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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Friday, February 03, 2006

BCA Snubs Lyons, Woodall

The BCA endorsements came out this week and contained most of the usual suspects one would expect. To no one's surprise the BCA backed Bob Riley, Troy King, Kay Ivey, Drayton Nabers, Lyn Stuart, and all incumbent GOP appeals judges. The backing of Glenn Murdock could have been a surprise if the move hadn't been telegraphed months ago. The BCA did take a little risk in supporting Luther Strange over frontrunner George Wallace Jr in the LG primary.

But, the real issue behind the BCA slate is not who they endorsed, but who they didn't. Conspicuously absent from this list of BCA buddies are GOP incumbent State Supreme Court Justices Champ Lyons and Tom Woodall.

Our more vigilant court observers can tell us if the decisions of Lyons and Woodall differ significantly from that of the other 6 (excluding BCA bane Tom Parker) GOP justices. But that would seem to be the obvious implication. Perhaps the BCA doesn't like Lyons or Woodall occasionally straying off the reservation and is firing a warning shot in attempt to bring them in line.

It'll be interesting to see if this snub has any repercusisons on the 2006 judicial elections and, even more importantly, on subsequent rulings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the BCA risked all that much by backing Luther Strange over George Wallace, Jr. The LG has so little power; how could Wallace retaliate against the BCA if Strange loses?

I don't have insider knowledge on this issue, but I wouldn't be surprised if the BCA is backing Strange to position him as a possible successor to the hoped-for second Riley term. Or that may just be Strange's personal ambition.

If so, it wouldn't be the first time.

9:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodall is pretty cozy with the Birmingham trial lawyers, and his rulings are more liberal than most others on the court.

9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think champ lyons gives a rip what the bca, or any other 'political' group has to say. he is a fine justice and an excellent lawyer. I actually think more of him now, because he wasnt bought off by them.

9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having the BCA endorsement is like writing 666 on your forehead. It is, as Kelly McGinley would say, the Mark of the Beast.

10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous YouCan'tHandleTheTruth said...

Justice Woodall was appointed to the Circuit Court bench by Fob James and was an insurance defense lawyer his entire career. Only on this court, populated with knee-jerk buiness flunkies, could he be viewed as anything other than a solid conservative. The BCA just doesn't like the fact that he follows the law even if it means that a plaintiff might actually win once in a while. If both the Alabama Trial Lawyers and the BCA don't love him, he must be doing something right. We would be well served in this State to have more judges like Tom Woodall.

10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people should go the supreme court website and read the bio's on our justices. then see which ones you believe could be bought off by winks and nods.

10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Woodall is the darling of the trial lawyers. They've promised not to oppose him....which tells me everything I need to know.

10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear both Lyons and Woodall have stayed close to Jean Brown. May be a loyalty factor involved.

10:42:00 AM  
Blogger TeeRob said...

BCA's endorsment of Strange over Wallace probably has to do with Wallace's opposition to Bellsouth's deregulation bill last year. Tom Hamby, President of Bellsouth's Alabama operation,
was last years Chairman of the BCA
he made it clear anyone who opposed that bill would have a difficult time recieving BCA's
or Bellsouth's help.

10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BCA is completely a nonfactor. They endorsed Amendment 1 and lost both credibility and support. Answer these questions: How could they endorse Troy King who hired plaintiff trial lawyer Jere Beasley to sue BCA members?
They endorse Glenn Murdock who hardly does is job, isn't current with his workload and is despised by all other judges (except Tom Parker)? They fail to endorse one of the real intellects on the court like Champ Lyons out of fear of Roy Moore? They snub Jean Brown one of the most experienced judges with a solid conservative track record?
BCA has no credibility any more. The business community should find another group to represent their interest!

11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Youcan'thandlethetruth said...

Anonymous: That's crazy and a damned lie. The "trial lawyers" never made any such promise and Woodall never asked them to. The trial lawyers are unhappy with Woodall about any number of cases in which he has ruled against them, including a case where he ruled for Alabama Power and took away a big verdict from the Beasley firm. They actively tried to recruit someone to run against him, but couldn't find anybody. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for speading that kind of tripe.

11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like Justice Woodall is spending some time on here...

12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's particularly funny since he's the only member of the court that doesn't use a computer ...

2:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Hadrian said...

Tom Woodall is apparently being punished for not being a mindless lap-dog of big business. I know he doesn't pander to the trial lawyers either, as several decisions of his make clear.

It seems like there's no place in our court system for independent-thinking judges who simply want to follow and apply the law -- what a shame.

6:04:00 PM  
Anonymous diogenes said...

well, if woodall ruled against the power company then he must be honest. if the public only knew how much power the power company has over every breath we take, we would riot because we dont have a legitimate elected govt. just like hamas calls itself a democracy because it was recently elected in palestine, alabama continues to derive benefits of democracy because of the other 49 states. In reality, over 4 million americans who call alabama home are victims of political corruption everyday because of the power company's ownership of not only the legislature, but the governors office and the psc. not to mention the co-option of local mayors and city councils.

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

Please folks, let's keep this civil -- and credible. Comparing BCA's endorsement to the mark of the devil is over the top. And it hardly can be said that the BCA is a nonfactor in Alabama politics. As for the comments on Judge Murdock, in the interest of keeping the facts straight, let me say that I am an attorney and that the legal data base I subscribe to shows that Murdock's written over 500 published opinions in the last 5 years. The same data base shows that only the presiding judge on the court of civil appeals, John Crawley, has published more opinions over that time.

6:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if crawley ever had one opinion published, that is one too many. what an idiot that man is. but, in alabama we get stuck with dolts like crawley because he needs to get his retirement in. thank God, this legal cretin is going back to wiley sandersville and taking his autistic legal reasoning with him. must be something in the water down in the wiregrass. most of those people are corrupt. remember butts?

6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous blackstone said...

murdock is a power hungry iconoclast of the right wing lug nuts. nothing redeeming about him at all, save that he is elected because the power company tells people to vote for him. Oh, and the churches do to...

6:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Speaking In Tongues said...

Here's the only problem that I have with this otherwise wonderful site: It is much too easy to throw out an anonymous attack on a candidate or official with no accountability for its accuracy. Maybe its the nature of the medium, but in such an insular community as Alabama politics, even rumors fabricated out of whole cloth can take on a life of their own. Particularly troublesome are what appear to be operatives of some candidates using this space to engage in digital version of the kind of campaigning that was used against Albert Brewer in 1970. It also doesn't help to have what appear to be lawyers falsely attacking the integrity or competency of certain judges, in violation of our rules of ethics. I think I still trust in the marketplace of ideas, so maybe there's nothing to worry about.

7:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murdock's work history is well known and it is less than exemplary. His own court disciplined him in the past for not getting his opinions out. BCA wouldn't back him two years ago when he wanted to run because of his terrible work ethic, backing a small claims court judge, a probate judge and, of course Justice Brown. The mystery this time may be as simple as the BCA abandoned Brown as the price they paid to Moore and Parker to keep them out of Drayton's race.

8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BCA has endorsed everyone who they THINK will win. They endorsed even those legislators who have been traditional AEA and Trial Lawyer allies like Seth Hammett, Ken Guin, and even John Rogers. I think they have lost a lot of credibility with people because of the view that they take a shot gun approach in endorsing everyone and then claiming victory when one side wins.

6:13:00 PM  
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