By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, May 21, the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee held a special called meeting in Trussville to elect alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. They also passed a resolution calling on the unelected Alabama Court of the Judiciary to drop the charges level against Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) by the unelected Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC).
The Alabama Republican Party wrote that the charges against Chief Justice Moore were “politically motivated” and called on the state legislature to change the law so that only the legislature can remove statewide elected officials.
The JIC has been widely criticized for its decision to cave into pressure from the left leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and gay rights groups to bring the charges against Chief Justice Moore.
Dr. Tom Ford, III, with Sanctity of Marriage Alabama wrote to the JIC saying, “We are disappointed in you. We are appalled by your capitulation. We are indignant over the politically motivated charges you levied against an elected official we trust. And we intend to do all we can to ensure that the people of Alabama understand that when lines were drawn, you took the wrong side before God, before the law, and before the people of the State of Alabama, and you grossly overstepped your jurisdiction.”
Also on Saturday, hundreds of people rallied in Montgomery in front of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building in support of Chief Justice Moore and his effort to remain in office.
Defending Marriage Alabama said in a statement, “We call on every Alabama elected official, every member of the Judicial Inquiry Commission, every member of the Court of the Judiciary, and every member of the Alabama Supreme Court to do all within their power to ensure that Chief Justice Roy Moore is immediately reinstated to the position to which we elected him as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and that all six charges against him are promptly dismissed for the politically-motivated travesty that they are.”
The JIC has charged Chief Justice Moore with six counts. Sometime next month the Court of the Judiciary will decide whether to censure, suspend, or remove Chief Justice Moore. The Chief Justice has been suspended with pay pending that trial.
To remove the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor or other statewide elected official the full House of Representatives has to vote that there is sufficient grounds to impeach the official. Then a trial is held in the Senate where the Senators decide whether or not the accused is guilty or not and what punishment (censure, suspension, or removal) is called for. The Republican Party wants that process made the exclusive means for removing a statewide elected judge, rather than using the arcane Court of the Judiciary.
Chief Justice Moore has argued that the JIC has exceeded its jurisdiction in bringing these charges against him. The charges stem from the Chief Justice’s opposition to the federal court ordered expansion of same sex marriage in Alabama.
Chief Justice Moore was previously removed by the Court of the Judiciary in 2003 after refusing to honor a federal judge’s order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court Building.