Greg Shaw

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Greg Shaw
AL shaw.jpg
Court Information:
Alabama Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $160-200k
Selection:   Elected
Active:   2008-1/17/2021
Preceded by:   Harold See
Past post:   Judge, Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Past term:   2000-2008
Personal History
Born:   1957
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   Auburn University, 1979
Law School:   Cumberland School of Law, 1982
Grad. School:   University of Virginia School of Law, 2004
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Seat 1
State:  Alabama
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  11/4/2014
Election vote:  ApprovedA

James Gregory "Greg" Shaw is an associate justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. He was elected to the court in the state's partisan elections on November 4, 2008, and is one of the nine Republicans which comprise the court. He defeated Deborah Bell Paseur for the seat that became open upon the retirement of Harold See.[1] He was re-elected in 2014.[2] Shaw's term will expire on January 17, 2021.[3]



See also: Alabama judicial elections, 2014
Shaw ran for re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court.
General: He was unopposed in the general election on November 4, 2014.[2]


Campaign ad (Narrated by former United States Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson)
Alabama Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2008 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Greg Shaw (R) Green check mark transparent.png 1,021,371 50.3%
Deborah Bell Paseur (D) 1,008,479 49.6%
  • Click here for 2008 General Election Results from the Alabama Secretary of State.

The race between Paseur and Shaw was very close, and with all the precincts being certified on November 25, 2008, Shaw defeated Paseur with a 12,892 vote advantage.[4] The Paseur Campaign was hoping for an automatic recount during the certification process.[5][6] Despite Alabama's laws mandating an automatic recount if the election results are close to less than one percentage point, it was certified, on November 25, 2009, that a recount would not happen as the apparent margin of victory was over one percent.[7]


Shaw earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 1979. In 1982, Judge Shaw earned his J.D., graduating in the top 10 percent of his class, from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law. While at Cumberland, he received the American Jurisprudence Award for excellence in the study of evidence under Professor Charles Gamble, the author of the preeminent evidence treatise in Alabama. Shaw also attended the graduate program for judges at the University of Virginia School of Law. He graduated in 2004 with an LL.M. in judicial process.[1]


After his admission to the Alabama State Bar in 1982, Shaw worked with a small law firm in St. Clair County. He later started his own general law practice in Birmingham. In the fall of 1984, Shaw became the staff attorney of Supreme Court Associate Justice Janie L. Shores. In 1985, he joined the staff of Supreme Court Associate Justice James Gorman Houston, Jr., eventually serving as Houston's senior staff attorney for 15 years. Shaw was elected to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006. On March 16, 2007, Judge Shaw was appointed chief judge of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, a position he vacated when he joined the Alabama Supreme Court in 2008.[1]

Awards and associations


  • Honorary Master of the Bench, Hugh Maddox Inn of Court in Montgomery
  • American Jurisprudence Award


  • Member, Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Criminal Procedure
  • Member, Alabama State Bar's Committee on Archives and History
  • Member, Alabama State Bar's Judicial Liaison Committee
  • Member, Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church[1]

Notable cases

Alabama Supreme Court halts same-sex marriage in the state (2015)

Despite the January 2015 order by U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade lifting Alabama’s ban on gay marriage, the Alabama Supreme Court voted seven to one to halt same-sex marriage in the state. In its March 4, 2015, ‘’per curiam’’ ruling, the highest court in Alabama said that by law, marriage in the state is, and has always been, between one man and one woman. Further, the justices’ ruling stated that nothing in the United States Constitution or any other federal law overrides Alabama’s right to make its own law on marriage.

Though Alabama same-sex marriage was halted, it is likely proponents will appeal this ruling. The United States Supreme Court has said it will take up the issue of same-sex marriage sometime in 2015, but that ruling is not expected for many months. Conservative group The Liberty Counsel, which opposed Judge Granade’s order, called the opinion by the Alabama court “the most forceful and clearly articulated rebuttal to date” in regards to same-sex marriage.[8] The Human Rights Campaign responded to the ruling by stating that the court did not have “authority to interfere with a federal court ruling.”[9]

Justice Greg Shaw was the lone dissenter in the Alabama court opinion. He argued in his dissent that the Alabama Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to issue its ruling.

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Shaw received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.79, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is as conservative than the average CF score of 0.79 that justices received in Alabama. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[10]

See also

External links


AlabamaAlabama Supreme CourtAlabama Court of Civil AppealsAlabama Court of Criminal AppealsAlabama Circuit CourtsAlabama Municipal CourtsAlabama Probate CourtsAlabamaAlabama countiesAlabama judicial newsAlabama judicial electionsJudicial selection in AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of AlabamaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of AlabamaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitAlabamaTemplate.jpg