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State’s shift of judgeship causes anger for some

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The state’s decision to move a judgeship from Jefferson County to Madison County could wind up in front of a judge.

Tiara Hudson won the primary for the seat to replace Clyde Jones, but then the State Judicial Resources Commission voted to move the judgeship to Madison County.

State Chief Justice Tom Parker, who heads the commission, declined our interview request earlier this month, but released a statement saying an analysis of judgeships across the state shows Jefferson County has nearly eight more judges than it needs, while Madison County needs three more.

Attorney Eric Guster, who is an advisor to Hudson, disagrees.

“Candidates ran an entire campaign, people voted and the winner was announced. Then the seat was taken,” says Guster.

He adds “the data that they’re using to show Madison County needs judges, we feel that’s an error... we have capital murder cases almost every day in Jefferson County. Madison doesn’t have that problem.”

Guster and State Senator Rodger Smitherman acknowledge Chief Justice Parker has been aggressive in seeking more money from the legislature for extra judges needed across the state.

Senator Smitherman says he has been working on legislation to address the issue, and he will push for specificity in where judges are assigned. In the meantime, Guster says Hudson is weighing her legal options.

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