The Business Council of Alabama made another round of judicial endorsements on Wednesday.

According to a news release, BCA's ProgressPAC board of directors interviewed candidates seeking election to the following seats in 2024: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Associate Justice Place One, and Court of Criminal Appeals Place Two. 

A BCA spokesman said in the news release, "[A]fter thoroughly evaluating the Chief Justice race, an endorsement was not made." 

"ProgressPAC is proud to endorse candidates who maintain a commitment to fairness concerning the interests of Alabama businesses," said ProgressPAC chairman Mark Drew. "Now more than ever, it is crucial we elect pro-business judges that will uphold the rule of law and ensure a legal system that does what is right for businesses and all citizens of this state."

Candidates in the Republican primary for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are Alabama Supreme Court Justice Sarah Stewart, Bryan Taylor and Jerry Blevins. According to their most recent financial disclosure filings, Stewart has a $549,181.65 campaign balance, and Taylor has $41,088.66. Blevins hasn't filed a monthly campaign finance report yet because he just announced his campaign in November. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin is the lone Democrat in the race.

One possible reason for the non-endorsement was the Alabama Supreme Court affirming a record $10 million judgment in August on a Mobile County jury's verdict for the family of a man who died at Springhill Medical Center following surgery to repair a cut on his thumb. $10 million is the largest amount ever affirmed by the Alabama Supreme Court for a single wrongful death. Stewart concurred with the opinion, affirming the judgment. 

"The BCA's refusal to endorse Sarah Stewart, an incumbent supreme court justice who they endorsed just 6 years ago, is a confirmation of what I've been saying on the campaign trail: Sarah Stewart is not a conservative. They looked at her record on the court and concluded the same thing. Whether it was Sarah Stewart's ruling on the Spring Hill case, where she ignored the Constitution and state law, or her opinion in the recent Dollar General case, which no other justice agreed with, it's obvious that Sarah Stewart is more of a judicial activist than a rule-of-law conservative. I hope Republican voters in Alabama will look closely at her record. That's why I've called on Sarah Stewart to join me for a joint event where we can have a substantive conversation about our records and our judicial philosophies. So far, she has refused. But the people of Alabama deserve to know where we both stand and what kind of chief justice we would be," Taylor told 1819 News.

ProgressPAC also announced on Wednesday they were endorsing Chris McCool for Supreme Court and Thomas Govan for Court of Criminal Appeals. 

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