Alabama Appellate Courts

History of Supreme Court

Our state's first Constitution, the Alabama Constitution of 1819, under which the state was admitted to the Union, established the Judicial Department as one of the three branches of state government and provided that, "[u]ntil the General Assembly shall otherwise prescribe, the powers of the Supreme Court shall be vested in, and its duties shall be performed by, the Judges of several circuit courts, within this state." Art. V, § 3, Ala. Const. 1819. On December 14, 1819, Alabama officially became the 22d state, and the General Assembly enacted legislation dividing the counties of the state into 5 judicial circuits. On the second Monday in May 1820, the first term of the Supreme Court was held at Cahawba, then the state capital. Present were Clement C. Clay, Reuben Saffold, Henry Y. Webb, and Richard Ellis. Abner S. Lipscomb, the remaining circuit judge, was absent from that session. The circuit judges nominated and appointed Judge Clay as Chief Justice. Twenty-three opinions were written during that first term, 9 by Chief Justice Clay, 12 per curiam, and 1 each by Judge Saffold and Judge Lipscomb.

Between the adoption of the Alabama Constitution of 1819 and the adoption of the Alabama Constitution of 1868, the Judges of the Supreme Court were elected by joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly, and, until the adoption of the Alabama Constitution of 1901, with the exception of the Chief Justice, the members of the Supreme Court were referred to as "Judges" rather than as "Justices." The following summary of the membership of the Court, from its foundation as previously indicated, includes many individuals whose names are familiar to the judicial history of the state. And, some of those individuals have left the impress of their thought and character upon the wider field of American law.

In 1821, a sixth circuit was created, for which Anderson Crenshaw was elected judge. Judge Webb died in September 1823 and was succeeded by Henry Minor, who had been the Supreme Court’s first reporter of decisions. Judge Minor was in turn succeeded, as soon as the General Assembly convened in December 1823, by John Gayle. Chief Justice Clay resigned in December 1823 and was succeeded in that office by Judge Lipscomb, and Henry Minor was elected to fill Chief Justice Clay's place on the Court. At the election held in 1825, the first regular election by the General Assembly under the Constitution since the creation of the Supreme Court, the following circuit judges were elected: Abner S. Lipscomb, Reuben Saffold, John Gayle, John White, John M. Taylor, and Anderson Crenshaw.

In 1826, Tuscaloosa became the state capital, and the Supreme Court convened there, although it is not known where the Judges met. The decision to change the capital from Cahawba to Tuscaloosa was mainly political: a rejection by the General Assembly of the late Governor William Wyatt Bibb's Georgia faction, which had dominated early Alabama politics. North Alabamians, especially those in the Tennessee Valley, supported the move since it brought the center of government closer to them. Once the General Assembly had voted to move the capital, a new capitol building became necessary. Building of the new capitol began in 1827, and when it was finished the Supreme Court, for the first time, had its own courtroom. In 1828, lawyers in Tuscaloosa established the Library Society of the Bench and Bar of the Supreme Court of Alabama, and, also for the first time, the Judges on the Court and lawyers in the capital had access to necessary law books. Also in 1828, a seventh circuit was established, for which Sion L. Perry was elected judge. In the same year, Judge Gayle resigned and Henry W. Collier was elected to succeed him.

In 1832, the Court was entirely reorganized and made a separate Court, to consist of three judges with six-year terms of office. Judges Lipscomb, Saffold, and Taylor were elected, Judge Lipscomb again receiving the appointment as Chief Justice. In 1834, Judge Taylor resigned and was succeeded by Harry I. Thornton. In January 1835, Chief Justice Lipscomb resigned and was succeeded on the Court by Henry Hitchcock, Judge Saffold being promoted to the post of Chief Justice. In 1836, Arthur F. Hopkins succeeded Judge Thornton, and in the same year Chief Justice Saffold resigned, being succeeded on the Court by Henry W. Collier, who had previously served on the Court, and as Chief Justice by Judge Hitchcock. In 1837, Chief Justice Hitchcock resigned and was succeeded on the Court by Henry Goldthwaite, Judge Hopkins being advanced to the position of Chief Justice. In June of the same year, Chief Justice Hopkins resigned, being succeeded on the Court by John J. Ormond, Judge Collier becoming Chief Justice.

