Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore — Looking For Seat On SCOTUS, Or Restoration To State Supreme Court?

Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore is currently suspended from the state’s Supreme Court while an investigation continues into charges the Moore violated ethics rules when he continued to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and to order other justices in the state to do the same. The state has a rule in place that requires any justice charged with a complaint to be suspended pending a hearing. However, Moore is now fighting to get around that rule, too. However, even as he seeks to be restored to the Alabama Supreme Court, a nonprofit Moore started (and still serves as President Emeritus) is promoting the notion that Moore should take Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on SCOTUS — and the same foundation continues to promote the very position that resulted in charges against Moore.

In 2002, Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law was established to promote Christianity in government. Moore served as president for a period of time, ending when he took his seat as Chief Justice, at which point he moved to the title of President Emeritus, and his wife, Kayla Moore, took on the seat of President of the Foundation. Thus, Moore’s ties remain tight to the nonprofit.

Recently, the Foundation for Moral Law has promoted an op-ed suggesting Roy Moore to fill Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, and hinted that Moore was suspended, not as part of due process, but in order to enable the court to rule in favor of recognizing a same-sex couple’s adoption as valid.

“Now you know why they tried so hard to get Chief Justice Moore out of the way-COWARDS on the Supreme Court!”

Chief Justice Roy Moore fights to return to Supreme Court seat [Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images]This seems to fly in the face of Moore’s statement before the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality, in which, Yellow Hammer News reports, he suggested he would recuse himself from any cases that depended on the ruling if SCOTUS ruled to overturn laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, since, if Moore recused himself as declared, his vote would have no impact on the case.

Meanwhile, the Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver — the same attorney who argued for Kim Davis’ right to defy the same SCOTUS ruling and state law in Kentucky — is representing Chief Justice Moore, and demanding that all charges be dropped. He maintains that the ethics charges are “frivolous” and politically motivated, and say that the Judicial Inquiry Committee investigating the charges has no jurisdiction.

According to the Atlantic, the state’s disciplinary board that supervises judicial behavior described Moore as the following.

“… having flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority”

And the following.

“… abandoned his role as a neutral and detached chief administrator of the judicial system.”

The Chief Justice issued a January order, telling the state’s Judges to continue to enforce a ban on same-sex couples marrying, claiming that the SCOTUS ruling didn’t apply.

It’s not the first time Moore’s interpretation of the Constitution has differed from that of SCOTUS — he was previously removed from his seat as Chief Justice in 2003 when he defied an order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. Supporters rallied behind him, held protests against the removal, and voted him back into his position.

Chief Justice Roy Moore has been removed from bench before
{Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images]

Meanwhile, Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law is doubling down. On Thursday, John Eidsmoe, an attorney for the foundation spoke out, according to Right Wing Watch, saying that courts in other states have not only the right, but the duty to defy the SCOTUS ruling as Chief Justice Roy Moore did.

Eidsmoe also backed Justice Moore’s declaration that Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have recused themselves from the SCOTUS decision — a move that would have flipped the decision in the opposite direction.

The Foundation is also promoting a rally to take place on Saturday, in support of Moore. Attorney John Eidsmoe — billed as “biblical scholar and constitutional lawyer” — will speak again at that rally, to attendees who support Chief Justice Roy Moore’s return to his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.

[Photo by Eric S. Lesser/Getty Images]