What to know about Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker and the embryo verdict

In the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are human, Chief Justice Tom Parker wrote a concurring opinion that sought to define the “sanctity of unborn life,” quoting heavily from scripture and theology. Her opinion drew criticism from abortion rights activists for invoking religious beliefs in the justice's ruling, and she has repeatedly emphasized religion in the nearly 20 years since she laid the groundwork for the reversal. Roe v. Wade.

Parker has publicly criticized other justices for not sufficiently considering religion in their rulings, and has expressed support for a doctrine known as the Seven Mountain Mandate..

Who is Chief Justice Tom Parker?

  • Parker, 72, was first elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004 and won the chief justice position in 2018. His term ends in 2025; State law prohibits judges older than 70 from being elected.
  • Parker has been praised by abortion opponents for years and has sown the fallout for writing comments condemned by reproductive rights advocates. Ro And further restricts access to abortion.

What did he write in the concurring opinion?

Parker wrote again and again in his scriptures Rule, argues that the Alabama law is based on the theology that God created each person “in his own image.” He and the other justices in the 8-1 majority said that life begins at conception and that frozen embryos are therefore protected under the law.

“Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God,” Parker wrote in his conciliatory opinion.

He said state code recognizes “unborn human life” and that destroying it — including frozen embryos — is an affront to God.

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“All men bear the image of God,” he wrote, “and their lives cannot be destroyed without diminishing his glory.”

He also cited the writings of a 17th-century theologian as evidence that people were created in God's image.

“The principle that human life is fundamentally different from other forms of life and cannot be taken willfully without justification — has deep roots in the creation of man in the image of God,” he wrote, citing the book. Genesis.

The chief justice also sought to allay concerns that in vitro fertilization (IVF) would affect in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Alabama, suggesting that the Legislature limit IVF embryos to one or two at a time to reduce the number destroyed when allowing the procedure.

At least three fertility clinics have suspended operations in the state, and Republicans across the country have sought to distance themselves from IVF restrictions.

Republicans and Democrats in the Alabama Legislature are working to introduce legislation to protect IVF access.

In a ballot effort to define life from conception, Parker wrote, “the people of Alabama took what the prophet Jeremiah was talking about and applied it to everyone unborn in this state.”

“[Alabamians] We demand that every man be treated according to the fear of a holy God created in his own image,” he wrote in his conclusion.

Parker did not immediately respond to The Washington Post's requests for comment Saturday afternoon.

What are his previous convictions and history in politics?

Parker served as assistant attorney general under Jeff Sessions, who became U.S. attorney general in the Trump administration. He served as an assistant to Roy Moore on the state Supreme Court in 2000 until Moore was fired in 2003 for defying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument installed in the Justice Department building.

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After Parker was elected to the state's highest court in 2004, he traveled to Washington to take the oath of office. One of his role models, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, presided.

Once on the bench, Parker routinely used scriptures and criticized his colleagues who didn't.

“When judges do not rule in the fear of the Lord, everything falls apart,” he once wrote. According to According to a 2014 ProPublica investigation. “The whole world comes unglued.”

He often heard cases that would allow him to write comments about embryos and human life.

“Today, the only major area in which unborn children are denied legal protection is abortion,” he wrote in a lawsuit, according to ProPublica, “and that denial is only because of mandates. Ro.”

He also wrote Ro was wrong Arguing that states cannot ban viable abortions.

Mississippi cited its lawsuit to challenge that reasoning Ro At the US Supreme Court, his supporters took action say helped pave the way Roin Fall in 2022.

What is his connection with the Lord of Seven Hills?

Parker has frequently expressed support for the Seven Mountain Mandate, which calls for conservative Christians in the United States to use fundamentalist beliefs to influence and run seven key areas of life: government, education, and the media. It has its supporters Tried Restricting reproductive care while allowing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals for religious beliefs.

Last week, on the same day the Alabama Supreme Court issued its landmark decision and Parker's concurrent ruling, the chief justice said in an online broadcast that “God created government” and that Christians should withdraw it from the “possession” of others.

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At one point ideas came Interview With QAnon supporter Johnny Enlow, “The Seven Mountain Prophecy.” Enloe describes Parker as a “true pioneer” of the movement, while Parker thanks Enloe for promoting the Seven Mountain Mandate. The interview was reported by Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group.

Parker said in the interview that the country's original form was based on the Bible, a common view of proponents of the Seven Hills Ordinance, and that its laws should reflect that. Scholars have criticized that interpretation, according to the Associated Press reports.

Still, Parker's support for the movement is nothing new.

“The God of the Bible, the Creator, the source of law, life and liberty,” he said on his first day as justice in 2005, according to ProPublica.

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