Bryan Taylor, a candidate for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, called his opponent, Justice Sarah Stewart, "desperate" over the weekend after her campaign released a new ad on every major television market in Alabama with days left before the primary election on March 5.

A Sarah Stewart campaign spokesman said the ad highlights Taylor's "liberal voting record" as a State Senator, but Taylor said the ad was "laughable," based on lies, and called on her campaign to take the ad down.

Dalton Dismukes, a Sarah Stewart campaign spokesman, said in a statement on Friday, "Taylor has gone so far as to attempt to remove the ad from airing by sending letters to stations around the state, advising stations to "cease and desist by immediately pulling the ad off the air."

"The ad points out that Mr. Taylor has never been a judge. In that context, the ad correctly states he has never sent a criminal to prison. Only judges do that. Therefore, he has never sentenced a criminal to prison and the ad is accurate," Dismukes said. "Second, the ad is accurate when it points out that Mr. Taylor voted to weaken voter ID laws. In 2014, as a state senator Mr. Taylor voted in favor of SB 166 - a bill that reduced the penalty for falsifying or fraudulently making an application for a photo voter identification card from a Class C felony to a Class A misdemeanor. The Bill passed the Alabama Senate by a tight margin, with 14 senators voting in favor and 12 voting against. Notably, Mr. Taylor broke from party lines and supported the Bill along with 9 Democrats and 1 Independent. All 12 senators who voted in opposition were Republicans. The Bill failed to pass the Republican controlled House."

Dismukes said, "the ad is accurate when it points out that Mr. Taylor voted against protecting Alabamian's Second Amendment rights. In 2013, Senate Bill 93, titled the "Second Amendment Preservation Act," aimed to safeguard the right to keep and bear arms by prohibiting any federal infringement on this right, as protected under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. It declared all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations that are deemed to infringe upon the Second Amendment to be invalid and unenforceable within the state. The Bill mandated that the state legislature take all necessary measures to prevent the enforcement of any federal actions that violate the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. Taylor joined five Democrats in voting against the Bill."

"While Bryan Taylor attempts to distance himself from his own record, the Stewart Campaign stands behind each of the points raised in the ad," Dismukes said.

Taylor said in a statement on Saturday, "Sarah Stewart's defense of her false, negative campaign ad just doubles down on the lies about my conservative record with more lies. This last minute, desperate attack is laughable. As a state senator, I was considered one of the most conservative Republicans in the state."

"There is a reason that conservative groups like Veterans for Trump, the national Eagle Forum, and the Republican Assembly have endorsed me. Sarah Stewart's main support comes from liberal trial lawyers who have a long history of supporting Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. When I joined the military, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. As chief justice I'll continue fighting to protect our Constitutional rights. My well-established conservative record includes advancing our 2nd Amendment liberty, requiring photo ID to vote, and helping the Honest Elections Project block curbside voting in Alabama. If Sarah Stewart is going to hide behind the Canons of Judicial Ethics as an excuse not to defend her record during this campaign, she should also know that it is a clear violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics to lie about my factual record, as she is doing in her ad, and again in her press release defending that ad," Taylor said. "Her ad claims that I "voted with Democrats to weaken voter ID laws," and provides no proof or citation for that claim in the ad. When TV stations demanded proof of that claim, her lawyer sent a letter referring them to SB166 from 2014. He stated that 'Mr. Taylor broke from party lines and supported the Bill along with 9 Democrats,' that all other Senate Republicans voted against the bill, and that after passing the Senate, it 'failed to pass the Republican controlled House.' In fact, according to the official Journal of the Alabama Senate (, SB166 died in Senate committee and never got a vote. It was introduced and referred to the Committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections — the Committee I chaired — and it never got a favorable report from my committee."

Taylor continued, "Thus, Sarah Stewart's claim in her negative ad is completely false, and her press release defending that claim is also false. Sarah Stewart's false ad also claims I 'sided with the woke left against the Second Amendment,' again with no evidence or specific citation in the ad. Her lawyer wrote to TV stations and referenced my 2013 'no' vote on SB93. If Sarah Stewart had actually read SB93, then she would know it was a poorly written bill that would have done the exact opposite of protecting our Second Amendment rights. And that's why the bill ultimately died in the Republican Legislature." 

"By declaring 'all' federal laws 'regarding firearms' to be violations of the Second Amendment, SB93 would have applied even to federal laws that promote and uphold our Second Amendment rights. It doesn't take a law degree to know that on its face, the Second Amendment does not invalidate 'all' laws 'regarding' firearms—it invalidates those laws that 'infringe' on our right to bear arms. There are numerous laws that support our Second Amendment rights that are perfectly valid and necessary, but SB93 would have wrongly declared them 'all' to be a violation of the Second Amendment. For example, 15 U.S.C.§ 7901 is a federal law 'regarding firearms' that provides gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from lawsuits 'which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.' That law specifically states: 'The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, to keep and bear arms.' Allowing lawsuits for punitive damages against firearms manufacturers for the acts of criminals would discourage the production of firearms, which is antithetical to the Second Amendment. A yes vote on SB93 would have signaled the belief that such lawsuits should be allowed. Thankfully, other Republicans also recognized what a disastrous bill this was and did not pass it," Taylor said. "It's not surprising that Sarah Stewart disagrees with my no vote on SB93, which would have had the effect of 'nullifying' a federal law that blocks liberal trial lawyers from bringing lawsuits by third parties against gun manufacturers for punitive damages in Alabama. Such policy positions are consistent with her record of voting in favor of expanding liability in pursuit of huge, unconstitutional punitive damages awards. Moreover, these baldfaced lies about my record, particularly the false claim alleging a vote on SB166 which never took place, amounts to a violation of Canon 7B of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, which expressly prohibits judicial candidates from supplying 'false information concerning a judicial candidate or an opponent, either knowing the information to be false or with reckless disregard of whether that information is false.' The incontrovertible record shows that I did not vote for SB166 as she claims, and my vote on SB93 sided with the Second Amendment, not against it. I call on Sarah Stewart to take down this false ad immediately, knowing that I did not vote for SB166 as she claims, and knowing that her allegation about my vote on SB93 demonstrates reckless disregard for the accuracy of the claims her campaign is broadcasting to the voters of Alabama."

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