How to get a demented judicial system

I was curious to know who was running the Alabama Supreme Court after that ridiculous ruling that embryos are human children from conception. The chief justice is a man named Tom Parker, who is a rabid Christian Nationalist and QAnon fanatic.

During a recent interview on the program of self-proclaimed “prophet” and QAnon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker indicated that he is a proponent of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” a theological approach that calls on Christians to impose fundamentalist values on all aspects of American life.

Enlow is a pro-Trump “prophet” and leading proponent of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” a “quasi-biblical blueprint for theocracy” that asserts that Christians must impose fundamentalist values on American society by conquering the “seven mountains” of cultural influence in U.S. life: government, education, media, religion, family, business, and entertainment.

Enlow has also repeatedly pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory, sometimes even connecting it to the Seven Mountain Mandate. Per Right Wing Watch, Enlow has claimed that world leaders are “satanic” pedophiles who “steal blood” and “do sacrifices” and that “there is presently no real democracy on the planet” because over 90 percent of world leaders are involved in pedophilia and are being blackmailed.

How do such delusional Christian zealots rise to power? He was elected by the good people of Alabama.

Confederate Outfitters issued a slate of Dixie-friendly candidates a couple years ago. It put it like this:

Tom Parker – Friend of Confederates – Ideal Candidate.

There you go. Make America Gray Again. Or at least the uniforms.

I don’t usually write opinion about candidates this close to elections. I don’t pick or endorse candidates. I don’t trust any of them because as soon as you say something nice about one they turn into somebody else.

But there are exceptions to rules, and if Tom Parker is anything, he’s exceptional.

He’s more Roy Moore than Roy Moore. Parker is an activist judge who made his name campaigning against activist judges. Judges who disagree with his view, as Parker put it, should be considered terrorists like al Qaeda.

Tom Parker is not qualified to judge traffic court. He’s a good ol’ boy Southern bigot, and his biases make him anti-science.


  1. stuffin says

    asserts that Christians must impose fundamentalist values on American society

    Enlow has claimed that world leaders are “satanic” pedophiles who “steal blood” and “do sacrifices” and that “there is presently no real democracy on the planet” because over 90 percent of world leaders are involved in pedophilia and are being blackmailed.

    And us non-followers are demented. To dream this stuff up and have faith in it cements their delusional view of society.

  2. raven says

    He is an extremist.
    He is also a far right wingnut.
    And, a member of the lunatic fringes.

    So, whose fault is it that he can head the Alabama Supreme court and make laws out of thin air?

    Obviously, the voters of Alabama.
    The people who elected him.

    We know what is wrong with Tom Parker.
    The question is what is wrong with the majority of Alabama that elected this weird guy.

  3. robro says

    raven — “…what is wrong with the majority of Alabama that elected this weird guy…” That’s a good question, of course, but there is another question: was it a true majority? Since Reconstruction at least and probably before, the Southern strategy has been to cull “undesirables” from the voting rolls.

  4. raven says

    Alabama is a long way from me, both geographically at 2,200 miles, and culturally, since they seem to be still living in 1860 USA, sure that the Confederate states will win.

    From the Pacific coast, lately Alabama looks like an insane asylum.

    A question for the normal people of Alabama.
    What is it like living in a christofascist paradise run by lunatic fringers?

    I used to know a lot of people who lived in Utah, another theocracy owned and run by the Mormon church.
    One by one over the years, they all moved to the coast.
    They just got tired of being a minority living in a state run by and for the Mormon church. You could vote and your vote never mattered.

  5. raven says

    This Alabama ruling is going to impact mostly upper middle class and wealthy people.

    In Vitro Fertilization is expensive and insurance coverage is minimal and usually nonexistent.

    A single cycle of IVF is $20,000 and it usually takes an average of 3 cycles for half the people to get pregnant.
    One IVF baby is going to run at least $60,000.
    Many couples will pay more and never have a baby.

    While the average base cost of a single IVF cycle falls between $14,000 and $20,000, this is merely an approximation. The actual expenses may differ.

    On average, research has shown that about 65.3% of patients, or two-thirds, have a successful outcome after six or more IVF cycles.

  6. muttpupdad says

    Raven, these are people that think(?) that with their superior skools that when the graduate third grade at 16 that they are the smartest people in the country and should always be catered to when it comes to who’s believes rule. The problem is that they will drag all the rest of us down to their level and thus gain the win.

  7. Hex says

    The problem is that we have systems set up, rooted in genocide and slavery, such that people like him can be allowed in power, and then everyone else is forced to go along with their ignorant decisions rooted in white supremacist beliefs or face economic devastation or forced in prison via a militarized police force. There can be no real liberation for marginalized people until the very structures of capitalism and government that are used as cudgels against them are dismantled. This is something that no one in power in this country, even the ones who claim to be on the sides of racial, gender, disability, etc justice, is willing to admit and act on.

