MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a recent judgeship transfer is still in limbo.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, on behalf of Jefferson County Circuit judge candidate Tiara Hudson, along with lawyers from the Alabama Attorney General’s office went before Montgomery County Circuit Judge Jimmy Pool in the case Monday morning.
Judge Pool called the parties to a preliminary injunction hearing regarding a Jefferson County judgeship being transferred to Madison County earlier this summer.
According to a press release from the ACLU, the judge heard arguments on the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, as well as a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in the case. However, no ruling was made Monday morning, according to the news release and court records.
The State of Alabama filed a brief last week opposing the challenge to the judgeship reallocation.
The Alabama Attorney General’s office argues Hudson, the SPLC and ACLU waited until three hours after newly appointed Madison County Circuit Judge Patrick Tuten was sworn in to file a complaint with the court.
The state argues Hudson and the organizations knew about the reallocation six weeks prior to Tuten being sworn in, and that the move for a preliminary injunction just causes unnecessary confusion.
Hudson’s attorneys argue that the transfer took a judgeship away from a county with a high percentage of black residents and moved it to a majority white county, which the lawsuit claims could have a discriminatory effect in Jefferson County.
Hudson’s lawsuit asks the court to declare the transfer an unconstitutional delegation of authority by the Alabama Legislature.
But the state argues there is no merit to Hudson’s claims
The decision to move the judgeship was made in June by the Judicial Resources Allocation Commission, which the legislature created in 2017.
The commission cited a caseload analysis that showed Madison County needed more judges and Jefferson County had more than enough judges to handle its caseload.