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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Chewing on Cobb's Kickoff

As I predicted last week, Sue Bell Cobb kicked off her campaign for Chief Justice on Tuesday. The coverage of her announcement signaled what are likely to be two themes prevalent during her campaign.

Cobb said she expects to be the only candidate in the race with extensive experience as a judge, saying that as a trial court judge she tried cases in 40 of Alabama's 67 counties. "My potential opponents have not tried a single case in a single county," Cobb said.

Certainly on trial experience alone, Cobb is much more tested than either of her opponents. Cobb also foreshadowed another theme we're likely to hear throughout her campaign.

She said one incident that helped define her career came in 1989 when her home was firebombed, apparently the result of a child abuse case in her court. "I
know what it is to be the victim of crime and I understand the fears and frustrations faced by those who have seen the system fail," she said.

A judicial campaign centered around victim's rights should provide Cobb a solid platform.

However, the most heated rhetoric came from Tom Parker when asked about his potential GOP primary foe Drayton Nabers.

Parker said that without another candidate, the Supreme Court race would be between "the architect and the cheerleader for the largest tax increase in Alabama history." As finance director for Riley, Nabers helped develop the governor's $1.2 billion tax package that was rejected by voters in 2003. Cobb campaigned for the tax plan.

Parker has long attacked Nabers for his role in Amendment One, but it is interesting to see him take the same tack against Cobb. Assuming Parker does enter the race, he seems to ensure the race will revolve around such hot button issues as Amendment One and potentially the 10 Commandments removal.

Though it will not generate as much coverage as the Governor's race, I expect the Chief Justice race to be as competitive and nasty as any on the ballot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parker needs to quit issuing press releases and start working. He apparently has not realized that when he receives a huge salary, provided by us taxpayers, he's supposed to do work for it. Hey, Tom, how are those opinions comin' along?

6:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Justice Parker issued a "statement," according to the AP, [not, as you say, a press release] rather than get on the phone and gab with reporters may have something to do with the fact that he was doing exactly what you call for -- "working" -- by participating in a conference with his colleagues on the Supreme Court and in oral arguments on the day Cobb made her announcement.

Cobb, by contrast, was notably absent from one oral argument in her court that day because she was busy informing the world of the latest of a lifetime of personal political ambitions: "I have taken four oaths of office ... with your help I'll take one more."

By their actions on Tuesday, Parker and Cobb made their contrasting priorities very clear. Equally clear is that your attack is aimed at the wrong person.

7:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks for setting the record straight, Tom. I'm actually surprised that you decided to attend oral argument, given your history of skipping them to attend Federalist society meetings.

By the way, how many opinions for the Court have you written in the past ten months? Try NONE!

7:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, now. Don't be too harsh on the Colonel. He and Roy have already told you (in a press release, ur, STATEMENT) that being a Supreme Court Justice isn't like being a used car salesman. Besides, the Colonel's too busy grandstanding in his "meaningful" dissents to bother with petty things like, oh, putting together a majority opinion every now and then.

9:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cobb has never tried a case either. something she attacks her opponents for. being disingenuous isnt becoming for a judge. Thats why Cobb, Parker and the rest of the nuts should sail away. Why would Alabamians replace Drayton Nabors with any of the others. Thats like trading in microchips for buffalo chips. ( I think you know what i mean...)

10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is even more interesting is who's backing these three. Parker and Cobb both now have a history of taking lots of money from trial lawyers like Jere Beasley while Nabers will get support from the business community.

10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous YouCan'tHandletheTruth said...

David Letterman's Top 10 Reasons to Vote for Tom Parker:

10. His lack of writing ability doesn't matter because he never writes anything.
9. As Chief Justice, he will have more opportunities to issue press releases conatining misleading sdtatements about his fellow Justices.
8. He will be able to take credit for the work of the entire Court even though he won't actually have done any of it.
7. As Chief Justice, he can reassign all of his cases to Justices who will actually work on them.
6. He will be a source of inspiration to all those people out there who refuse to do their jobs but believe that they should be promoted.
5. His bloated and ineffective staff will have a much larger office in which to fail to complete their assignments.
4. If elected as Chief Justice, he can longer be accused of failing to discharge his duties as Associate Justice.
3. The State Judiciary will receive endorsement opportunities from the makers of granola cereal because our State's highest judicial office will be run by nuts, fruits and flakes.
2. He has never written an opinion with which you can disagree.
... and the number 1 reason:
1. Free little confederate flags to everyone who argues a case in the Alabama Supreme Court.

11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alabama hasnt produced a statesman in recent times. what it has produced are people like siegelman, roy moore, john rogers, and other miscreants who demagogue their way into office, only then to steal us blind. When I think of statesmen, I think of Tom Bevill, Carl Elliot, John Bankhead, Albert Brewer, and maybe Bud Cramer.
Drayton Nabors is to today's supreme court judiciary what Howell Heflin was to judicial reform in the late 60's and early 70's. Alabama basically had a politically driven ethically challenged pleading system until Heflin cleaned it up. Nabors follows the rule of law, not what he had for breakfast, or who slipped an extra pac check into the church collection plate. Alabama is lucky to have someone of Nabors intellect and character to offer himself for public service. I'm not sure we deserve him because alabamians seem to enjoy being lied to by the siegelmans, moores, parkers and outside of that, also relish in people like Cobb who has never had a private sector law job or tried a case in her life. We get what we deserve in Alabama so why should any of us complain. Our politics are a mirror of our collective concsious, and its not a pretty picture nor an enviable script.

