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General News    H3'ed 9/2/10

Was Party-Switcher Really Influenced By Fox News?

Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted atLegal Schnauzer

An Alabama domestic-relations judge saysshe is switching partiesbecause of a gradual change in philosophy. But a source tellsLegal Schnauzerthat Suzanne Childers really is becoming a Republican because she feels a white Democrat no longer can win elections in Jefferson County.

Childers toldThe Birmingham Newsthat she had been watching Fox News and found herself more and more agreeing with its conservative commentators. But a source, who knows Childers personally, toldLegal Schnauzerlast week that the judge felt it was no longer possible to win elections in Jefferson County as a white Democrat. Childers reportedly made that statement after several white judicial candidates lost to black candidates in recent Democratic Party primaries.

This is the second time Childers has been in the news of late for peculiar reasons. Last December, she announced that she wascarrying a gun with her to courtfor protection. That came after the county had laid off 46 sheriff deputies during a financial crisis.

These two stories might make Childers seem like a bit of a loon, and that's unfortunate because our sources say she is the best judge in a Jefferson County domestic-relations court that is wracked with corruption. Here is how we described her in an earlier post:

Our sources say Childers is far and away the best domestic-relations judge in Jefferson County, which might not be saying much. One of Childers' colleagues, Ralph A. "Sonny" Ferguson, is a hideously bad judge and has been the subject of coverage at Legal Schnauzer.

Our sources say there is a pretty good chance of receiving justice when your case is before Childers, mainly because she does not play favorites with certain Birmingham law firms--something Ferguson is notorious for doing.

Here is howThe Birmingham Newsdescribes Childers' decision to become a Republican:

Childers said Tuesday that she started watching the conservative-oriented Fox News Channel and increasingly found herself agreeing with what its commentators said.

"It's been a gradual progression," Childers said. "I have become more and more aware that my values, principles and ideas are more parallel with the Republican Party."

In a statement, Childers said the switch was "in the people's" best interest.

"It's in the people's best interest if I remain a judge," she said when asked to explain her statement.

The first part of that statement, according to our source, is not true. Childers really is changing affiliations because she thinks it will help her win elections.

The second part of the statement, while it sounds arrogant, might be true. Childers surely knows that a number of other judges who have served on the domestic-relations courtare hopelessly corrupt. And it's probably true that Childers is the only hope many parties have of getting an honest ruling in a Jefferson County divorce case.

Just how bad is the corruption in the domestic-relations court? We soon will be starting a series of articles that will lay it out in grotesque detail.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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