By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) again faces the possibility that he could be removed from his role as Chief Justice. On Friday, May 6, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) announced that it has filed ethics charges against the twice elected Chief Justice.
The charges are the result of judicial ethics complaints filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the Chief Justice instructed State court judges to defy a federal court order and enforce the State’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The move by the JIC today sets up a trial in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.
A defiant Chief Justice Roy Moore said in response, “The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the Administrative Orders of the Chief Justice of Alabama or the legal injunction of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The JIC has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda. We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail.”
Chief Justice Moore said, “We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail.”
The Chief Justice is reportedly presently suspended with pay.
SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement, “Moore has disgraced his office for far too long. He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with. For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office.”
Moore may be suspended pending the ruling by the Court of the Judiciary. If the court finds him guilty, he could be permanently removed from office, though the court could levy lesser sanctions.
The JIC removed Moore in 2003 after he refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument even after a federal judge ordered him to do so. His removal in 2003 was in response to a SPLC ethics complaint.
The SPLC complaint alleges that Moore ordered state probate judges to violate a binding federal court order; that he has repeatedly commented on pending cases; has undermined the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary by denigrating the federal courts and threatening to defy them; and has improperly lent the prestige of his office to the Foundation for Moral Law, a private organization that his wife runs and that he founded.
Following the complaint Kayla Moore, Chief Justice Moore’s wife, posted pictures of Ambrosia Starling (a transvestite and critic of Chief Justice Moore): “Meet one of the men who’s actively trying to oust Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore — one of the rare elected officials who’s acted in the fear of God, upheld his oath of office, and would rather hide his head in a bag than acquiesce to that travesty of justice and law that was Obergefell.”
The President of the Foundation for Moral Law, Mrs. Moore wrote, “I’m only sharing this because we all need to be aware of what’s going on. It’s not about what you and I think, it’s not about what Ambrosia thinks, and it’s not about what the Chief Justice thinks. It’s about what the law in fact, is in this country, the future of this nation, and the fear of God.”
Mrs. Moore said, “Those spearheading the removal of the Chief Justice hate God, marriage, and the rule of law (bedrocks of our country) and intend to stamp out anyone who stands for all three. Sadly, their goal is being accomplished by the weakness of those who claim virtue.
Mrs. Moore warned, “Lines are being drawn in this country. May God give us courage and grace to find ourselves on the right side – individually courageous when it comes to standing for truth and right. Neutrality is no option.”
In 2003, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor personally represented the state in the hearing. We do not know at this time if Luther Strange will be Moore’s prosecutor or not. There is considerable speculation that AG Strange and Chief Justice Moore could both be Republican contenders for the office of Governor in 2018.