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Parker comments may be race ploy

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court has stirred up a tempest which has brought him under a fierce barrage not only from the press but his own fellow justices on the court.
Parker, the only candidate blessed by former Chief Justice Roy Moore in the 2004 election to win, wrote an op ed piece for the Birmingham News highly critical of the state's high court for overturning the death sentence of a 17-year-old defendant.
The court overturned the death sentence because the U. S. Supreme Court ruled a year ago that states can no longer execute people for crimes they committed as juveniles.
In his op ed piece, Parker chastised his fellow justices because they did not resist what he called the "unconstitutional opinion of five liberal justices on the U. S. Supreme Court."
Justice Mike Bolin, who was elected to the high court the same time Parker was elected, called Parker's remarks unprecedented.
Bolin's comments were lame compared to the reaction of Gary Palmer, president of the very conservative Alabama Policy Institute, which ironically was founded by Parker some years ago.
In his rebuttal Palmer pointed out what he called the "utter hypocrisy" of Parker in encouraging the state court justices to become "activist state judges to resist activist judges on the U. S. Supreme Court."
Parker's comments were seen by some as the opening gun for a race for chief justice in the upcoming primary. There has been much speculation that he might challenge incumbent CJ Drayton Nabers in the GOP primary.
It would be a no-lose race of sorts for Parker. He does not have to give up his seat as associate justice to run for chief justice.
The Council had voted to retain the law firm of Miller, Hamilton, Snider and Odom and pay them $45,000 for six months service. The firm's Birmingham office is headed by Giles Perkins, who would have done the actual lobbying. Perkins served as a campaign advisor for Council President Carole Smitherman, who had spearheaded the effort to hire a lobbyist.
Smitherman said an effort may be made to override the mayor's veto but it would take six votes on the Council to accomplish this.
Mayor Jones presented a key to the city to the Rev. Al Sharpton, the high profile and highly controversial minister, civil rights activist and frequent candidate for office.
Rev. Sharpton was in Mobile to speak at an event commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Mayor Jones brushed off the criticism and added "we don't want to get into trying to give keys based on fan clubs."
On Sen. Lindsey's recommendation the Senate has passed by a vote of 25-0 a measure giving the black bear this recognition. If passed by the House the black bear will join a growing list of "official" state animals-yellowhammer, fighting tarpon, largemouth bass, racking horse and the red hills salamander have already been so designated.
Surely some day soon the possum will surely be honored.
On Feb. 2 it will observe its 150th birthday. If Jim Cox has a cake with that many candles…and he lights all of them…it will look like Hell, literally.

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