The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (AJIC) charged Batiste with making improper use of her contempt powers in domestic-relations cases, and she faced possible removal from the bench. But the Court of Judiciary ruled this afternoon that Batiste should be suspended from the bench for three months.
Retired Presiding Judge J. Scott Vowell led the effort to file complaints against Batiste, and her lawyers argued that she was the victim of a vindictive prosecution because of Vowell's anger that she had filed a complaint against him with the Alabama Attorney General's Office.
We reported this morning that the case against Batiste was driven largely by her decision to do away with a special masters program in her court. That decision proved to be highly unpopular with a number of domestic-relations lawyers who are close to Vowell.
We will update the story as more information becomes available.