For a state Supreme Court chief justice, Alabama’s Roy Moore sure is a persistent lawbreaker. Now it’s catching up with him — again:
An Alabama judicial oversight body on Friday filed a formal complaint against Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples.
As a result of the charges, Chief Justice Moore, 69, has been immediately suspended from the bench and is facing a potential hearing before the state’s Court of the Judiciary, a panel of judges, lawyers and other appointees. Among possible outcomes at such a hearing would be his removal from office.
Moore says the complaint was brought incorrectly and that the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which filed it, has no standing in the matter. Nonetheless, the last time the commission set its sights on him, Moore bit the dust — hard.
It is the second complaint lodged by the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission against the judge. In 2003, he was ousted by the same body from his position as chief justice after disobeying a federal court order to remove a two-ton monument of the Ten Commandments that he had installed in the rotunda of the state judicial building.
The judicial tyrant is nothing if not politically resilient, though; nine years later, Alabama voters re-elected Moore to the very same position he had previously been forced to leave.
It’s gratifying to see this fanatical Christianist getting rebuked all over again, and relegated to the sidelines, at least for now. But Moore could play the comeback kid once more. The annoying thing about the situation is that the more he is swatted down by his higher-ups, the more his following of Christian groupies is likely to grow. That could spell a different kind of trouble. As Hemant wrote last week,
Unfortunately, even if Moore is kicked off the Supreme Court again, it may work to his advantage as he’d be free to run for governor in two years. Moore ran in 2006 and 2010, losing both times in the Republican primary. But the bigger his platform gets and the more money he earns from the God’s Not Dead fan base, the easier it becomes to campaign successfully.
The official complaint against Moore is here.