News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Woodall, Johnson and
Murdock for high court

Absent an overhaul in how justices make it to the bench, the candidates that we endorse for the Alabama Supreme Court will help keep a tumultuous court in balance.

We endorse incumbent Republican Tom Woodall, Democrat Al Johnson and Republican Glenn Murdock.

The people of this state are fortunate to have Justice Woodall. His opinions are well-researched, and unlike many of his colleagues, his insistence that judges interpret law, not make it, comes through in his opinions. We were especially impressed — even if he was a bit embarrassed — that he was so outspoken in advance of the primaries. He was angry, and the reason he was angry was that he saw Supreme Court wannabes bragging that they were willing to flout their obligation to follow the law. He is an excellent judge, and we should keep him on the bench.

Re-electing Justice Lyn Stuart would be perpetuating the bad parts of the court’s status quo. This is not an attack on her as a person, but she is part of a court that creates a public perception — a well-founded one — that the Supreme Court goes out of its way to help large corporations. The bulk of her war chest comes from PACs funded by large business interests. She says nothing convincing to deflect the accusation that she is a friend of her sponsors. Alabama needs justice, not another corporate advocate.

Challenger Judge Al Johnson is the perfect foil to Justice Stuart. He’s brash, he speaks his mind. He’s sickened that a pro-business court has co-opted the label “conservative,” when he thought that word meant following the law, not following contributions. He would be a healthy addition to the Supreme Court.

Judge Glenn Murdock, currently on the Court of Civil Appeals, has the temperament we need to avoid more fireworks within the Supreme Court. He is a productive member of the Court of Appeals, and would be a fine addition to the state’s highest court.

THE DAILY recommends Justice Woodall, Judge Johnson and Judge Murdock as associate supreme court justices in the Nov. 7 general election.

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