Accountability in Alabama: no one is above the law, Chief Justice Moore.


With any luck, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will be removed from the state Supreme Court soon. Moore is under investigation by the Alabama Court of the judiciary, an oversight body that examines allegations of ethics violations by judges.

Moore found himself in trouble earlier this year when he decided to issue a strange "administrative order" to probate judges in the state telling them not to issue marriages licenses to same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage had been illegal in Alabama. A federal court, however, struck down that ban, and the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that denying same-sex couples the ability to marry violates two provisions of the Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Moore decided to defy the federal courts. It was a bad idea. A bunch of ethics complaints were filed against him. Thus, he has no one to blame but himself for the fix he's in.

But Moore has decided to go down fighting. Liberty Counsel, an extreme Religious Right group led by anti-LGBT attorney Mat Staver, has filed suit on Moore's behalf arguing that the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, the oversight body that started the investigation of Moore, lacks the authority to remove him from the bench while this matter proceeds.

The lawsuit has the feel of a desperate stunt designed more to gum up the works than make a legal point. Under Alabama law, Moore, who is 69, will have to retire when he turns 70 in February. He'll soon be off the court no matter what.


To continue reading