Alabama progressives are waking up to some good news this morning. The ever troublesome Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from office while the state reviews a complaint of ethics violations.
Investigators will determine whether a hearing is warranted. If so, Moore will appear before the Court of the Judiciary where he will could face removal from office for the second time in his career.
The new charges are a result of Moore’s actions earlier this year when he ordered the state’s probate judges not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges which legalized marriage equality nationwide.
Moore has disgraced his office for far too long. He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with. For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office.
– Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center
Moore claims the charges against him are baseless and part of the so-called gay agenda. The more likely scenario is Moore knows very well that what he did was a violation of judicial ethics and is painting himself as a victim to garner conservative support ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial race where he will likely be a candidate. This is a favorite tactic of Alabama politicians who routinely pass laws that must be defended in court at taxpayers’ expense and are routinely found to be unconstitutional–all to shore up votes from the state’s conservative base.
Under state law, Supreme Court justices must be 70 years of age or younger at the time of their candidacy. Moore, 69, will be ineligible to run for reelection when his term ends in 2018. There are however no such limitations for governor, a post Moore sought in 2006, but lost to Republican incumbent Bob Riley.
Roy Moore should absolutely be put out of a job, but voters must resist any urge to give him a new one in 2018. This shouldn’t be a problem for the state’s progressives, but even conservatives shouldn’t want a governor–or any state official–who flagrantly breaks the law for their own personal gain. We’ve had enough corruption for a lifetime and the state is suffering because of it.
It’s time to get rid of the Mike Hubbards, Robert Bentleys, and Roy Moores of the state. We need politicians who will look out for everyday people–most of whom are struggling to make ends meet–and work towards a better future for all.