By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Republican reaction to a story reprinted by The Montgomery Independent from an original story in Inside Alabama Politics (IAP), has resulted in a petition letter to President Donald Trump asking him not to appoint Democrats to Federal positions in the Middle Judicial District of Alabama.
The petition arose from an IAP report that suggested the Trump administration is considering Louis V. Franklin Sr., for United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama and Circuit Judge Greg Griffin as United States Federal Court Judge to replace Judge Myron V. Thompson. While there is no official announcement concerning either position, speculation about Franklin’s appointment as US Attorney for the Middle District appears to be accurate.
However, The Alabama Political Reporter can confirm Judge Griffin will not receive an appointment to the federal bench.
The letter say, “Both [Franklin and Griffin] are well known Democrats.” A Google search shows that Griffin is a Democrat but research results for Franklin do not specifically show him as a Democrat only that he prosecuted a Democrat, namely former Gov. Don Siegelman.”
Both men are black. Franklin is thought to be one of three African-Americans who will receive presidential appointments in the State.
The letter drafted by Pat Wilson and distributed by Sue Neuwien, Republican Chairman for the 2nd Congressional District, reads in part, “We, the undersigned Alabama Republicans and Trump supporters do not believe that the appointment of Democrats to these important Federal positions is in the best interests of the citizens of the Middle Judicial District. We have many good solid Republicans who vote for and support Republican candidates and policies. There is no need or precedence for a Republican Administration to appoint Democrats to highly sought-after Federal positions.”
The letter is particularly concerned with the need for Republican appointees to “heal” the country.
“We all fought hard and successfully to have Republican President Donald J. Trump in the White House. We need Republicans in other positions as well, in order to heal our country from eight long years of Liberal Democrat policy.”
Wilson is ALGOP, Vice Chair for Districts 3,6,7. Her husband Jim Wilson applied for a Trump appointment but did not receive one.
Wilson in her letter to President Trump failed to mention that Griffin spent two decades as an active Republican. He was recruited to the party by Bill Pryor and in 1994 ran for office under the Republican banner. Griffin was also Chair of the Republican Council and served on the Executive Committee.
Franklin, a federal prosecutor, who served under George W. Bush appointee Leura Garrett Canary served as acting US Attorney after Canary recused in the Siegelman case. Franklin, also prosecuted the bingo trials. He is well-respected in the legal community.
A former operative with intimate knowledge of Franklin’s time as assistant US Attorney holdover during the Obama administration said Franklin was sidelined over the last eight years because of his role in taking down Siegelman.
The letter ends requesting, “[T]hat these appointments be filled with individuals that represent and reflect your administration, our Republican voters, and supporters and our combined Republican values.”
According to those close to the process Franklin’s background and associations were throughly vetted and if appointed he would serve with honor.