Ala. Democratic Party Decides Harry Lyon's Fate

By: Eric Velasco -- The Birmingham News
By: Eric Velasco -- The Birmingham News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- An Alabama Democratic Party committee voted today to disqualify Harry Lyon as the party nominee for chief justice after a hearing focusing on comments the Pelham lawyer made on the Web that party officials deemed improper for a judicial candidate.

The five-member panel of the State Democratic Executive Committee made the decision after a hearing this afternoon in Birmingham. The full SDEC will take candidate nominations Monday through noon Wednesday. The committee expects to select a replacement candidate by Aug. 27.

Lyon, the only person to qualify as a Democrat in the 2012 election for any of the five Alabama Supreme Court seats including chief justice, protested the move. Lyon charged party officials with pushing him aside in favor of a new candidate to face Roy Moore, the former chief justice who was removed from office in 2003 after refusing to follow a federal judge's order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.

But party officials said the move was tied to what they called increasingly bizarre online postings by Lyon they called defamatory and bigoted. The comments violated judicial canons controlling the behavior and public statements of judges and judicial candidates.

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