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Featured Opinion

Hubris, secrecy and duplicity

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A Special Supreme Court of seven selected judges will hear the appeal of Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been suspended without pay for the remainder of his term.

The same Special Supreme Court on December 7, issued a cause order demanding the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) show cause as “to why the Motion to Intervene and Unseal filed by The Alabama Political Reporter on October 19, 2016, should not be granted.”

But this affair is bigger than Moore or APR: It is about equal protection under the law. It is about justice for all, not just for those with whom we agree.

Chief Justice Moore is the only person who can plead to keep the records sealed, but he signed on to APR’s motion. Therefore, there is no reason for the JIC to keep these records hidden.

According to our State’s Constitution, court documents are public records, which means they are open and available for all to see. Now that the court has ordered the JIC to show cause why the documents are being withheld from the public, this “secretive” Commission is being forced to show its hand.

If the JIC unseals the case records, will they be opening a Pandora’s box of collusion and corruption? It is widely believed that the JIC is protecting someone; maybe itself. If these records are kept sealed during Moore’s appeal, it will be a grave miscarriage of justice.

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This is Moore’s last chance to clear his name.

But, even before his final hearing, three sitting Justices appear to have formed a troika, which aims to seize control of the State’s highest court by fiat.

According to those inside the system, Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, Associate Justices Mike Bolin and Jim Main, would like to prevent those documents from ever seeing the light of day. These insiders claim the JIC investigation and subsequent actions, if revealed, will show collusion between various players who set upon Moore for political gain. Will these documents expose a coordinated effort that may, in fact, be illegal or at least violate judicial canons?

Since Moore’s suspension Stuart, Bolin and Main have banned Moore from Supreme Court building, firing his staff, including Ben DuPre’ his Chief of Staff and more recently Dr. Rich Hobson Administrative Director of Courts.

Surprisingly after Moore’s suspension, Stuart moved to have a new court photograph commissioned. However, two justices refused to participate, giving her no choice but to back away from the idea.

According to those within the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building Stuart, Bolin and Main’s are creatures of BCA and Riley Inc. There are those who believe the reason disgraced former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard is still walking around free, is because of court intrigue. The Court of Criminal Appeals has yet to take up Hubbard’s case. Given the importance of Hubbard’s conviction, the delay is suspect, because of the various alliances there is reason to be wary.

But the conspiracy is believed to have begun long before Moore suspension. There are those inside and outside of the court who fear and loathe him.

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Months before the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed its complaint against Moore, there were rumblings that a palace coup of sorts was brewing and Stuart’s name was a constant, when these rumor’s wandered from Dexter Avenue to the State House.

Stuart reportedly is no friend of the man she stands to replace. In 2012 she wanted to run for Chief Justice but after learning BCA was backing Chuck Malone, she demurred.

When Moore bested Malone in the Republican primary, the business elites turned to Democrat Judge Robert Vance, who Moore beat like a rented mule much to BCA’s chagrin.

Moore, unlike many on the appellate court, is not afraid to offend Alabama’s elite business class, including the BCA.

The JIC has until December 21 to answer the Special Supreme Court. Will they continue to hide the facts or will they follow the letter of the law and unseal the records?

So far, the JIC, as well as members of the court, have mocked justice with their hubris, secrecy and duplicity.

The judges who will hear Moore’s appeal are H. Edward McFerrin, Robert G. Cahill, William R. King, John D. Coggin, Ralph A. Ferguson Jr., Lynn Clardy Bright, and James H. Reid Jr.

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Let’s pray for the sake of justice, that they are more honorable than those who have conspired against justice itself.


Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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