Five things you need to know about Sarah Stewart

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The primary elections are over, but some highly sought spots still remain open due to the primary races resulting in runoffs. One of those races is for the Supreme Court, Place 1.

Incumbent Brad Mendheim and Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Sarah Stewart both garnered enough support to tip the race into a runoff election set for July 17.

With that in mind, here are five things you need to know about Sarah Stewart:

1. She was appointed by former-Governor Bob Riley.

Stewart was initially appointed to her current position in 2006 by former-Gov. Bob Riley. Later that year she ran without opposition and was elected. She ran again in 2010, winning her first full six-year term. In 2016 she was reelected again, making 2018 the her twelfth year in her current position,

2. Before becoming a circuit judge, she practiced law for fourteen years. 

Born in Fort Smith, Ark. Stewart attended the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1986 with a Master’s degree and continuing to Vanderbilt University School of Law obtaining her J.D. in 1992. She then practiced with Hand Arendall and Ezell Sharbrough LLC in Mobile, Ala,, later joining Stewart & Hicks P.C. as a senior partner until she was appointed into her current position.

3. She’s the Vice-President Alabama Circuit Judges Association. 

Stewart has been a major influence in the Alabama Circuit Judges Association since 2009 when she became a board member. She’s held several positions in the association since then, including serving as the Education Chair since 2011, Secretary-Treasurer from 2016 to 2017, and presently as the Vice-President of the association.

She has also been a member of several other judicial and legal committees, including the Rules of Evidence Committee, the Alabama State Bar Judicial Liaison Committee, and the Alabama Judicial Caseload Study Committee. 

4. She has completed over 1800 criminal and civil cases per year as a circuit judge. 

Over the course of her over a decade long judgeship, Stewart has disposed of more than 1800 criminal and civil court cases every year.

After a controversial ruling earlier this year, Stewart told Yellowhammer News that she “tries to adhere to the law and higher court precedent — even when she might not prefer the result,” saying “sometimes as a judge, you have to sign off on an opinion you don’t personally agree with because that’s the law.”

“Judges are referees, not policymakers,” Stewart continued. 

5. She’s been an active member of several non-profit organizations. 

In addition to serving on many judicial committees and boards, Stewart has been actively involving herself in her community. She has served whole-heartedly on several non-profit boards in the Mobile area, including the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama Board, Loaves and Fishes Ministry 15th Place Homeless Day Service Shelter board, and is and active member of the Junior League of Mobile.

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