Judge Robert Vance is now the nominee for the Democratic Party, and ousted former chief justice Roy Moore is the Republican nominee.
I was not able to attend the Over the Mountain Democrats meeting this week where Judge Vance spoke, but my friend Regina did and she sent me this picture.
Judge Robert Vance speaking at Over the Mountain Democrats
The prior Democratic nominee was Harry Lyons, and he was removed from the ticket last week at a hearing that I attended. The removal was brought about after Lyons posted inflammatory and bizarre remarks on his Facebook page, and it was decided that his comments violated judicial canons that justices should adhere to.
Vance threw his hat in the ring after the ouster, and he has only a few weeks to build a campaign and convince voters that he is the better alternative.
"My message to voters is simply I am here as an alternative choice, as someone who will focus on the real problems facing the state, facing the court system and someone who will run a positive, honorable campaign," said Judge Vance regarding his campaign.
Vance is a Circuit Judge in Jefferson County, having been elected in 2004 and in 2010.
Vance has not had much to say about his opponent, Roy Moore, other than this.
"I have grave concerns based on his last tenure as chief justice," Vance said.
But I have something to say about the disgraced former chief justice.
Roy Moore was removed from office when he was Chief Justice for failing to obey a federal order that he remove the washing machine sized 10 commandments monument that he installed during the dark of night in the Alabama Supreme Court building.
As if that isn't bad enough, he advocated violence and death against gays and lesbians in an opinion he wrote in a custody case.
In 2002, in the case of D.H v H. H. he wrote the following (the bold highlight is mine):
"To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants... The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle... Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one's ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people's lives, particularly the lives of children."
Could a gay or lesbian person get a fair trial in Justice Moore's supreme court?
But let's look at another issue. Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican senate candidate, has brought rape and abortion into the conversation, so let's see what Roy Moore has to say about the subject.
But Roy Moore wants abortion outlawed and does not believe in any exceptions. He wants all abortions outlawed.
In 2009 the candidates for governor were interviewed by the Birmingham News.
(Bill) Johnson, (Tim) James and (Roy) Moore called for a complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions. Johnson said that medical science has progressed to the point where there are almost no cases in which abortion is necessary to protect the life of the mother. If a woman is raped, he said, "it is possible to prevent conception and, therefore, there is no need for an abortion."
James and Moore said abortion is an all-or-nothing question; either a human being is created at the moment of conception and must be protected, or it is not, they argued.
"You have to declare whether it's legal or illegal to kill a child in the womb," Moore said.
No one is for abortion. But most women, if raped, might want the option of terminating the pregnancy, and not having to carry a reminder of the violent act for nine months and then raise it, being reminded of being raped every time she saw her child.
So Roy Moore takes the most extreme view on abortion, and promotes violence against the gay and lesbian citizens of our state. If that isn't enough to withhold your vote from him, I don't know what is.
Democrats now have a solid choice in Robert Vance for Chief Justice. And Republicans have an option, in Robert Vance, that they can vote for with the realization that a fair minded experienced judge will be leading the state judiciary.