Former Republican Chief Justice, Gorman Houston, makes the case against Roy Moore. Read more here.
In 2003, Moore was removed from the Office of Chief Justice for violating three sections of the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics. Moore was found guilty of ethical misconduct when he refused to comply with a valid court order after he had exhausted all efforts to have the order overturned on appeal. Moore's removal from office was unanimously ordered by the bi-partisan Alabama Court of the Judiciary and upheld by a bi-partisan Alabama Supreme Court.1 Despite what Moore now claims, his expulsion from the Office of Chief Justice was not about the Ten Commandments or about his religious faith. Moore was removed from office because he tried to put himself above the law.
Although he falsely promised that he would cover all costs associated with his doomed campaign to install his monument, Moore’s antics cost Alabama taxpayers more than a half a million dollars ($549,430.53).2 If the other members of the Alabama Supreme Court had not stepped in over Moore’s objection and ordered compliance with the federal court order, Alabama taxpayers would have also been forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. At the same time, Moore profited personally and politically from the disruptive fight. Moore arranged for a camera crew to record a video of him installing his monument in the Alabama judicial building, copies of which were later sold to the public.3 In addition, Moore tried to copyright the Ten Commandments monument itself, despite the fact that it contained no original content.4 Since being removed from the Supreme Court, Moore has run for office three times, each time seeking to capitalize on the controversy surrounding his costly fight with the federal courts.
Moore was a disaster as the administrator of the Alabama court system, the most important job of the Chief Justice. In the midst of yet another fight over the adequacy of court funding in august of 2001, Moore unilaterally filed suit in Montgomery Circuit Court against the Governor, State Comptroller, and State Finance Director accusing them of violating Alabama law and the Alabama constitution by not adequately funding the state courts in that year’s budget.5 In addition, Moore’s lawsuit claimed that the courts should be permitted to operate independently of legislative or executive budgeting and oversight. Moore had his administrative director of courts ("ADC") file suit without consulting with any of the other Supreme Court justices or Attorney General Bill Pryor. There were immediate and angry protests by the Circuit and District judges around the state who demanded that the suit be dismissed. Moore initially resisted the call for dismissal until a meeting was held and the other eight justices voted unanimously to dismiss the case immediately. The ADC filed the notice of dismissal later that same day.6 Moore responded to the rebuke by petulantly rejecting an offer by the other justices to help with the oversight and budgeting of the administrative office of courts and summarily dissolving committees that he had recently appointed to oversee the clerk’s office and the law library. Ironically, Moore’s memo to the other justices cites and relies on the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics to try to persuade them not to negotiate with the governor about the level of court funding.
Moore has routinely taken extreme positions that are outside of mainstream Alabamians. For example, Moore publicly supported an Army doctor (Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin) who was court-martialed for refusing to return to Afghanistan to care for our troops because he did not believe that President Obama was born in the United States.7 In 2002, Moore authored an opinion in a child custody case in which he stated that the mother’s sexual preference automatically disqualified her as a parent, even though the father had a history of physical abuse. Moore wrote that the state should use “the power of the sword” to punish gays and lesbians.8 Moore has also opposed amending Alabama’s constitution to remove segregationist language.9 Finally, in a column dated December 13, 2006, Moore argued that Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to have been elected to the United States House of Representatives, should be barred from sitting in Congress because in his view, a Muslim could not honestly take the oath of office.10
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