When Judges Attack!
Want to know what happens when judges are required to run like politicians for their jobs? This. There was a Republican primary in Alabama for the position of Chief Justice of the state's Supreme Court. And it was about as nasty as any political campaign you are ever likely to see. And now, both of those pit-bull campaigners will go back onto the bench (the incumbent won) and tell litigants that they intend to dispense justice evenly and fairly and dispassionately to all. What a joke.
The race was between incumbent Chief Justice Drayton Nabers and Associate Justice Tom Parker. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Parker, a disciple of Judge Roy Moore, the former Chief Justice who ignored the law and tried to wedge a Ten Commandments monument into his courthouse, called Nabers a "Jimmy Carter-style liberal" who "backs legal abortion up to the day of delivery." That forced Nabers to come out and say he is pro-life and against same-sex marriage. Silly you. You thought judges were supposed to keep their political views to themselves and not tip their hands about legal issues that may come before them.
Nabers prevailed last night in the primary. But there are no winners in Alabama or anywhere else in the country where judges go after one another like Nabers and Parker did. Blame the two men, of course, for bringing such shame to their judicial office. But blame the United States Supreme Court, too, for a 2002 ruling in a Minnesota case that halted on free speech grounds reasonable restrictions that had been placed upon judicial campaigning. It's bad enough when our politicians act like children and throw stones at each other. When our judges do it, it is inexcusable.
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