Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Stand: Our courts, our state and our very sense of justice require Bob Vance

  The contrast in candidates seeking Alabama’s top judicial post could not be more obvious. We have a choice between public service versus ego inflation; competence versus recklessness; fairness versus an individual’s selfish personal agenda.

  Roy Moore’s contributions to Alabama’s legal landscape are nonexistent. His entire career has been littered by a self-serving need for attention and to use Alabama taxpayers’ dollars as a means to promote himself and his agenda. Regardless of one’s religious convictions or political philosophy, this should not be the role of any individual in a position to dispense justice. If Moore wants to spend his days seeking celebrity status, we suggest he accept a role on a reality TV program. Alabamians deserve better. Our court system deserves better.

  Moore’s opponent Judge Bob Vance has taken a much different route and boasts a career marked by expertise, competence and most importantly a zealous commitment to justice under the law. As a trial judge in Jefferson County for the past decade, Vance has repeatedly proven his unwavering professionalism and dedication to upholding Alabama’s laws. Meanwhile, his opponent has wandered about, profiting from speaking engagements in which he has gloated over being thrown out of office during his previous stint as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

  We cannot forget how Moore used his partial term as Chief Justice merely to promote himself, to engage in shameless self-promotion and politics by sneaking a monument into the State Judicial Building - cowardly under cover of darkness. As he poorly managed the state’s judicial system, Moore nonetheless found time to disrespect our court system and use it as an ego-driven soapbox, leading Moore to defy a court order that resulted in him being tossed out of office, disgracing himself, our court system and our state in general. Moore’s lack of respect for the very legal system he swore to uphold and maintain proved he should have never been elected. He only completed roughly a third of his term due to his own lack of professionalism and his brazen disregard for the rule of law.

  Given Moore’s lengthy record of contempt for our laws and taxpayers, returning him to the same office he only lasted two and a half years in would be like hiring an arsonist to run a fire department.

  Electing Moore to this office again would not only jeopardize our court system, but endanger our state’s reputation and potentially business growth as well. Global companies – even companies from other states – understandably want little to do with a state they may perceive as being “backward” and hostile to equal treatment under the law. And Roy Moore is the prominent lightning rod to create that type of bad press and sour reputation for our state. If traditional Republicans whose primary goal is business recruitment, expansion and the health of our economy truly mean what they say, they won’t even consider voting for Moore.

  Vance, however, has an impeccable reputation, driven by fairness and not blemished by outrageous and divisive actions or political grandstanding. It should surprise no one that prominent former Republican Justices are courageously coming forward, risking alienation from their own party to support Vance. They are justifiably concerned about our state and our court system, and that’s ultimately all that matters.

  Alabama deserves a candidate with a zealous devotion to the law, not a commitment to self-promotion. We should insist upon a candidate who will apply the law without prejudice or bias, not someone who will rule by his own arbitrary feelings. We crave a Chief Justice who can work seamlessly with his colleagues to handle the most important cases facing our state, not an individual who believes he’s above the law and his fellow Justices. We should demand a candidate who is a trustworthy steward of our tax dollars, our court system and our state’s reputation, not an individual who will only seek to further his selfish goals while trampling on our system of laws and our sense of justice.

  We whole-heartedly and enthusiastically endorse Judge Bob Vance for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice in the November 6 election.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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