Roy Moore becomes the latest Alabama Republican to fall

 msnbc.com  4/20/2017 12:41:07 PM   Steve Benen
When it comes to the state’s elected leaders, it’s been a rough 10 months for Alabama. In June, Mike Hubbard (R), the state’s former House Speaker, was forced to resign in disgrace after being convicted of multiple felonies. Last month, Robert Bentley (R), the state’s former governor, was forced to resign as part of a plea agreement in the wake of his sex/corruption scandal.

And then there’s state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R). The Alabama Media Group reported yesterday:
The Alabama Supreme Court today upheld the decision that removed Roy Moore from his position as chief justice. […]

Moore can’t appeal the ruling to the federal courts because there are no federal issues. “This is it,” he said.
Moore’s term on the state bench wasn’t up until 2019, but the suspension is effective immediately, and it has the effect of ending his judicial career. Because of his age, AL.com’s report added, “he cannot run for the office again.”

In case anyone needs a refresher on how we reached this point, let’s recap. Last year, Moore, in his official capacity, ordered Alabama’s probate judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. The federal courts, not surprisingly, were not amused by Moore’s “creative” approach to American jurisprudence.

And neither was Alabama’s Judicial Inquiry Commission, which accused Moore of having “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” – a charge that appears to coincide nicely with reality. Moore responded to the accusations by continuing to argue that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages is still state law, because as far as he’s concerned, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t count.

If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because Moore, a cause celebre for many on the far-right fringe, has been kicked off the bench once before for official misconduct.

As regular readers may recall, Moore was removed from the state Supreme Court in 2003 for ignoring federal court rulings he didn’t like – the issue at the time was Moore using his office to promote and endorse the Ten Commandments – because he believes federal courts have no jurisdiction in Alabama over First Amendment issues.

Once kicked off the bench, Moore simply sought his office anew, and the state’s voters quickly returned him to the same position. That won’t happen this time.

Moore is instead considering a U.S. Senate campaign. Alabama’s special election will be held later this year.
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