Supreme Court Justice See to Retire

Republican Alabama Supreme Court Justice Harold See will be announcing today or tomorrow that he will not seek re-election to a third term on the court, according to a reliable source, who adds “I suspect that See will resign early next year so Riley can appoint (anoint?) someone to his seat to run as an incumbent. Judge Deborah Bell Paseur had already stepped forward to run for that spot on the Democratic side. Ought to be interesting to see who seeks the GOP nod.”

23 comments to Supreme Court Justice See to Retire

  • See No Evil

    Skip Tucker, Executive Director of Alabama Voters Against Lawsuit Abuse (AVALA) recently wrote: “In 2008, Justice Harold See is up for re-election to our Supreme Court. The recent success notched by the trial bar has its members salivating at the prospect of taking him down. See is the conservative anchor on the court and his loss would be catastrophic.”

  • See is Evil

    Let’s not forget what we really need to thank See for. The fact that he brought judicial elections to a new low in Alabama by having Karl Rove work his campaign back in 1996. Bravo Justice See, it seems you really brought Alabama politics to a new low and helped the career of a man whose win at all cost attitude has severely divided the nation.

  • You forget Evil that it was a campaign ad used against See equating him to a skunk that brought national attention to nasty judicial elections in Alabama. Talk about a new low.

  • See is Evil

    Well, Cam, it seems that you think Rove’s tactics were justified. Tell us, do we need more Rove led campaigns in Alabama? And please, while you’re at it, why don’t you tell us what See’s campaign did in that election? Or was it just as clean as could be?

  • Henry

    Harold See is an honorable man and a fine judge. Just think how much better Alabama would be in See had beat Roy Moorein the 2000 race for Chief Justice? He ran all of his races with dignity. The same cannot be aid for his compeetitors.

  • Roy

    History has a funny way of being re-written. Justice See, in fact, was the victim of the infamous skunk ad in the 1996 race against Justice Ken Ingram, but his camapign engaged in far worse tactics during See’s first run for office in 1994. See, then a simple law professor, and his mentor Karl Rove, started a vicious and calculated whisper camapign against Justice Mark Kennedy suggesting that Kennedy was a homosexual pedophile. I’m pretty sure that I would rather be called a skunk. The details of that dirty and vicious camapign waged by Rove and See is detailed here: ( Further, while I probably agree that we would have been better off if Justice See had defeated Roy Moore for Chief Justice, See’s camapign in that race earned him a suspension from office after complaints were filed about his misleading camapign ads against Moore. Finally, be carefule about universally bashing his opponenets: James Anderson ran a positive camapign in losing to Jutice See in his last camapign.

  • Roy

    In case my omission might be misunderstood, I also believe that Justice See is an honorable man. He has served the law for many years, both as a teacher and a jurist. I certainly do not believe he is evil. I do believe, however, that he is the predictable product of an inappropriately politicized process for selecting the members of the court.

  • [...] As first mentioned on Doc’s Political Parlor, I also have a source confirming that Justice Harold See (R) will soon be retiring from the Alabama Supreme Court. [...]

  • Susan

    I received a letter from Justice See this weekend annoncing that he would not be seeking reelection.

  • Anonymous

    If See is out, and Paseur runs as a Democrat. Doesn’t it make sense for Judge Sam Welch to run against her as a Republican since he beat her head to head in 2006?

  • David

    Look for Judge Bill Thompson (currently Chief Judge on the Court of Civil Appeals) to run and leave his spot open for a new comer.

  • anonymous

    If Justice See waits past early November to step down, his appointed successor will get a pass out of the 2008 elections. Newly appointed judges sit for at least a year before having to stand for re-election. If the appointed successor is (as other commenters have suggested) Welch or Thompson, who are already appellate judges, any person succeeding that appointee also will get a pass. Done “judiciously,” a vacancy like this can make for stronger incumbents all along a promotional path from a county probate judgeship to the Supreme Court.

  • [...] Supreme Court Justice See to Retire » Doc’s Political Parlor Posted Alabama Politics on Monday, July 30th, 2007. [...]

  • Danny

    Anonymous in comment 12,

    I checked out what you were saying and am told by good authority that you are mistaken. I am told that any replacement for See would have to win re-election in 2008 to stay on. Otherwise, a judicial seat could avoid ever being up for election if the governor kept appointing new people at the end of the term.

    And, fwiw, I made mention of that in this post.

  • good riddance

    for those loathsome of activist judges, a look at his record clearly reveals see as one of the most activist judges in alabama history. he is also an ideologue who, despite his place within the justice system, believes the justice system is not the bedrock of liberty and a place to redress wrongs, but is a pesky and costly hindrance to corporate profits. this combination resulted in an activist dismantling of years of precedent and what little protection the law afforded everyday people in the mart of commerce & everyday living. he took positions & made up law that made even some his fellow conservative justices write scathing dissents acknowledging he made things up whole-cloth. fine by me if he wants to try to get into the legislature & try what he has done, but it has no place in the courts.

  • anonymous

    Danny: I responded on the Press-Register entry. The short version is that I am sticking with my story after reading the Alabama Constitution. No hard feelings on calling me on it, though.

  • Flea Bailey

    As is often the case, one can’t always discern the controlling law solely by reading the text of the Alabama Constitution. The courts and the Attorney General have consistently interpreted this provision as not allowing an appointed judge to serve beyond her predecessor’s unexpired term.

  • Danny

    Anonymous in comment 16, thanks! It is not my intent or nature to make these discussions personal. I think most of us are trying to get at whatever truths may be uncovered.

    What I continue to hear on the issue is in line with comment 17 from Flea Bailey (what a groaner of a name), and I posted again with some more specific info I received.

    Thanks for helping us to get into this.

  • [...] Democrats mentioned in and around the Parlor as potential candidates for the open Supreme Court seat next year include Sharon Yates, Kimberly Drake, and the previously named Deborah Paseur. Drake, according to one source, has “about a 40% chance of running next year” and could run in 2010. [...]

  • [...] Previous comments may be found here and here (including the comments). [...]

  • [...] This morning the Press-Register has a good story on the retirement of state Supreme Court Justice Harold See. (The Press-Register is the first traditional media outlet to report the story first broken here at Doc’s Political Parlor three days ago.) [...]

  • [...] The decision of state Supreme Court Justice Harold See not to run for re-election next year, first reported this weekend by the Political Parlor, is confirmed by multiple sources who have seen or received a letter from him announcing his intention. [...]

  • [...] As noted in today’s West Virginia papers (and as highlighted earlier today by our eagle eyed researcher Molly McNab), West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Larry Starcher yesterday confirmed widespread speculation that we will not seek re-election to that state’s highest court in 2008.  Coupled with a similar “I’m not running” announcement earlier this year from Alabama Justice Harold See, two states with histories of bloody Supreme Court races move into 2008 each with a vacancy to be filled.  Justices Starcher and See were each regarded as “targets” for removal from the bench (Starcher by the same business interests that ousted Warren McGraw in 2004, and See by Alabama trial attorneys and other Democratic party allies).  The fact that each has stepped aside may (or may not) somewhat tone down the negativity of those open seat races, but is also likely to drive the fundraising through the roof.  Watch for the national fundraising record in a court race — currently the $9.3 million raised in the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court campaign – to fall in 2008.  Maybe in West Virginia.  Maybe in Alabama.  Maybe in both. 2 views  Email This Post [...]

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