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Roy Moore Returns to Lead Alabama Court System

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The best known living jurist in Alabama is back.  Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) from Gallant was sworn in on Friday in an elaborate investiture ceremony in Montgomery.  Roy Moore returns to once again be the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court…….and once again Roy Moore acknowledged the Supremacy of the God of the Bible.

Chief Justice Moore said, “We’ve got to remember that most of what we do in court comes from some scripture or is backed by scripture.”

Chief Justice Moore took the oath of office from Circuit Judge John Bentley.  Moore and Judge Bentley were classmates at West Point.

Former Appeals Court Judge Tommy Bryan (R) was also sworn in to join Moore on the Alabama Supreme Court. Associate Justice Bryan was sworn in by Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Bolin (R).  Bryan was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court without any opposition.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) “We have common beliefs and we believe in the same God, and we worship that same God. And I am honored to serve with two men like this and men and women on this court. It is a true honor. And I truly believe that the people of Alabama are better off when we have men and women who believe there is someone else who controls their lives and controls this state.”

Chief Justice Moore said, “I’m proud to join this court. I think it’s a good court. I think this court is poised to make a difference, not only in our state but in our nation. Alabama has always led our nation. We’ve led in civil liberty, the restoration of civil liberty. We’ve led in religious liberty. We’ve led in state’s rights. And most recently, we’ve led in college football the last four years.”

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Moore joins an Alabama Supreme Court that is entirely Republican. Moore succeeds Chief Justice Chuck Malone (R) who was appointed by Gov. Bentley when Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb (D) resigned to spend more time with her family.  Cobb defeated former Chief Justice Drayton Nabors (R) who was appointed by former Governor Bob Riley (R) to succeed Moore after Moore was removed from the office by an unelected group of judges for failing to follow the order of a federal judge.

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Moore came to statewide prominence when atheist lawyers objected to the Etowah Circuit Court Judge displaying a copy of the Ten Commandments on his wall.  Then Alabama Gov. Fob James (R) defended Judge Moore’s right to have a Ten Commandments plaque on his wall.  Moore then was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and installed a monument to the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court Building.  Moore’s anti-religion enemies then sued the Chief Justice for offending their religious sensibilities.  In 2003 Federal Judge Myron Thompson agreed and ordered Moore to remove the monument.  Moore refused, hoping that the case would be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Moore was then removed by his fellow jurists.

Moore’s supporters hoped that Gov. Bob Riley would reappoint Moore.  Instead he appointed his budget director Drayton Nabors.  The former Chief Justice then unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Riley in the 2006 Republican Primary.  Some Constitution Party leaders encouraged Moore to run for President in 2008, but he stayed with the Republican Party.  In 2010 Judge Moore ran for Governor again, but failed to make the runoff.

In 2012 Judge Moore ran again for Chief Justice.  He defeated the better funded campaigns of incumbent Chief Justice Chuck Malone and Mobile Presiding Judge Charlie Graddick in the 2012 Republican Primary without a runoff.  Moore appeared to be cruising to an easy victory over outspoken Pelham Attorney Harry Lyon (D), when the Alabama Democratic Party sacked their candidate for politically incorrect and inflammatory speech on Facebook.  The Democrats handpicked candidate, Jefferson County Judge Robert Vance waged an intense and well-funded campaign that included endorsements from many of the same former Republican jurists who had conspired against Moore in 2003. Despite being substantially outspent, Moore was easily elected Chief Justice on November 6th.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with six and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook.

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