

February 3, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Standing just outside of his lobbying office in Birmingham, former Gov. Bob Riley is shaking his head at my question, and smiling as if to indicate what I’m asking is possibly the craziest thing in the world.

Except, what I’m asking isn’t the craziest thing in the world. What I’m asking is something that has been told to me by three different people – respectable, knowledgeable people who have no clear reason to lie to me – and something that many other people believe or strongly suspect.
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Chief Justice files reply brief in judicial ethics appeal

February 2, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday filed a final written brief with the specially empaneled supreme court convened to hear his appeals trial.

The brief is Moore’s final filing before his appeal goes to oral arguments.

The 50-page brief, filed by Moore’s attorneys at the Liberty Counsel, reiterates many of Moore’s arguments in his September ethics trial and in his previous brief submitted in December.

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