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Tripp, IV Tribute Not Everyone Will Miss Justice Woodall Young lawyer Tripp, IV is an associate I’m fairly sure that this will be the Woodall’s Supreme Court decisions have in the Birmingham branch offi ce of Barter last time that I will be allowed to write been undeniably unpredictable. While & Burroughs, PA, LLC, PC®. Tripp, IV is a an article for the Bulletin, but I will not most of Justice Woodall’s Republican col- seventh generation lawyer, a Washington & be silenced by political correctness. Th e leagues on the Court could be counted on Lee alum, and a 2009 graduate of the Uni- simple truth is this: Not everyone will to steadfastly allow political considerations versity of Alabama School of Law, where miss Justice Tom Woodall when he steps to guide their decisions, Woodall would he was Associate Editor of the Journal of down from the Alabama Supreme Court frequently conform his opinions to such Anachronistic Law and Culture, and the re- next January. wild variables as the facts and legal prec- cipient of a non-academic scholarship named As everyone knows, Justice Wood- edent. As if stare decisis were still the law! after his grandfather. Tripp, IV is an active all was elected to the Supreme Court in Ultimately, Justice Woodall’s greatest member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers 2000 and re-elected in 2006 as the Re- and most unforgivable sin, however, came Association and the Intergalactic Associa- publican nominee. Justice Woodall ran near the end of his second term on the tion of Defense Counsel, as well as serving under the banner of the Alabama GOP Supreme Court when he did the unthink- as assistant secretary of the Alabama Civil and was twice elected with Republican able. During the campaign leading up to Justice Reform Foundation’s committee on votes and Republican campaign money. the 2010 general election, Justice Woodall Voter Suppression. Tripp, IV is also cur- Lots and lots of Republican campaign crossed the un-crossable line. He violated rently President of the Birmingham Chapter money. But let’s be honest: When Ala- the Golden Rule of Politics. Th e First of the Feudalist Society, a conservative legal bama voters went to the polls, most of Rule of Fight Club. Th e Rule in Shelly’s fraternity and is President-elect of the Jef- them had no idea who Tom Woodall was, Case. Justice Tom Woodall made a cam- ferson County Young Republicans. Tripp, IV they just knew that he had an “R” next to paign contribution to a Democrat. recently took a leave of absence from Barter his name and that was good enough for Never mind that the Democrat’s Re- & Burroughs to serve as Governor Bentley’s them. After all, party loyalty is the key in publican opponent had previously recruit- Director of Religious Outreach. In 2011, Alabama judicial elections. ed his staff attorney to run against Justice Tripp, IV received honorable mention as Yet, Justice Woodall frankly failed to Woodall in the 2006 Republican primary. a “Rising Star/Starlette” by Birmingham uphold his end of the bargain. Instead of Never mind that the Democrat’s Repub- magazine following his law fi rm’s purchase obediently adhering to the Republican lican opponent had previously published of the entire magazine’s advertising space. Party loyalty pledge, Justice Woodall of- an Op-ed article in which he unfairly at- ten acted like he felt more obligation to tacked Woodall and his fellow Justices for his oath to “uphold the Constitution” and following U.S. Supreme Court precedent “faithfully and honestly discharge his du- on the death penalty. And never mind that ties” on the Supreme Court. Th ink about the Democrat’s Republican opponent was where we would be in Alabama if every consistently the slowest and least produc- elected offi cial thought that way. tive member on the Supreme Court. Some Unfortunately, Justice Woodall’s re- things are bigger than all that. fusal to toe the party line had a distinct I wish Justice Woodall well as he impact on the quality of his judicial deci- leaves the Alabama Supreme Court, but sion-making. Already handicapped with I – and many others exactly like me – will a Mississippi education and upbringing, not miss him. G Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2012 41


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