ALABAMA: SPLC Complaint Against Justice Parker Dismissed
Montgomery, AL – The Judicial Inquiry Commission has dismissed a complaint filed against Justice Tom Parker by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) . In a politically motivated complaint coming on the heels of Judge Roy Moore’s case, the SPLC charged that Justice Parker violated Canon 3(A)(6) of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics during an interview on the American Family Radio talk show regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage opinion. Their claim was that any comment on any case anywhere in the country violated the canon.
Even if a proceeding is not pending before the judge making the comments, Canon 3(A)(6) is said to prohibit Alabama judges from making “any public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court,” – even if said comments have are not likely to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a proceeding. According to the American Bar Association, Canon 3(A)(6) is a broad speech restriction that violates the First Amendment.
“Shame on the SPLC for filing this politically-motivated complaint against Justice Parker.” said Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, the organization representing Parker. “I call upon the Alabama Supreme Court and the legislature to change this unconstitutional speech restriction and the automatic removal provision”.
Justice Parker’s lawsuit challenging Canon 3 and the automatic removal provision, reported on here in June of this year, is still pending.
Read Liberty Counsel’s press release on the dismissal here.