MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama chief justice candidate Judge Bob Vance has launched an ad saying Justice Tom Parker will be “another Roy Moore” if elected to head the state court system.
The ad centers on Parker’s longtime association with Moore and asserts that Parker will cause the “same chaos and controversy” as Moore if elected to head the state judicial system. A discipline panel twice stripped Moore of chief justice duties for misconduct after finding that he directly defied, or encouraged defiance of, federal court orders regarding same-sex marriage and the public display of the Ten Commandments.
The ad has a quote of Parker saying how he would “relish” being compared to Moore and notes the two ruled similarly in the so-called birther case that questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship.
“Voters in Alabama need to thoroughly know and recognize the choices they have in this race for chief justice. And certainly the background, the philosophy of each of the candidates, my opponent and myself, are something that the voters should look at in making an informed decision on Nov. 6,” Vance said Thursday.
Vance said it is clear that Parker has the same “activist world view” as Moore.
In a statement issued through his campaign, Parker said the ad won’t, “fool Alabama voters in November.”
“This is typical of the lying left wing extremists that have attacked me throughout my career,” Parker said.
During Moore’s first term in office, Parker served as deputy administrative director of courts. He also served as Moore’s spokesman during fights over a Ten Commandments monument Moore erected in the state Supreme Court building. After Moore was ousted as chief justice in 2003, Parker was elected as an associate justice the next year.
The 2018 chief justice race has undertones of a rematch. With support from moderate Republicans, Vance, a Democrat, came within a few percentage points of defeating Moore in the 2012 race for chief justice.
Parker is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Vanderbilt University law school. Before joining the court, he has also served as an assistant attorney general and director of a conservative think tank tied to James Dobson’s Focus on the Family.
Parker has said he sees Alabama’s courts as a key battleground to provide U.S. Supreme Court cases and “reverse some of those horrible decisions of the liberal majority from the past that have no constitutional foundation whatsoever.”
Vance is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia law school. He serves as circuit judge in Jefferson County and has been elected three times since his appointment in Jefferson County in 2002.
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