Tom Parker

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Tom Parker
Court Information:
Alabama Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $160-200k
Selection:   Elected
Active:   2004-2016
Past post:   Partner, Parker & Kotouc, P.C.
Personal History
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   Dartmouth College
Law School:   Vanderbilt University School of Law

Tom Parker is an associate justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. He was elected to the court in the state's partisan elections in 2004 and is one of nine Republicans on the nine member court. He defeated Mac Parsons in his re-election campaign in 2010. His current term will expire in 2016.


Parker received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, graduating cum laude, and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. He later attended the University of Sao Paolo School of Law, one of Brazil's most prestigious law schools, on a Rotary International Fellowship.[1]


After graduation, Parker served as an assistant attorney general in Alabama. He also served as the deputy administrative director of courts, advising trial court judges, and as the director of the Alabama Judicial College, providing training for new judges and continuing legal education for all the trial judges in Alabama. Parker then became a partner with Parker & Kotouc, P.C., a firm that handled high-profile constitutional law cases. In 2004, he was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court.[1]

Awards and associations


  • Man of the Year, Vision Forum Ministries, 2006[2]


  • Student Body President, Sidney Lanier High School
  • Speaker of the House, YMCA Youth Legislature
  • Speaker of the House, Boys’ State Legislature
  • Founder, Alabama Family Alliance
  • Executive Director, Alabama Family Advocates
  • Executive Director, Alabama Family Alliance
  • Member, Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church[1]



Alabama Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2010 general election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Tom Parker (R) Green check mark transparent.png 849,323 59%
Mac Parsons (D) 591,678 41%
  • Click here for 2010 general election results from the Alabama Secretary of State.
Main article: Alabama judicial elections, 2010

Parker defeated opponents James R. Houts and Eric Johnston in the Republican primary election. He faced Mac Parsons in the general election,[3] which Parker won.[4]

Disqualification from ballot lawsuit

Parker filed a lawsuit to disqualify opponent Eric Johnston from the Supreme Court race. Parker alleged that Johnston was late filing a financial statement with the Alabama Ethics Commission and a campaign committee statement with Alabama's Secretary of State. Johnston acknowledged that the documents were late but said his intention was to get them in on time.[5] A hearing was held on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at the Montgomery County Circuit Court in which Johnston's attorneys argued that the forms were, in fact, filed on time and that the lawsuit should be thrown out. On Monday, May 17, Judge Shashy ruled on the case[6] and rejected Parker's claim that Johnston should be removed from the ballot. Johnston attributed the lateness to the fault of the delivery service, and in any case, Shashy delivered the ruling saying that lateness alone is not enough to warrant disqualification.[7]

Johnston said he saw the lawsuit "as a purely political attempt to remove me from the ballot because I am the most viable candidate opposing him".[8]

On May 28, the specially appointed Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case on appeal by Parker. The primary election continued as planned, though Parker could have filed a challenge with the Republican Party after the election.[9]


Parker ran for the position of chief justice in 2006, but was defeated by Sue Bell Cobb.[10][11]

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyElection %
Sue Bell Cobb ApprovedA NoChief JusticeDemocratic51.5%
Drayton Nabers, Jr. YesChief JusticeRepublican48.4%
Tom Parker NoChief JusticeRepublican


On November 2, 2004, Parker defeated Robert H. Smith to become a justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. [12][13][14]

For a summary of Parker's campaign contributions, visit Follow the Money: Tom Parker 2004. [15]

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyPrimary %Election %
Tom Parker ApprovedA NoPlace 1Republican50.9%55.8%
Robert H. Smith NoPlace 1Democratic44.1%
Jean Brown YesPlace 1Republican49%

Notable cases

Driver exams in Spanish

In a 5-4 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court said the plaintiffs, five members of the group ProEnglish residing in Alabama, presented no evidence that administering the test in multiple languages diminishes English as Alabama's common language. The supreme court upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Gov. Bob Riley and other state officials. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb cited the governor's argument that permitting people with limited English proficiency to take the written portion of the exam in their native language helped them get a license, and the license fostered their assimilation into the community by increasing their access to education, employment and shopping. Four justices — Glenn Murdock, Lyn Stuart, Michael Bolin and Tom Parker — said the case should have gone in favor of the plaintiffs. In Bolin's dissent, he said the majority was misinterpreting the constitutional amendment and that "[t]he immigrants who came to Alabama by way of Ellis Island in the early 20th century did not have the benefit of a tortured construction of Amendment No. 509 and evidently 'assimilated' the wrong way — they actually learned the English language." Judge Michael Bolin added, “What the officials of Alabama have accomplished in offering the written portion of the driver’s license test in 12 foreign languages, is to revise Amendment 509 into a ‘blank paper by [judicial] construction…’” In 1990, Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that says: "English is the official language of the state of Alabama." The constitutional amendment also says the state legislature "shall enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation," and "shall make no law which diminishes or ignores the role of English as the common language of the state of Alabama." Judge Glenn Murdock, joined in the scathing dissent by quoting a standard legal encyclopedia, “Constitutions are the result of popular will, and their words are to be understood ordinarily as used in the sense such words convey to the popular mind.” The state Department of Public Safety offers the driver's exam in a number of different languages.[16][17]

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. Parker received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of 0.93, indicating a conservative ideological leaning. This is more 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.[18]

See also

External links


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