MONTGOMERY, Alabama. – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is appealing his suspension. The Court of the Judiciary last week (COJ) suspended Moore without pay for the remainder of his term, effectively barring him from the state bench for the rest of his life, as Moore is too old to rerun for office. Moore also requested that four Alabama Supreme Court justices and three former justices recuse themselves from the case owing to a conflict of interest.
The COJ issued its decision to suspend Moore on September 30. Moore was tried on the misuse of his office because he told other judges that Alabama’s law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
Mat Staver, Moore’s lawyer and founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the duration of his term is a miscarriage of justice and the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules. We will continue the fight for justice to prevail in this case.”
Moore has requested six of the nine supreme court justices to be removed from the case for conflict of interests, instead asking that judges be drawn from a random pool of sitting circuit court judges, and that the public be allowed to watch the selection. The six justices in question have not been named publicly, although Staver did name Greg Shaw among those who’ve been asked to recuse themselves. Shaw has made negative comments about Moore and his administrative order reminding probate judges that Alabama’s current law says that marriage is between a man and a women.
The Chief Justice wants to have a fair and objective panel of nine judges to review his appeal. Anyone who has sat on any prior proceedings involving this case and anyone who has a conflict of interest should recuse and not preside over this appeal. Chief Justice Moore is asking for a fair and transparent process.
A news release from the Liberty Counsel mentioned, “Prior to the current case, the past practice has been that the justices recuse when asked to review a matter involving a sitting justice of the Court.”
The same group of judges who suspended Moore gave only six months’ suspension to a Tallapoosa probate judge found guilty of sexting with a previous client. Staver commented, “It is unbelievable the seriousness of Judge Archer’s perverted sexual actions and yet he only receives a six-month suspension, while Chief Justice Moore is suspended for life.”