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Alabama Supreme Court Justice Sues to Punish Primary Opponent for Tardiness

Parker Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court (no, not that Tom Parker, this one) seems a tad insecure about his ability to hold onto his gavel.

Parker, who is up for reelection this year, has filed suit (.pdf) in an Alabama court to have his opponent in the Republican primary, Eric Johnston, declared ineligible to run. He doesn't allege that Johnston is a convicted felon, or eats babies, or once made some unflattering comments about Bear Bryant. No, all Johnston supposedly did was to file some papers late.

You can read a nice summary of the suit here at Doc's Political Parlor and Home of Lawn Mower Repair (which would be a great name for a band if it weren't already a great name for a blog). Essentially, Parker says Alabama law requires that certain disclosures be filed "within five days" of becoming qualified as a candidate, and that others be filed "simultaneously with" the filing of qualification papers.

"Simultaneously with" seems pretty straightforward, and the allegations of the complaint are that Johnston waited at least four days to file. But the "within five days" requirement is dicier. Do you count the weekend in those days? If not, the filing was timely. If so, thanks for playing.

This whole weekend and holiday uncertainty was the motivating factor behind the recent changes to Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But those rules, of course, don't apply in Alabama. Much like the dictates of good sense and common decency.

Posted by Eric Lipman on May 6, 2010 at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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