In 1843, Judge Goldthwaite resigned and was succeeded by Clement C. Clay, the original Chief Justice of the Court. Judge Goldthwaite resigned to become his party’s candidate for Congress in the Mobile District. However, after being defeated in the general election, he became a candidate for his previous place on the Court, defeating Judge Clay before the General Assembly.

In 1846, the General Assembly voted again to change the seat of government. The availability of former Native American land in East Alabama after the removal of Native Americans to lands across the Mississippi had caused a population shift from West Alabama to East Alabama and the Black Belt. Furthermore, the Black Warrior River (on which Tuscaloosa is located) was navigable for only a part of the year while the Alabama River was navigable all year and ran through the most heavily populated area of Alabama. The General Assembly chose Montgomery over Huntsville, Marion, Mobile, Selma, Statesville, Tuscaloosa, and Wetumpka as the new state capital. Alabama's new capitol building was completed in 1847 and, like the capitol in Tuscaloosa, included quarters for the Supreme Court and the Library of the Society of the Bench and Bar.

Judge Goldthwaite died of yellow fever in 1847 and was succeeded by E.S. Dargan. Judge Ormond declined reelection and was succeeded by William P. Chilton in 1847. In 1849, when Chief Justice Collier left the Court, Judge Dargan succeeded him as Chief Justice and Silas Parsons filled the vacancy on the Court.

Judge Parsons was succeeded in 1851 by Daniel Coleman, who was in turn succeeded by George Goldthwaite, the brother of Henry Goldthwaite, who had previously served on the Court. In the same year, 1851, the General Assembly increased the number of judges on the Court to five, David P. Ligon and John D. Phelan becoming the additional members in December 1851 and January 1852, respectively. Also in 1852, Chief Justice Dargan resigned and was succeeded in that office by Judge Chilton, Lyman Gibbons being appointed to fill the vacancy on the Court. In 1854, the membership of the Court was reduced by law to three, and Judge Phelan and Judge Gibbons resigned. Judge Ligon resigned effective January 1, 1855, and Samuel F. Rice became the third member of the Court. In January 1856, when Chief Justice Chilton left the Court, Judge George Goldthwaite succeeded him as Chief Justice and A.J. Walker joined the Court. Chief Justice Goldthwaite resigned almost immediately and was succeeded on the Court by George W. Stone, with Judge Rice becoming Chief Justice. Chief Justice Rice, resigning in January 1859, was succeeded as Chief Justice by Judge A.J. Walker, and Richard W. Walker, Sr., received the appointment for the vacancy on the Court. The Civil War brought no change to speak of in the judicial fabric during the existence of actual hostilities. In 1864, Judge Richard Walker resigned and was succeeded by John D. Phelan, who rejoined the Court. The Legislature that convened at the close of the war elected the following as members of the Supreme Court, effective January 1, 1866: A.J. Walker, William M. Byrd, and Thomas J. Judge.

The Constitution of 1868 provided for the election of all judges, including the members of the Supreme Court, by the voters of the state, and, on an election held, E. Wolsey Peck, Thomas M. Peters, and Benjamin F. Saffold were elected to the Supreme Court, Judge Peck becoming Chief Justice. In 1873, Chief Justice Peck resigned, Judge Peters became Chief Justice, and Robert C. Brickell was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Court. At the general election of 1874, Judge Brickell was elected Chief Justice and Thomas J. Judge and Amos R. Manning were elected to the Court. In March 1876, Judge Judge died and was succeeded by George W. Stone, who had previously served on the Court. In 1880, Judge Manning died and was succeeded by Henderson M. Somerville. On October 25, 1884, Chief Justice Brickell resigned, Judge Stone became Chief Justice, and David Clopton was appointed to the Court. In 1889, the number of judges on the Court was increased to four, marking the only time the number of members of the Court was an even number, and Thomas N. McClellan, then serving as attorney general, was appointed to the new place on the Court.

In July 1890, Judge Somerville resigned and Thomas. W. Coleman was appointed to succeed him. In February 1891, the number of judges on the Court was once more raised to five, and Richard W. Walker, Jr., whose father had previously served on the Court, was appointed to the new judgeship. Judge Clopton died in 1892, and W.S. Thorington was appointed to succeed him. At the August 1892 election, the following judges were elected: Chief Justice, George W. Stone; Judges, Thomas W. Coleman, Thomas N. McClellan, J.B. Head, and Jonathan Haralson. Chief Justice Stone died in 1894, and Robert C. Brickell was appointed to rejoin the Court as Chief Justice. In 1898, Judge McClellan was elected Chief Justice and Jonathan Haralson, John R. Tyson, Henry A. Sharpe, and James R. Dowdell were elected to the Court.

