The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) has agreed to settle Liberty Counsel's lawsuit on behalf of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker with a permanent injunction, which will bar the use of judicial ethics canons to censor judges' public comments.
This is an important victory for free speech, not just for Justice Tom Parker. Here's why...
In 2015, Justice Parker participated in a radio interview answering questions on a wide range of issues. Expressing his professional views publically triggered the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) to lodge an ethical complaint against Justice Parker. That complaint generated a yearlong investigation by the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). That inquisition, and related lengthy litigation, were based on nothing more than his exercise of his constitutionally protected freedom of speech.
The SPLC hoped to remove Justice Parker from office by filing the complaint against him.
+ + The SPLC's sinister plan has backfired spectacularly!
Horatio Mihet, Chief Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, said, "The SPLC's effort to muzzle Justice Parker has instead brought freedom of expression on critical public issues to all judges in Alabama. We are glad that the JIC has finally seen the proverbial writing on the wall and has abandoned its defense and enforcement of these unconstitutional laws."
Liberty Counsel's litigation team remains deeply engaged in our effort to turn back the assaults against us and others that are being led by the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) legal team on multiple fronts. The SPLC is attacking Liberty Counsel in an effort to destroy this ministry.
Unless we continue taking action against the radical suppression tactics being used to erode our First Amendment rights, the criminalization of pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-liberty speech, or any speech that is counter to the far-Left's ideologies, will be inevitable.
We must stay vigilant on each of these legal fronts!