  8. raven says

    I’m trying to see if the Alabama IVF clinics have a way to stay in business.
    Maybe. But not really.

    They have to store the extra zygotes forever.
    These are frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees C.

    The cost of freezing embryos ranges from $1,000 to $2,000, with additional storage fees of $500–$1,000 a year.

    So take the mid point estimate of $750 per year per cycle and assume you have to store them for 50 years.
    That would be $37,500 extra that you would have to deposit per cycle.
    For three cycles $112,500.

    What this cuckoo ruling will do is drive up IVF costs to at least double or triple what they are now at average $60,000 per birth.
    It would be a lot less expensive to just travel to a Blue state where you can get IVF without risking your life.

  9. Hex says

    Are the people who voted for him particularly ignorant? Absolutely! But it’s also ignorant to just let one’s analysis end there—the next question to ask is why they are ignorant, and the truth unravels that the issues go beyond individuals and into deeply rooted systemic problems that aren’t going to be fixed as long as capitalism and hierarchies of power are brutally enforced

  10. moxie says

    i’m waiting for an alabamian to write their frozen embryos off as dependents on their state taxes.

  11. says

    moxie: whoever does that may find themselves forced to bring all their embryos to term. The court says they’re all babies, so SOMEONE’s gotta be forced to bear them all…

  12. boba1 says

    The judge quoted the Bible in his opinion, violating separation of church and state.

    “We believe that each human being, from the moment of conception, is made in the image of God, created by Him to reflect His likeness. It is as if the People of Alabama took what was spoken of the prophet Jeremiah and applied it to every unborn person in this state: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I sanctified you.’ Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV 1982).”

  13. Artor says

    Judges and legislators who pull stunts like this should be charged with practicing medicine without a license.

  14. says

    This is separate from the non-existence of a right to force people to give birth or prevent abortions, but I’ve been thinking over parallel challenges and #13 is something.That doesn’t mention abortion and it doesn’t mention forcing people.rongive birth.
    In fact supposedly their god is big on choice with things like sin and salvation and there is no being here speaking for itself. (Though it wouldn’t matter if there was. I don’t give society that level of coercion.

  15. says

    Their God would know who will be aborted, through miscarry or otherwise from what I can see. (Now how to deal with the “discernment” excuse. If they have a secret decoder ring they’ll have to show me as a fellow citizen).

  16. says

    Tom Parker is not qualified to judge traffic court. He’s a good ol’ boy Southern bigot, and his biases make him anti-science.

    This reflects a fundamental flaw in legal education and the legal system — there is not one question on the Multistate Bar Exam (half or two-thirds of the exam) that requires, or even encourages, prospective lawyers to evaluate data, come up with a coherent view of “evidence,” and reason from that to “judicially cognizable facts.” It’s compounded by electing judges at all; if the civil rights era (should have) taught us nothing else, it’s that there are worse ways to select judges than “appointment with lifetime tenure by the executive and confirmation by the Senate,” and they’re called “election for judges that end up turning on one or two issues that would actually be thrown out of court and subject the lawyers doing so to the disciplinary process” (as Sidney Powell just discovered).

    Bluntly, legal education positively encourages an anti-science bias… and I get to say that as a scientist who went to law school and then didn’t hole myself up in patent law (even though I could have). Even in archly science-related areas like “environmental law” and “medical malpractice,” less than 15% of attorneys (and virtually no judges) have bachelor’s degrees or more in the sciences, and a substantial portion of even them have pure-practice nursing backgrounds that have their own limiting perspectives (however much more we should respect nurses). “Journal impact”? Even less so. “Ability to suspect that an ‘expert witness’ is showing the Discovery Institute how it’s done?” No ability whatsoever.

  17. jenorafeuer says

    One person I went to University with started with an Engineering program and then switched to law for reasons similar to what you’re talking about, a belief that there needed to be more lawyers that actually understood things like this. Heck, I was saying back then that there needed to be more computer programmers who were more than just ‘programmers’, but who also had background knowledge of some other field to be able to bring that knowledge into specific deep work.

    The basic issue of treating ‘the law’ (or ‘the code’) as something existing in some sort of rarefied air where it doesn’t need to be contaminated by reality is, of course, a good chunk of the problem.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 19

    Our government needs an “Academic” branch with veto power to fact check bills for scientific and historical accuracy.

  19. Pierce R. Butler says

    Akira MacKenzie @ # 20: … an “Academic” branch with veto power to fact check bills for scientific and historical accuracy.

    Alas, academics often disagree, and any such office would quickly get corrupted by political appointees.

