News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Cobb best of 2 good choices
for Alabama chief justice

Alabama is fortunate to have two strong candidates for chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Democrat Sue Bell Cobb, while the younger candidate, is also the most experienced. She has been on the bench since 1981, currently serving on the Court of Criminal Appeals. She has held leadership positions in several judicial organizations, most involving the juvenile justice system.

The Evergreen native has a down-home approach that we think will help draw the Supreme Court from its ivory tower in Montgomery. She proposes numerous reforms, almost all of which hold judges more accountable and increase the publicís access to the courts.

That said, Republican Chief Justice Drayton Nabers has done an outstanding job during his two years in office. Gov. Bob Riley appointed him to replace ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore. Mr. Nabers could not have taken the reins at a more difficult time. The court was in a shambles. Its 2,000 statewide employees were demoralized. Poor organization left the court behind most states in technological advancement.

Chief Justice Nabers came into this situation without judicial or trial experience. What he did have was management experience, and he has used his skills in that area to transform the state court system into one of the most efficient in the nation. Technologically, the court is fast becoming the most advanced in the United States.

Whether Judge Cobb can continue Mr. Nabersí record of organizational reform is an unknown, but she has proven to be a good jurist. Her efforts to reach out to the people will help deflect the Supreme Courtís reputation for pro-business activism.

The people of Alabama wonít lose this race, regardless of the outcome.

THE DAILY recommends Judge Sue Bell Cobb as chief justice of the state Supreme Court in the Nov. 7 general election.

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