11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, we are SO lucky to have somebody like Nabors. So long as you don't get hurt on the job or, god forbid, get ripped off by a giant insuarance company like the one he used to run. Calling what that blue blood did for a living "a real job" is laughable. His votes since he got on the court have been consistently in favor of big business and against the interests of working people. Personally, I've had enough of the Birmingham Country Club set.

6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking before the Birmingham Kiwanis Club, Nabers reportedly said that a primary basis for the rule of law was to provide the predictability needed for the preservation of capital. huh? I'm all for predictability and consistency, but I thought the rule of law was to resolve disputes and protect our rights. I guess that serving as CEO of a large insurance company gives Nabers a unique world view.

8:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all fairness to Parker, I just recently read his G.C. dissent and was surprised by the quality. Sure, I disagree with the man, but after reading many of the comments on this blog, I was expecting blithering idiocy. The dissent was well reasoned, well researchd, and well written. Labeling Parker as a moron would seem to be more political posturing than anything else.

6:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice Parker's opinion in Ex parte GC may be found on the web by means of a Google search:

I split the above into three parts because the full length didn't show up in the comment preview page. To restore the full link, just combine the three lines, with no spaces between, in the address bar of your web browser.

7:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

class warfare isnt becoming. attacking nabors for his zip code is like attacking saying all blacks are thieves because of skin color. But that is what democrats do best to win elections, race bait, class warfare, a dose of oppression and a dash of homophobia. Nabors is a fine man. The rule of law isnt nabors idea. It developed over centuries from the english common law tradition. Without certainty, predictability, in laws evolution, England would not have ruled the world, nor we today. So a little ignorance isnt becoming, at least when you attack Nabors from a base of ignorance.
If you have had enough of the Bham country club, then consider I have had enough of wallace cronies, siegelman thieves, and roy and tom parkers total over the top lack of qualifications for any job. Only in Alabama would a couple of ner do well snake oil salesman be taken seriously.
God bless alabama, its clear our people dont!

8:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the responder who was impressed by Major Tom's dissent in the Ex parte G.C. opinion, let me ask if you noticed that Major Tom was unable to get any other justice to agree with his opinion. Also, let me get your reaction to the strongly worded concurrences of Justices Bolin and Smith (each of whom is a pretty strong coservative), who effectively point out the failings of Parker's dissent.

Do any of those facts give you pause in your praise of Major Tom?

As for your characterizations of Major Tom being an idiot, It appears that most of the criticism concerns his laziness and his dereliction of duty. It is a fact that he once missed oral argument in a case before his Court so he could attend a Federalist Society meeting in another state. It is also a fact that several other justices had to meet privately with Major Tom to "encourage" him to start doing his fair share of the work.

11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of ignorance, if you are going to defend Chief Justice Nabers, you could at least spell his name corerectly.

Also, if you are going to decry the ad hominem attacks of the Demos, you might want to avoid making such attacks yourself.

11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A prior poster made joking reference to Colonel Tom handing out little confederate flags. For a photo that explains it all, see:

Yeah, I know -- the Southern Poverty Law Center isn't my cup of tea either, but it does appear to gig ol' Tommy pretty good.

6:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a number of decisions today. How many did you write, Tom?

Anyone want to guess the answer? That's right, NONE! What a surprise!

To be fair, Colonel Tom did write another one of his famously quixotic dissents that garnered the support of how many other justices? Audience, any guesses? That's right again -- NONE!

6:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the critics of Tom Parker are playing fast and loose with the truth. In the Supreme Court decisions issued yesterday, Justice Parker authored dissents in TWO cases -- not just one as claimed by the anonymous attacker -- and in one of those cases, three other justices also dissented from the majority.

For those who have trouble with math in addition to truth, the vote breakdown in the second case was 5/4; the outcome could easily have gone the other way. In fact, one of the other dissenting justices was none other than ... Drayton Nabers.

Whether Justice Parker issued one or two opinions yesterday isn't that important by itself, of course, as he has written many other opinions this year. What is important is that those who shamelessly slander ANY man's character be exposed for big and small slanders alike, so that others will know to be skeptical of underhanded attacks in the future.

8:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the main criticism is that Justice Parker has issued no written decisions in cases assigned to him.

Parker's writings released Friday were minority opinions issued in other Justices' cases, not his cases. Thus, it was correct for the poster to say that Parker issued none of the court's written decisions that day.

So let's be careful about accusing others of slander, m'kay?

9:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, any untrue attack here on Colonel Tom would be libel, not slander. Maybe the Colonel can work that into one of his meaningful dissents.

11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohmigod! Tom Parker is such a moron! Check out his dissent in Ex parte Snider, which came out last week. The man really has no clue what it means to live according to the rule of law.

9:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can only give my two cents according to sue bell cobb's opinions, whether being written, dissenting, or concurring, and she is not close to home base on her concurring. THAT IS A FACT!!

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