Alabama Justice Parker Fights Unconstitutional Censorship of Judges

Mar 13, 2017

Liberty Counsel has filled a response for Alabama Justice Tom Parker opposing briefs that asked the court to dismiss his case without addressing his constitutional questions about the free speech of judges. Justice Parker is challenging the rules governing the Alabama judges which have been abandoned in every other state and have been labeled “unconstitutional” by the American Bar Association.

Seventeen months ago Justice Parker participated in a radio interview answering questions on a wide-range of issues, including his thoughts on matters of paramount constitutional importance. That single interview resulted in an ethical complaint being lodged against him by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which triggered a yearlong investigation by the Judicial Inquiry Commission. If Justice Parker had been charged, he would have been suspended pending a hearing.

These speech restrictions violate the First Amendment and the automatic removal violates due process and other constitutional provisions.  Alabama is the only state to have these rules.

These rules have chilled speech to such a great extent that it seeks to completely silence Alabama judges in any public setting. We are earnestly fighting for the free speech of not only Justice Parker but for every judge in Alabama. This lawsuit exposes a clear violation of the First Amendment that no one can honestly defend.