After the adoption of the Constitution of 1901, the Legislature of 1903 increased the number of Justices from five to seven, the increase to go into effect after the general election of 1904. In the election of 1904, Thomas N. McClellan was elected Chief Justice and Jonathan Haralson, John R. Tyson, James R. Dowdell, R.T. Simpson, John C. Anderson, and N.D. Denson were elected Associate Justices. In order to comply with the Constitution as to the arrangement of the terms, and upon casting lots, Justices Anderson and Denson received six-year terms, Justices Haralson and Simpson four-year terms, and Justices Tyson and Dowdell two-year terms. Chief Justice McClellan died in 1906, and Samuel D. Weakley was appointed to succeed him until the next general election, at which Justice Tyson was elected Chief Justice, Justice Dowdell was reelected, and Thomas C. McClellan was elected as an Associate Justice. In 1908, Justice Simpson was reelected and J.J. Mayfield was elected as an Associate Justice. In 1909, Chief Justice Tyson resigned, Justice Dowdell was appointed to succeed him, and Anthony D. Sayre was appointed to succeed Justice Dowdell as an Associate Justice. In September 1909, Justice Denson resigned, and A.A. Evans was appointed to succeed him. Ormond Somerville, the son of former Judge Henderson M. Somerville, succeeded Justice Evans in 1911. Justice Simpson died in 1912 and was succeeded by Edward de Graffenried, and William H. Thomas succeeded Justice de Graffenried in 1915. Chief Justice Dowdell resigned in January 1914, and Justice Anderson became Chief Justice, Lucien D. Gardner succeeding Justice Anderson as an Associate Justice. Justice Mayfield resigned in 1919 and was succeeded by Joel B. Brown.

In 1921, B.M. Miller succeeded Justice Brown, and in 1923 Justice Thomas C. McClellan resigned, to be succeeded by Virgil Bouldin. Joel Brown returned to the Court in 1927, succeeding Justice Miller. Justice Ormond Somerville died in 1928 and was succeeded by Arthur B. Foster on September 10, 1928. Justice Sayre died in 1931 and was succeeded by Thomas E. Knight on November 30, 1931.

In 1940, Chief Justice Anderson announced his intention to retire at the close of his term, and Justice Gardner was elected without opposition to succeed him as Chief Justice. Chief Justice Anderson died on April 27, 1940, however, before the expiration of his term, and Justice Gardner was appointed Chief Justice on April 30, 1940.

J. Ed Livingston, having been nominated in the Democratic primary to fill the vacancy occasioned by Justice Gardner’s election to Chief Justice, was appointed as an Associate Justice on May 13, 1940. On October 1, 1942, Justice Knight resigned, and Thomas S. Lawson, the attorney general, was appointed to succeed Justice Knight. Early in 1943, Justice Lawson was granted a leave of absence to enter military service, and Davis F. Stakely was appointed as a temporary Acting Associate Justice. Justice Bouldin retired on May 1, 1944, and on July 12, 1944, Robert Tennent Simpson, Jr., was appointed to replace him as an Associate Justice.

On November 1, 1945, Justice Lawson returned from military service and Acting Associate Justice Stakely left the Court. Justice Stakely’s absence from the Court was short, however, because on December 22, 1945, Justice Thomas died, and Justice Stakely was, on January 8, 1946, appointed as an Associate Justice to succeed Justice Thomas.

