A coalition of Alabama business groups has endorsed five incumbent appellate court judges for the 2014 elections. The chairman of the Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee, Tom Dart, said on July 10 the group endorsed early because all five Republican judges have done a good job and deserve to be elected. Thus far none of them have an opponent. The committee endorsed Justice Greg Shaw for reelection to the state Supreme Court, Judges Bill Thompson and Scott Donaldson for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and Judges Beth Kellum and Mary Windom on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
The only person in the group who hasn’t run statewide and won before is Judge Donaldson. Governor Robert Bentley appointed him to the Court of Civil Appeals in January to fill a vacancy. In my opinion, the governor made an excellent choice. No other appellate court seats are up next year. I doubt if any of the judges will have serious opposition either in the primary or in the general election. It’s time to put politics aside in judicial races and work to keep our judiciary independent and free of the perceived influence over the court resulting from political donations.
Once this election is over, the Alabama Legislature should take a good look at how we reelect judges in Alabama and then make some badly needed changes. The first place to start is with campaign financing in judicial races.
Source: Times Daily
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