By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, September 30, 2016, the Court of the Judiciary has found Chief Justice Roy Moore guilty of violating judicial ethics and has suspended him for the rest of his term.
The Alabama Political Reporter spoke with State Auditor Jim Zeigler, a vocal Moore supporter, about the controversial decision. Zeigler said that the decision by the Court of the Judiciary to suspend Moore rather than removing him was an underhanded attempt to remove Moore when it was apparent they did not have the nine votes needed for removal.
Zeigler called this a misuse of the rules. “They accuse Chief Justice Moore of not following the rule of law. They did follow the rule of law,” when the Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore.
Kayla Moore, Moore’s wife and the head of the Foundation for Moral Law, said in a statement, “The ruling today is nothing more than persecution of a Christian official. There were professionals in that courtroom-doctors, lawyers, judges who all agreed that Chief Justice Moore was completely correct. This is not like the last time-there were witnesses giving testimony of the truth as they understood. We also have social media that put it out as well as other media outlets that agreed with Justice Moore! Ruled completely against him’ Suspended without pay for the remainder and making him pay all expenses of trial!”
Mrs. Moore said, “This has never happened before. This small group of unelected people, mostly Democrats, have overturned an election of the people of Alabama. All being led by a guy who dresses up like a woman and prances around on the stage. The good people of Alabama have had their votes taken away from them once again.”
Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Start (who represented Moore) said in a statement, “To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the rest of his term is the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules.”
The charges stem from a January 2016 order to the probate judges telling them that the matter of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples was still pending before the Alabama Supreme Court. Critics argue that Chief Justice Moore as the head of the Alabama Court System should have ordered the Probate Judges to issue the licenses and not doing so after the US Supreme Court had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage violated the canon of judicial ethics.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) brought charges before the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). The JIC agreed and brought the case before the Court of the Judiciary, which heard the case on Wednesday.
The last time the people of Alabama elected Roy Moore as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he was removed by the Court of the Judiciary for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the State Supreme Court Building.