Chief Justice Gardner resigned on February 28, 1951, and Justice Livingston was appointed Chief Justice as of the same date. John L. Goodwyn was appointed as an Associate Justice on September 27, 1951, to fill the vacancy occasioned by Justice Livingston’s appointment to Chief Justice. In the election of 1952, Justice Foster did not seek reelection as an Associate Justice, and on January 20, 1953, Pelham J. Merrill succeeded Justice Foster. Justice Brown died on April 12, 1953, and on October 6, 1953, Preston C. Clayton was appointed as an Associate Justice to succeed Justice Brown. On November 12, 1954, James J. Mayfield, the son of former Justice J.J. Mayfield, took office as an Associate Justice pursuant to his election to succeed Justice Clayton. Justice James J. Mayfield died on April 4, 1956, and Norman T. Spann was appointed to succeed him on April 16, 1956. Justice Spann resigned, and on January 15, 1957, James S. Coleman, Jr., took office as an Associate Justice pursuant to his election to succeed Justice Spann. In 1962, Justice Stakely resigned, and on May 16, 1962, Robert B. Harwood was appointed to succeed him as an Associate Justice. Justice Goodwyn, who had qualified for reelection without opposition, died on April 22, 1968, and John P. Kohn was appointed to succeed him until the next general election. Justice Kohn took office on May 13, 1968, and served less than a year, leaving the Court upon the termination of his interim appointment. James N. Bloodworth was elected to succeed Justice Kohn; he took office on November 15, 1968.

Pursuant to Act No. 602, Ala. Acts 1969, the number of Associate Justices of the Supreme Court was increased to eight, so the Supreme Court now consists of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. In October 1969, Governor Albert Brewer appointed Alva Hugh Maddox and Daniel T. McCall, Jr., to fill the two newly created Associate Justice positions.

At the general election of 1970, Howell T. Heflin was elected Chief Justice. When Chief Justice Heflin assumed office on January 19, 1971, Chief Justice Livingston retired. Justice Lawson retired on May 3, 1972, and was succeeded by Ormond Somerville, Jr., the son and grandson, respectively, of former Justice Ormond Somerville and former Judge Henderson M. Somerville, and he took office on August 3, 1972. Justice Somerville resigned effective December 1, 1972. During that same year, Justice Simpson retired. In the general election of 1972, James H. Faulkner and Richard L. Jones were elected to fill the Associate Justice positions vacated by Justice Simpson and Justice Somerville. Justice Faulkner and Justice Jones took office on January 15, 1973.

On December 27, 1973, Amendment No. 328 to the Alabama Constitution of 1901 was proclaimed ratified. That amendment, proposed by Act No. 1051, Ala. Acts 1973, repealed Article VI of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, and Amendments No. 317 and No. 323 thereto and placed in their stead a new judicial article.^2

In 1975, Justices Coleman, Harwood, and McCall retired at the expiration of their respective terms. Those vacant Associate Justice positions were filled by Reneau P. Almon, Janie L. Shores, and T. Eric Embry, who were all elected to their positions and who took office effective January 21, 1975. Justice Shores became the first woman to serve as a Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court.

Justice Merrill retired effective May 31, 1976, and Samuel A. Beatty was appointed to succeed him as an Associate Justice. Justice Beatty assumed office on June 1, 1976. He was elected to a full term later that year.

Chief Justice Heflin chose not to seek reelection as Chief Justice in 1976. He retired from the Court effective January 17, 1977, and was elected in 1978 to the United States Senate. Chief Justice Heflin was succeeded by C.C. Torbert, Jr., who had been elected to that position. Justice Bloodworth retired effective September 16, 1980, and was succeeded as an Associate Justice by Oscar W. Adams, Jr., upon appointment by Governor Fob James. Justice Adams became the first African-American Justice in the state’s history, and two years later, upon his election to a full term, he became the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Alabama. Justice Embry retired effective September 16, 1985, and J. Gorman Houston, Jr., was appointed by Governor George Wallace to succeed him as an Associate Justice. Justice Houston was elected to a full term the next year. Effective April 1, 1986, Justice Faulkner retired, and Governor Wallace appointed Henry B. Steagall II to succeed him, effective May 1, 1986; Justice Steagall was elected to a full term in 1988.

Chief Justice Torbert decided not to seek reelection in 1988, and his term expired January 16, 1989. In the 1988 general election, Sonny Hornsby was elected Chief Justice to succeed Chief Justice Torbert. Chief Justice Hornsby took office on January 17, 1989. Justice Beatty also did not seek reelection in 1988; he was succeeded by Mark Kennedy, who was elected to the position of Associate Justice and who took office on January 17, 1989.

