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Special Alabama Supreme Court approves Roy Moore’s cancellation of oral arguments

Roy Moore is surrounded by supporters and media after leaving the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday October 27, 2016 as the lottery is held to pick the judges who will hear his appeal.

Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

The Special Alabama Supreme Court has approved suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s request for cancellation of oral arguments for his appeals case.

In court documents, Moore cited “substantial financial hardship” for his cancellation. Since his suspension in September 2016, Moore has not received pay or benefits for his position as Chief Justice.

Moore’s request for cancellation was made in February. Now that it has been approved, the case will move directly into a decision based only on briefs given by Moore and the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

Moore was suspended by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary in September 2016, after the Southern Poverty Law Center and other civil rights organizations filed ethics complaints for an order he gave in 2015.

In 2015, Moore issued a memorandum to probate judges across Alabama to not issue same-sex marriage licenses. He made the decision after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state bans of same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Alabama had banned same-sex marriage since 1996 before the ruling.

Moore is suspended until the end of his term as Chief Justice in 2019. He will not be eligible for re-election due to age restrictions.

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Moore has been critical of the decision to suspend him from office. In a press release, immediately after his suspension, he said the decision reflected the “corrupt nature” of the legal system.

“This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda,” the press release said.

The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBTQ advocacy organization, praised the decision as a “victory” in Alabama.

“The complaint details Moore’s blatant disregard for the law, including communications in which he urges Governor Robert Bentley and members of the Alabama Probate Judges Association to ignore federal court rulings striking down the State’s ban on marriage equality,” a statement from the HRC after Moore’s suspension said.

Moore was also removed as chief justice in 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary after he placed a monument of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court lobby. He was re-elected Chief Justice in 2012.

In addition to Roy Moore, Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker is also facing ethic complaints from the SPLC.


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