    There used to be a a Congressional Office of Technology Assessment which filled a similar role, and aborted many awful proposals for a little over 20 years. Of course, Newt Gingrich killed it in 1995.

  20. rwiess says

    Another lawyer/scientist here – and in law school I was mostly the only person with a STEM background. The profession needs more, and not all siphoned into patent law.

  21. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    @15… Anytime I hear someone say “unborn baby” I ask them if they call themselves an “undead corpse”.

  22. StevoR says

    @ drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon ^. : ..Vampiire & zombie movie character actors – “yes?”

    But other than that…

  23. vereverum says

    If you have to use the power of the state to force people to join your religion, you religion is false.

  24. JimB says

    Alabama is a “Safe Place for Newborns” state. All the IVF providers need to box up their collections of “babies” and give them to “Section 1. (a) An emergency medical services provider”. Can’t be prosecuted if they are 72 hours old or less.

    Let the state of Alabama be responsible for maintaining these hundreds? Thousands? of “babies” lives.

  25. microraptor says

    boba1 @13: He’s also ignoring that the bible clearly spells out that babies don’t count as people until 30 days AFTER they’re born.

  26. raven says

    The other way to keep having IVF procedures done in Alabama is obvious.

    After little Timmy and Sally are frozen down at -196 C in their forever home of liquid nitrogen, load the tank on a truck.

    Drive to the next state or at least the next Blue state.
    Think of it as taking the kids on vacation or dropping them off with the grandparents.

    At that point, little Timmy and Sally cease being one celled children and revert to being one celled zygotes.
    Dispose of them or keep them as usual.

    I’m sure the Supreme Court in Alabama will find some reason to try to prohibit this. Maybe define it as kidnapping. Or child abuse.
    I’m not sure how they could stop this though.
    Maybe a new police force. Call them the Zygote Police.

  27. raven says

    NBC Today:

    Some IVF patients have considered moving their embryos out of the state to continue the process elsewhere, only to learn that the option isn’t available to them right now.

    Old European saying.
    If you speak of the devil, they will come.

    The Zygote Police have already headed off shipping your zygote children out of the state of Alabama.
    No one is shipping IVF embryos any where from Alabama.
    I’m not seeing that is legal though.

    If they are your children, isn’t the state of Alabama…kidnapping your children?
    And holding them in prison without a jury trial and sentencing.

    It doesn’t look like little Timmy and Sally are going to see their grandparents in New York very soon.

  28. says

    Also, raven, it’s been a long-accepted principle of US law that states don’t get to regulate travel or commerce across state lines. That’s explicitly considered a Federal prerogative, and even that’s not unlimited.

  29. raven says

    Guardian Today:

    Today, about 2% of all babies born in the US are conceived through in vitro fertilization. To perform a round of IVF, doctors stimulate a patient’s ovaries to produce several eggs. Those eggs are retrieved and fertilized with sperm in vitro, Latin for “in glass” (hence the expression “test tube baby”), creating embryos that consist of a group of a few hundred cells and are called blastocysts. Doctors typically implant one or two of the embryos in a patient’s womb around the sixth day of the embryo’s development.

    At each of these stages, it is expected that some number of embryos will fail to develop. There are eggs that may not fertilize, fertilized eggs that may not become embryos and embryos that will never produce a healthy baby. Doctors often refer to this as the “inefficiency of reproduction”, and it is why IVF typically relies on the creation of multiple embryos to succeed.

    There are other points of failure in the process as well: embryos may be discarded because of irregular genetic test results; others may not survive the freeze-thaw process of cryogenic storage, which allows couples to save embryos for potential future rounds of IVF.

    What this ruling will do in Alabama is halt IVF forever.

    Because, there is an inherent loss of embryos all through the multiple steps of the procedure.
    And, according to the clueless judge, every time an embryo fails to develop, it is a homicide.

    That is why you need to start with multiple embryos.

    After fertilization, doctors watch the embryos as they develop, and what Feinberg often sees is that human reproduction is really inefficient, she said.

    If 10 eggs are exposed to sperm, about seven will fertilize, she said. Of those seven, only 25% to 50% will grow in the laboratory long enough to be considered a more mature embryo called a blastocyst, Feinberg said.

    From there, depending on the age of the patient, the blastocyst has between a 10% and 60% likelihood of becoming a baby, she said.

    You might have to start with 10 eggs to get one end result baby.
    If you freeze some embryos for future use, some of them won’t even survive the freezing process.

    According to the Alabama courts, for one live birth, you might have killed dozens of children.
    Being an IVF specialist in Alabama means you will breathe nitrogen and die, after your conviction as a child serial killer.
    It would be easier to just move to another state before it gets to that point.

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