In 1991, Justice Jones retired, and he was succeeded by Kenneth F. Ingram, formerly Presiding Judge of the Court of Civil Appeals, who was elected to the Associate Justice position in the 1990 election. Justice Adams retired in 1993, and he was succeeded by Ralph D. Cook, a circuit judge who was appointed to the office and elected to a full term in 1994. Justice Steagall did not run for reelection in 1994, and Terry L. Butts, a circuit judge, was elected to the vacant position.

The result of the November 1994 election for Chief Justice was contested. Montgomery County Probate Judge Perry O. Hooper, Sr., ran as a Republican in a very close race against Chief Justice Hornsby, a Democrat. Less than 300 votes separated the candidates, with Hooper having the most votes. Chief Justice Hornsby remained in office during the ensuing 11-month legal contest. He left office on October 20, 1995, when Hooper was certified as the winner of the election. Hooper took the oath of office as Chief Justice that same day.

Justice Ingram’s term expired in 1997, after he was defeated by Harold F. See, Jr., in the 1996 election for that seat on the Court. Justice See’s term began on January 21, 1997. Justice Butts retired in 1998, and Champ Lyons, Jr., the author of Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure Annotated, was appointed effective March 23, 1998, to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Butts’s retirement.

Justices Almon and Shores both retired in 1999. Jean Williams Brown, a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals, was elected in 1998 to the seat made vacant by Justice Shores’s retirement; she began her term on January 19, 1999. Douglas Inge Johnstone was elected in 1998 to the seat left vacant by Justice Almon’s retirement; he began his term on January 19, 1999. Justice Kennedy also retired in 1999, and John H. England, Jr., a Tuscaloosa circuit court judge, was appointed to that seat on September 2, 1999.

In 2001, Justice Maddox retired after serving on the Court for 32 years. Chief Justice Hooper also retired, and Roy S. Moore, a circuit judge in Etowah County, was elected Chief Justice. Justice Cook was defeated in the election of 2000 and retired at the end of his term, and Justice England was also defeated in the election of 2000. The three new Justices who began their terms on the Court on January 16, 2001, were Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr., whose father had served as an Associate Justice from 1962-1975, Thomas A. Woodall, a circuit judge in Jefferson County, and Lyn Stuart, a circuit judge in Baldwin County. Chief Justice Moore was removed from office on November 13, 2003, following a finding by the Court of the Judiciary that he had violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics. See Moore v. Judicial Inquiry Comm'n, 891 So. 2d 848 (Ala. 2004). Justice Houston, the senior Associate Justice, became the Acting Chief Justice of the Court until January 22, 2004, when Drayton Nabers, Jr., was appointed Chief Justice. The election in November 2004 brought changes to the Court. Justices Houston and Johnstone retired, and Patricia M. Smith, a district court judge in Shelby County, and Michael F. Bolin, a Jefferson County probate judge, were elected to fill their seats effective January 17, 2005. Justice Jean Williams Brown was defeated in the primary election by Tom Parker, who then went on to win the general election and took office on January 17, 2005.

Glenn Murdock, a judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, was elected to fill the seat left vacant by the retirement of Justice Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr.; he took office on January 16, 2007. Also in 2007, Chief Justice Nabers left office, having been defeated in the general election by Sue Bell Cobb, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, who became the first woman Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Justice See retired in January 2009, and Greg Shaw, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, was elected to fill the seat left vacant by Justice See’s retirement; he took office on January 20, 2009. Justice Lyons retired on January 14, 2011, and James Allen Main, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, was appointed that day to succeed him. Justice Smith also retired in January 2011, and A. Kelli Wise, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, was elected for a term starting on January 17, 2011. Effective August 1, 2011, Chief Justice Cobb retired, and Charles R. Malone, a circuit judge in Tuscaloosa County, was appointed Chief Justice. Chief Justice Malone was defeated in the 2012 primary election by Roy S. Moore, who was again elected Chief Justice in the 2012 general election and began his second term in that office on January 15, 2013. Justice Woodall retired, and Tommy Elias Bryan, a judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, was elected to fill his position for a term that began on January 15, 2013. Chief Justice Moore, on September 16, 2016, was suspended from office without pay for the remainder of his term of office, following a finding by the Court of the Judiciary that he had again violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics (see Moore v. Judicial Inquiry Comm’n, 234 So. 3d 458 (Ala. 2017)), and he retired effective April 26, 2017; Justice Stuart, who had been Acting Chief Justice following Chief Justice Moore’s suspension, was appointed Chief Justice on that day. William B. Sellers was appointed on May 25, 2017, to take the Associate Justice position vacated when Justice Stuart was appointed Chief Justice. Justice Murdock retired effective January 17, 2018, and Brady E. Mendheim, Jr., a circuit judge in Houston County, was appointed on January 19, 2018, for the vacant position and took office on January 23, 2018. Justice Mendheim was defeated in the June 2018 primary election by Sarah Stewart, a Mobile circuit court judge, who assumed office as an Associate Justice in January 2019. Chief Justice Stuart was defeated in the June 2018 primary election by Associate Justice Tom Parker, who became Chief Justice on January 15, 2019. Justice Main retired in January 2019, and Jay Mitchell was elected to fill his position. In January 2019, Justice Mendheim was again appointed as an Associate Justice to fill the seat vacated by Chief Justice Parker.

