A bi-partisan group of jurists concerned about the future of Alabama and its court system met on the steps of the Capitol in Montgomery yesterday and read “An Open Letter to the People of Alabama” endorsing Bob Vance for Chief Justice. The Alabama Political Reporter has the full text:
We recommend to you as a candidate for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama Bob Vance, who has served with distinction as a Circuit Judge of Jefferson County in the civil division since 2002. Bob Vance was born and reared in the Birmingham area, obtained his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1982 and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985. He clerked for Judge Tom Gee on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and he practiced law for 16 years with the Birmingham firm of Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, LLP. Bob Vance is married to Joyce Vance and they have four children.
The Chief Justice presides over the Alabama Supreme Court. He or she votes on every case and petition that is filed in that Court. The Chief Justice, along with the Associate Justices, appoints a Clerk, Marshal, Reporter of Decisions, Librarian, the Chief Judge of the Court of the Judiciary and a member of the Judicial Inquiry Commission. Bob Vance has committed to working with the Associate Justices and Judges of the Court of Appeals in making these important appointments.
The Chief Justice alone appoints an Administrative Director of Courts and, with her or his concurrence, the various Directors and Administrators of the Administrative Office of Courts. These have direct contact with most Circuit and District Court Judges and Clerks; and the officers of these associations and the Associate Justices and Judges of the Courts of Appeal should be consulted and listened to before appointments to these most important positions are made by the Chief Justice. Bob Vance has committed to doing that.
Bob Vance’s Father, Robert S. Vance, was a most respected Federal Court Judge when he was murdered in 1989 by a mail bomb sent to him by a man who had a grudge against the Court.
Bob Vance is an intelligent, a hard working, Circuit Judge with great respect for the Citizens of Alabama, the Rule of Law, and the Judges and Justices who are elected or appointed to the Federal and State Courts. Bob Vance will be a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of whom we can be proud. Please vote for and support him. Thank you.
Former Associate Justice Sam A. Beatty
Former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb
Former Associate Justice John England
Former Associate Justice J. Bernard Harwood
Former Associate Justice Kenneth Ingram
FormerAssociate Justice Douglas Inge Johnstone
Former Associate Justice Mark Kennedy
Former Associate Justice Janie L. Shores
Retiring Associate Justice Thomas A. Woodall
Former Acting Chief Justice J. Gorman Houston
It's not the first time that Justice Houston, a Republican, has endorsed Vance – or criticized Moore:
Houston said he is a Republican and has already voted by absentee ballot for Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates. However, Houston said he also voted for Vance and urged other Republicans to do the same.
“I vote for the individual,” Houston said.
Houston said he is not backing his party's nominee because of the actions Moore took when they served together of the Alabama Supreme Court. Houston said that included both Moore's Ten Commandments standoff as chief justice and Moore's administrative management of the court system, which Houston described as lacking.
Meanwhile, Vance's opponent, Roy Moore, received an edorsement from Focus on The Family founder James Dobson.