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Former chief justice says money is now king of Alabama judicial races

AP reports: The phones rang. The donations flowed.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in 2006 won one of the most expensive judicial races in American history. Cobb, however, is no fan of the pricey system that got her to be the state's top jurist.

The high-dollar races that have judicial candidates dialing for dollars are tawdry, she said, and the donations that judicial candidates must solicit from law firms and businesses that appear in their courtroom are something akin to "legalized extortion."

"To fully achieve the goal of having fair courts, there must be reform in how judges are selected," Cobb said in an interview with The Associated Press. -- Sue Bell Cobb: Money now king of Alabama judicial races | AL.com

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