Taking up some of the curious, if not important, facts touching the composition of the Supreme Court, note may be made of the nativity of the Chief Justices: Clement C. Clay, Arthur F. Hopkins, Henry W. Collier, and George W. Stone were born in Virginia; Abner S. Lipscomb and Samuel F. Rice in South Carolina; Reuben Saffold and Howell T. Heflin in Georgia; Henry Hitchcock in Vermont; E. S. Dargan in North Carolina; William P. Chilton in Kentucky; George Goldthwaite in Massachusetts; A.J. Walker and Thomas M. Peters in Tennessee; E. Wolsey Peck in New York; Robert C. Brickell, Thomas N. McClellan, Samuel D. Weakley, John R. Tyson, James R. Dowdell, John C. Anderson, Lucien D. Gardner, J. Ed Livingston, C.C. Torbert, Jr., Sonny Hornsby, Perry O. Hooper, Sr., Roy Moore, Drayton Nabers, Jr., Sue Bell Cobb, Charles R. Malone, Lyn Stuart, and Tom Parker in Alabama.

The following Justices of the Supreme Court were at one time or another judges of the circuit court: Henry W. Collier, E.S. Dargan, John D. Phelan, Daniel Coleman, George W. Stone, George Goldthwaite, Lyman Gibbons, Benjamin F. Saffold, J.B. Head, John R. Tyson, James R. Dowdell, John C. Anderson, N.D. Denson, A.A. Evans, B.M. Miller, Arthur B. Foster, Thomas E. Knight, James N. Bloodworth, Daniel T. McCall, Jr., Reneau P. Almon, Mark Kennedy, Kenneth F. Ingram, Ralph D. Cook, Terry L. Butts, Douglas Inge Johnstone, John H. England, Jr., Roy S. Moore, Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr., Thomas A. Woodall, Charles R. Malone, Lyn Stuart, Brady E. Mendheim, Jr., and Sarah Stewart. Justice Mark Kennedy, Justice Douglas Inge Johnstone, Justice Patricia Smith, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, and Justice Brady E. Mendheim, Jr., each served as a judge of the district court, and Justices Jonathan Haralson, Henry A. Sharpe, J.J. Mayfield, Anthony D. Sayre, William H. Thomas, James N. Bloodworth, James H. Faulkner, Sonny Hornsby, Perry O. Hooper, Sr., and Michael F. Bolin each served as a county or city court judge.

The following Justices of the Supreme Court also served as chancellors: E. Wolsey Peck, David P. Ligon, William M. Byrd, Anderson Crenshaw, A.J. Walker, Thomas W. Coleman, James R. Dowdell, and Lucien D. Gardner. James R. Dowdell is the only member who had previously served both as a circuit judge and as a chancellor.

Justices Edward de Graffenried, Joel B. Brown, Robert Tennent Simpson, Jr., Robert B. Harwood, and Reneau P. Almon each served the Court of Appeals before becoming a member of the Supreme Court. Justice Almon also served on the Court of Criminal Appeals, as did Justice Brown, Chief Justice Cobb, Justice Shaw, Justice Main, and Justice Wise, and Justice Ingram, Justice Murdock, and Justice Bryan each served on the Court of Civil Appeals before becoming a member of the Supreme Court.

Contact Information


Supreme Court of Alabama
334.229.0700
Court of Civil Appeals
334.229.0733
Court of Criminal Appeals
334.229.0751
State Law Library
334.229.0578