Jefferson County Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman, a black Democrat, made the ruling while dismissing Newsome's complaint at summary judgment -- proving that white Republicans do not have the market cornered on judicial corruption in the Heart of Dixie. That is not breaking news to us, having been the victims of Judge Don Blankenship (another black Democrat) and his baseless $3.5-million defamation default judgment, benefiting Jessica Medeiros Garrison -- the one-time campaign manager and girlfriend of GOPer and former Attorney General Luther Strange.
Still, Smitherman's ruling against Newsome is a stunner for its brazenness, coming after Balch Bingham has been unmasked as the crooked firm at the heart of the North Birmingham Superfund scandal. With pending criminal charges against former Balch environmental stooge Trey Glenn, you would think Smitherman might be a little more cautious in a volatile environment. You also would think she might take note that former State Rep. Oliver Robinson (like Smitherman, a black Democrat) is the only one, so far, to land in federal prison (in Oklahoma City) for the Superfund shenanigans.
But Smitherman apparently is clueless about the harsh realities of white "big law" firms in downtown Birmingham -- or she wrongly thinks she is coated in Teflon. How brazen is Judge Smitherman? Individuals and entities connected to Balch Bingham have funneled more than $30,000 in campaign contributions to Smitherman and her husband, State Sen. Rodger Smitherman.
Was the donors' reward a monstrous cheat job against Burt Newsome? It sure looks that way. Newsome is appealing the summary judgment and award of attorney fees against him, but we still have this question: Should Carole Smitherman, who once enjoyed a stellar reputation, have the words "Property of Balch and Bingham" stamped on her forehead?
The details of the invoices were mostly redacted to a degree that the description of the fees and work done were indeterminable. Some fees billed on the invoices and submitted were not even related to this case.
Although the Queen of the Star Chamber Judge Carole Smitherman has ruled against Burt Newsome by approving Balch and Bingham’s summary judgment, she refuses to unseal the court records, even though the case is over in the lower court, according to an appeal filed with the Alabama Supreme Court. . . .
Smitherman’s actions prove she’s nothing more than a stooge for Balch and Bingham and confirms what civil RICO experts have said: The manipulation of the pay-to-play judiciary branch in Alabama is real and tangible.
This should be mind-blowing to everyone who lives in Alabama -- or has any concern about justice. Here is more from banbalch.com:
We ask again, what in the hell could Smitherman be hiding? Perjury? Possible criminal conduct? Corruption? Obstruction of justice?
But now an even bigger disgrace has been exposed.
Smitherman approved over $192,000 in redacted attorney fees against Burt Newsome. In other words, Newsome and his legal team were given bills that were blacked-out, they couldn’t read, and then told to pay up. . . .
This is more than a miscarriage of justice against Newsome.
This is a horn, a loud horn exposing to the world what unconscionable and unsavory depths to which Balch and Bingham and its stooges will allegedly go to destroy the rule of law and to carry on an arrogant march of defiance with impunity.
Are the Smithermans headed down the same path to prison that ensnared Oliver Robinson? Ban Balch already has addressed that question:
Will Smitherman allow Balch and others to abuse her credibility as a respected constitutional law professor like Balch abused Robinson’s credibility and legacy as a UAB basketball star?
Will Smitherman protect her legacy as the first African-American female mayor of Birmingham, who served with distinction on the city council or toss it aside for 30 pieces of campaign silver?