Alabama judge apologizes for calling Gov. Kay Ivey ‘MeMaw’

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, October 27, 2020

An Alabama judge has apologized for calling the state’s female governor “MeMaw” in a court order he issued earlier this year to cancel a hearing due to Alabama’s stay-at-home order.

Mobile County Circuit Court Judge James Patterson made the comment in an April order he sent to parties involved in a civil negligence case, news outlets reported Monday.

Patterson wrote it was better to not “hold virtual hearings because that may require someone (staff person/IT person/lawyer who doesn’t have access to the technology?) to leave home and violate Gov. MeMaw’s order.”

He apologized to Gov. Kay Ivey 12 days later, saying he had “no earthly idea” that his order would “go anywhere except to the lawyers in the case.” He also called his comments “idiotic” and a “poor attempt at humor.”

“The governor accepted that apology and wished him and his fellow judges well as we all rise to meet the needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ivey’s spokesperson Gina Maiola told WPMI-TV.

Patterson has also offered an apology to the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, presidents of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association and the Alabama District Judges Association.