Shelby County GOP honors Judge Joiner at annual dinner

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM – Judge Michael Joiner was honored Saturday night as Shelby County’s Republican of the Year.

Joiner was presented the award at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center during the annual Reagan-Lincoln Dinner, a Shelby County Republican fundraiser.

Joiner was appointed in February to the state Court of Criminal Appeals, after previously serving as presiding judge for the Shelby County Circuit Court.

“When I got the call from the governor about being on the Court of Criminal Appeals, I had to think hard about that opportunity,” Joiner said. “I was serving as a Circuit judge in a job that I truly loved and felt called to do. I served with some of the best people in the state.”

Joiner said he went to Montgomery with “some trepidation.”

“But I realized soon there that I would also encounter other individuals of great intellect and integrity that I would serve alongside,” he said.

Joiner said he’s not a “Republican judge” when he puts on the judicial robe.

“I’m just a judge,” he said, “and I will seek justice for all people.”

Joiner cited a passage from the Bible: “Evil men do not understand justice,” he said, “but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.”

“I certainly do not claim to understand it completely, in a sense that I always get it right,” Joiner added. “But I will pledge to you, as I did as a Circuit judge in Shelby County, serving on the Court of Criminal Appeals I will always seek justice and to judge fairly and impartially, and that’s all I can do.”

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain delivered the keynote address.