Proud of Justice Patti Smith

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2005

There are a lot of bad people in the world.

Really evil people.

People who profit at the expense of others.

People who couldn’t care less about those around them and who take advantage of other people every single day.

It doesn’t matter who they hurt or who they destroy as they go toward what they see as &uot;success.&uot;

But sometimes – every once in a while – something good and appropriate happens to a person who truly deserves it.

That was the case on Friday when longtime Shelby County Judge Patti Smith became, at long last, Supreme Court Associate Justice Patti Smith.

She’s one of the most non-political people I’ve ever met, often uncomfortable with political posturing.

What she is comfortable with, however, is sitting behind that bench day after day doing her level best to help Shelby County’s children.

If you’ve ever had an opportunity to sit in her court and watch her interact with and act on behalf of any child who ever came before her, you could tell that.

She would move mountains to do what was best for a child.

And now she’ll get that opportunity statewide.

Boy, Alabama just got extremely lucky.

She is one of my heroes so as I sat there in the audience Friday afternoon with many, many others from Shelby County, I was so proud.

Patti Smith has done more for children in this county than anyone I can think of.

It must be an awesome responsibility to make decisions that affect the lives of children. But she did that here … for 25 years.

Shelby County will definitely … absolutely … miss you, Justice Patti Smith.

But the foundation you have built in Shelby County for the safety and success of our children will surely stand strong.

By your example, we will continue to care for those here in Shelby County who can’t care for themselves.

Yes, you surely will be missed; but we will work to make you as proud of us as I know we will continue to be of you.

And, rest assured, you may be Justice Smith now, to the rest of the state of Alabama.

But to us, here in Shelby County, you’ll always be our Judge Patti.

Candace Parker is the news editor at the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at