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Alabama Supreme Court
Voter Guide 2006

Nonpartisan information about the Alabama Supreme Court and the
2006 general election candidates running for seats on that court

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Albert L. "Al" Johnson
for Associate Justice, Place 3
Biographical Information
Place of Residence: Crawford, Alabama
Family: Wife: Jean Dudley Johnson - Married 34 years
Children: Jennifer Ann Johnson - 31 years old
          Rebecca Johnson Sorenson - 29 years old
          Albert David Johnson - 25 years old
Education: Graduate of National Judicial College, 1985 and holds 500 hour certificate from the Alabama Judicial College. Cumberland School of Law, 1980. Georgia State University, M.B.A. 1977. Huntingdon College, B.S. 1972.
Occupation: Presiding Circuit Judge - Russell County
Employer: State of Alabama
Bar Admission(s) &
Date(s) of Admission:
State of Alabama - June 1980
State of Georgia - June 1980
Legal & Judicial
Former Assistant District Attorney - Russell County
Former Special Assistant Attorney General
Private practice of law - Alabama and Georgia
Former District Judge - Russell County
Former Juvenile Judge - Russell County
Other Experience: Managed family glass company
Former Member - Alabama House of Representatives
Adjunct Professor - Troy University
Honors & Awards: Past President - Alabama District Judges Association
Past President - Phenix City Exchange Club
Past President - Russell County Historical Commission
Founder and Past President - Russell County Family Resources Center
Who's Who - American Universities and Colleges
State Board of Missions - Alabama Baptist Convention
Past Chairman of Deacons - Crawford Baptist Church
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Campaign Contact Information
Address 1: Johnson for Justice
Address 2: P.O. Box 3440
City: Phenix City
State: Alabama
Zip Code: 36868-3440
Voice Phone Number: (334) 297-1585
Fax Phone Number: (334) 297-1354
Website: www.aljohnson4supremecourt.com
Email Address:
(or Contact Webform Address)
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Questions & Answers:
1.  How have your training, professional experience, and interests prepared you to serve on the Alabama Supreme Court?

It is important that a Supreme Court Justice have a broad base of education and experience.  The drafters of our constitutions (both Alabama and United States) intended that our appellate courts be collegial decision making bodies.  That is why we have multi-member courts.  It was not intended that our appellate courts have only one view or perspective.  Otherwise, our appellate courts could have been single member courts.  My broad base of experience and education - legal, judicial, legislative, teaching, and business - have prepared me for the Alabama Supreme Court.

2.  What do you consider to be the three most important attributes of a judge?

I consider the three most important attributes of a judge to be:
1. Commitment to being fair to all parties
2. Common sense
3. Knowledge of the law

3.  What is your judicial philosophy?

My judicial philosophy can best be described as fair minded conservatism.  It is the obligation of our courts to apply legislative acts (statutes) as long as those statutes do not violate our constitutions (both Alabama and United States).  In addition, it is the obligation of our courts to apply the "common law" of Alabama.  Much, if not most, of the law of Alabama is "common law."  It should be pointed out that the Code of Alabama (statutes) is contained in twenty-three (23) volumes.  The Alabama Reporter (court decisions involving both the common law and statutes) is over nine hundred (900) volumes.  A judge should have no agenda other than to fairly apply the law.

4.  How do you define “judicial independence,” and how important is it to our judicial system?

Traditionally "judicial independence" is defined as the fair and unfettered application of law irrespective of pressure from either the executive or legislative branches of government.  Unfortunately, because of the way we elect our Alabama Supreme Court, there appears to be an even more dangerous threat to "judicial independence."  Almost fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) has been spent by special interest groups on Supreme Court elections in the past decade.  Retired Justice Gorman Houston has observed that "there is a perception that justice is for sale" in Alabama.  If a court is to maintain its integrity then it must be immune from pressure from any source.

5.  What is the greatest area of need in the Alabama justice system, and how should the Supreme Court respond, if at all?

The greatest area of need is that we need to change our judicial selection process.  I personally favor the non-partisan election of judges.  We expect our judges to be fair and unbiased but yet require them to engage in bitterly partisan elections.  In addition, there should be a limit on how much money a judge can raise and spend in his election (I have told several special interest groups that all I promise is a level playing field and a fair hearing - if they want more then keep their money.  They did!).  A system of statewide public forums should provide the public with ample opportunity to evaluate the judicial candidates for state judicial offices.  The Supreme Court should take the lead in encouraging the change of the judicial selection process.

6.  What part, if any, should public opinion play in the decision of a judge?


7.  In a case before the court, how should a judge handle a conflict between his/her personal beliefs and the law?

A judge should subordinate his personal beliefs to the law when there is a conflict.  A judge should recuse himself from any case when he cannot do this.

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Neither the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund nor the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice endorses any political candidate or party. The information presented here is intended solely for the education of Alabama voters. Responses to the questionnaire are printed verbatim as submitted by the candidate.