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Chief Justice Moore expected to Appeal Suspension

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Saturday, October 1, 2016, Dr. Tom Ford, spokesperson for Sanctity of Marriage Alabama called the Court of the Judiciary (COJ) a “kangaroo court” in response to the Court of the Judiciary’s (COJ) decision to suspend the elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore for the rest of his term.

Dr. Ford said in a statement, “On Friday we witnessed not only the collective votes of the people of Alabama overturned, but also the rule of law disregarded by a kangaroo court, otherwise known as the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Its unanimous decision essentially removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office in all but title and is a perfect display of the bitter disdain held by liberal elites for those who stand in the way of their destructive agenda.”

Ford continued, “Chief Justice Moore has long been Alabama’s champion for what is right before God, the law of the land, and the people and it’s a shame that the members of the Court of the Judiciary lacked the backbone to do the same.”

Ford claimed that a conflict between state and federal court injunctions at the time of the Chief Justice’s Administrative Order that prevented Chief Justice Moore from being able to order Alabama probate judges to issue the same sex marriage licenses.

The charges against the Chief Justice were originally brought to the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

SPLC President Richard Cohen said in a statement, “The Court of the Judiciary has done the citizens of Alabama a great service by suspending Roy Moore from the bench. He disgraced his office and undermined the integrity of the judiciary by putting his personal religious beliefs above his sworn duty to uphold the US Constitution.”

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President Cohen said, “Moore was elected to be a judge, not a preacher. It’s something that he never seemed to understand. The people of Alabama who cherish the rule of law are not going to miss the Ayatollah of Alabama.”

Moore’s attorneys at Liberty Counsel were highly critical of the Court of the Judiciary, which they said, “Issued a decision that defies the rule of law.”

They claimed that the JIC violated the Alabama Constitution and JIC Rule 5, which require confidentiality of the JIC investigation phase before a charge is filed. They claim that the JIC illegally leaked information to the Montgomery Advertiser the day before Moore was charged.

They also claim that the JIC violated its rules by investigating without having received a Verified Complaint, failing to vote on charge 6 and never sent the Chief the Verified Complaint because there was no such complaint and never sent the Chief letters every six weeks. They claim that Moore cannot legally be convicted on Charge 6, but the COJ did so anyway.

They also dispute the conclusion that Chief Justice Moore ordered probate judges to disobey a federal court injunction and the US Supreme Court Obergefell (same-sex marriage opinion) by issuing the January 6, 2016 Administrative Order.

It takes a 9 to 0 vote to remove a judge. The COJ didn’t have that so instead six judges voted to suspend Moore without pay for the rest of his term.

Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said, “To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the rest of his term without pay is the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority ignored the law and the rules.”

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Chairman Staver continued, “Justice has left Montgomery. It now appears that certain members of the COJ had their mind made up even before the hearings in August and September. No amount of evidence could have stopped the COJ from reaching its predetermined verdict. The JIC and the COJ violate the law with impunity and then have the nerve to charge Chief Justice Moore with violating the law. The violation of the law by both the JIC and the COJ is obvious and disappointing.”

SPLC President Cohen said however, “Moore was elected to be a judge, not a preacher. It’s something that he never seemed to understand. The people of Alabama who cherish the rule of law are not going to miss the Ayatollah of Alabama.”

Moore is expected to appeal the Court of the Judiciary ruling.

Ford said, “As Chief Justice Moore appeals this decision to the Alabama Supreme Court, we expect acting Chief Justice, Justice Lyn Stuart and her colleagues to recuse themselves from the decision and demand that judges be appointed who, unlike the members of the Court of the Judiciary, will follow the rule of law and exonerate Chief Justice Moore as justice demands.”


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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