Governor Kay Ivey has appointed Justice Brad Mendheim to fill the Alabama Supreme Court vacancy that will be created by Justice Tom Parker’s ascension to chief justice, according to a report by Alabama Daily News.
The appointment will be effective January 15, after recently elected justices are sworn into office. Parker recently became the chief justice-elect after defeating Judge Bob Vance, the Democratic nominee, in November’s general election.
Mendheim currently sits on the Supreme Court after being appointed by Ivey as an associate justice in January of this year following the resignation of Justice Glenn Murdock. He then ran for a full term in his current seat but was ultimately defeated by Judge Sarah Stewart in the Republican primary runoff.
Mendheim told Alabama Daily News that he was “humbled” by the confidence the governor has in him to make this second appointment.
“Serving on the Alabama Supreme Court has been the greatest professional honor of my life, and I look forward to re-joining Justice Parker and my other colleagues on the court in January,” he said.
“Most importantly, I am thankful for the continued support of family and friends across the state,” Mendheim added.
Because of state law on Supreme Court appointments, the seat Mendheim is assuming will be up for election in 2020.
From 2008 to his appointment in January 2018, he served as a circuit judge on the 20th Judicial Circuit (Houston and Henry Counties). Before that, Mendheim served as Houston County district judge from 2001 to 2008. During his time on the bench, the judge presided over more than 300 jury trials. He was appointed to hear over 250 cases in more than 35 Alabama counties by every Alabama Supreme Court chief justice since 2001 and has been recognized annually for accepting more special assignments than any other judge in the Yellowhammer State.
Prior to taking the bench in 2001, Mendheim was in private practice in Dothan and served for more than six years as an assistant district attorney in the 20th Judicial Circuit, where he personally tried more than 120 criminal jury cases. As a judge, he has presided over a large variety of trials, including death penalty cases, felony cases and civil cases. He is a graduate with High Honors from Auburn University and Cumberland School of Law, where he made the Dean’s List.
Mendheim and his wife, Michelle, have been married for more than 23 years. They have three sons. The justice and his family are long-time members of First Baptist Church of Dothan, where he serves as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon.
He is perhaps most well known to the Alabama public for his catchy campaign advertisement from the primary, featuring the slogan, “Send ’em Mendheim.”
Update, 4:00 p.m.: Ivey released a statement on the appointment, as follows:
“After reviewing all of those interested in the position, Justice Mendheim is clearly the most qualified, with impeccable legal credentials and with unquestioned character and integrity. With more than 17 years of judicial experience, Justice Mendheim brings the experience of having served on the Alabama Supreme Court. Every applicant was given appropriate consideration, but Justice Mendheim exceeded them all. I appreciate his previous service to the state of Alabama and know that in this continuing opportunity he will again follow the law and serve with honor.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn