Disgraced Alabama Chief Justice appeals suspension over anti-gay crusade
Alabama’s Chief Justice, who was indefinitely suspended by an ethics panel over an illegal crusade against gay weddings, has argued that his suspension was unlawful.
After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage last summer, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore tried to disregard the rulings – issuing a number of spurious judicial orders in a brazen attempt to re-ban gay weddings.
He declared the Supreme Court rulings “doesn’t apply” in Alabama due to state anti-gay laws, and ordered probate judges to enforce a gay marriage ban – but soon learned the hard way you can’t just ignore the highest court in America.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission launched action against him for his string of illegal orders, alleging that he “flagrantly disregarding and abusing his authority” in his crusade against gay weddings.
Earier this year the nine-member Court of the Judiciary found Moore unanimously guilty of all six charges brought against him, suspending the elected judge without pay until the end of his current term in 2018. He will not be able to re-stand in 2018 due to the role’s age limit.
Moore has now filed a 95-page document with a specially convened Supreme Court.
The document repeats arguments Moore has used in attempts to defend his position since his suspension.
It argues that the Judicial Inquiry Commission which prosecuted the chief justice didn’t have enough evidence to argu its case.
The filing also argues that the Court of the Judiciary did not have unanimous votes to suspend Moore indefinitely.
“All charges against Chief Justice Moore must be dismissed because they have no legal basis and are not supported by clear and convincing evidence,” reads the document.
Moore has refused to apologise for his actions, blaming “radical homosexuals” for the decision to remove him, which was taken independently by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and Court of the Judiciary.
In a further humiliation, this week the new interim Chief Justice Lyn Stuart ordered him out of his office.
In a letter, she told him to contact the court’s marshal “to arrange the removal of your personal effects from your office and to return your keys (both brass and card) to the Judicial Building on or before October 18, 2016.”
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A further letter explained that he could pick up any personal post from the Marshals.
Moore fumed previously: “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.”
His personally appalling view of LGBT people – claiming previously that gay equality is “like toying with dynamite” – actually had no bearing in the ethics case, which was centred on his illegal rulings.
Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary insisted: “This court emphasises that this case is concerned only with alleged violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.”
Moore’s lawyer Mat Staver, who also represents Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, continues to insist that the judge did not try to re-ban gay weddings, but it is a matter of indisputable fact and public record that he did.
Following the SCOTUS ruling, Moore wrote in an order: “IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED THAT: Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”