News staff writer
MONTGOMERY - Three new associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court and one judge of the Court of Civil Appeals took oaths of office Friday in ceremonies at Troy University's Davis Theatre.
The 1,200-seat theater was packed with relatives and friends of new justices Tom Parker, Mike Bolin and Patricia M. Smith, and civil appeals judge Tommy Bryan.
Many stood and applauded former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore as he walked to the stage to administer the oath to Parker. Moore's action was ceremonial, since Parker took his formal oath of office Thursday before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Washington. Parker said Thomas told him a judge should be evaluated by whether he faithfully upholds his oath to God, not to the people, to the state or to the Constitution.
Bolin was administered the oath by Calhoun County Probate Judge Arthur C. Murray. Bolin said he was humbled by so many of his friends attending the ceremony and "by the trust placed in me by the citizens of Alabama." Bolin said he is a "strong conservative and a strict constructionist" of the law.
Alabama Chief Justice Drayton Nabers swore in Smith, who said her robe "`is a symbol of integrity and impartiality." She also paid tribute to her family, which drew laughter from the crowd when Nabers described them as "an immense number."
Bryan, who was sworn in by his father-in-law, the Rev. Joe Bob Mizell, paid tribute to his wife as "the best campaigner in Alabama." He said that, as a judge, he would "treat others as I would want to be treated" and interpret the law as it is rather than the way he might want it to be.