Breaking News: Alabama Chief Justice Moore Suspended (Again…)

Once again the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (h/t: RawStory) has brought charges against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Chief Justice Moore is being charged with violating judicial ethics in regards to same sex marriage by instructing Alabama probate judges to ignore both a Federal Court ruling and the Supreme Court rulings legalizing same sex marriages. He will be suspended with pay until his case is resolved before the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission. Here’s a link to the complaint. Consider this a late night/early morning open thread.

34 replies
  1. 1
    Tom says:

    Too bad about the suspended with pay, but its not like he was doing anything to earn it anyway.

  2. 2
    jonas says:

    Well, if there’s one place where we can all agree sober-minded, enlightened judicial policy will prevail in the 21st century, it’s in a body called the “Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission”.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jonas: They’ve removed him from office once.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Since he won’t have anything much to do in Alabama for a while, maybe he could be Drumpf’s running-mate.

  5. 5
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Tomorrow is Saturday. Do you have the day off?

    Take an hour and register someone to vote this November.
    We can win the whole kit and caboodle if we each do a little.


  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suppose it’s a silly question, but is Moore’s instruction to Alabama’s probate judges re same-gender marriages legal, and must the probate judges obey it until/unless otherwise instructed?

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: His argument is that its an administrative matter that cannot be reviewed by the commission. The commission, after receiving the ethics complaints filed by the president of the SPLC, functions like a grand jury reviewing the evidence in secret and deciding whether to bring charges before the commission for trial or not. In this case the commission believes it is not an administrative matter, it is within their purview to review, and it is illegal/unconstitutional. Chief Justice Moore has three options at this point: 1) fight the charges; 2) agree to a settlement; or 3) resign. He has stated he will fight because he’s being targeted by a specific transgender woman and the entire LGBTQ movement in general.

  8. 8
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Have you seen his “Moral Law” site? He’s a theocrat. He has no business being a judge. Here’s hoping he is finally thrown out of his seat and has a forced retirement where he can play preacher all he wants without the force of law behind him.


  9. 9
    benw says:

    @Adam L Silverman: so Judge Moore is feeling oppressed by those LGBTQ folks? As my dog likes to say, that’s RUFF!

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: He was removed last time, ran for reelection and was actually reelected. I think, to get rid of him, they’d have to strip him of his admission to the Alabama Bar.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @benw: I am merely the messenger.

  12. 12
    Regnad Kcin says:

    It’s Alabama, Jake.

    They deserve what they get.

  13. 13
    Prescott Cactus says:


    Since he won’t have anything much to do in Alabama for a while, maybe he could be Drumpf’s running-mate.

    How about Fat Tony’s replacement ?

  14. 14
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: One would think that refusing to accept a clear SCOTUS ruling would be disqualifying, but it seems the rules are different for Teabagger theocrats.


    It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.


  15. 15
    benw says:

    @Adam L Silverman: fine. So what’s your opinion on Bon Scott vs Brian Johnson era AC/DC?

  16. 16
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You know we shoot the messenger here at Balloon Juice, it’s a time honored tradition.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @benw: I thought Bon Scott was the other blogger at Zandar’s site.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You’ll have to do it while I’m sleeping. I’m going to bed.

  19. 19
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Heh, you’re making it too easy.

  20. 20
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He was removed last time, ran for reelection and was actually reelected.

    I can’t get over the idea of elected judges. Whoever thought that was a good idea?

  21. 21
    Groucho48 says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    It’s not a great way to do it, but, better than letting the political party in charge appoint them. See, for example, Arizona.

  22. 22
    kdaug says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Precisely. Divine annointment worked for eoms. Slaughter some goats,sacrifice some virgins, read some entrails. This isn’t hard, people. Sometimes the old ways are the best.

  23. 23
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Prescott Cactus:

    How about Fat Tony’s replacement ?

    The Serious People are busy convincing each that Ted Cruz gets to replace Scalia, as a consolation prize. Speaking of late-night horror stories…

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kdaug: Tell that to the Bourbons, who thought that way, and lost their heads over it.

  25. 25
    JGabriel says:

    Adam L. Silverman @ Top:

    Breaking News: Alabama Chief Justice Moore Suspended (Again…)

    Time to make it fucking permanent. Just disbar Moore already, AL.

  26. 26
    JGabriel says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    I can’t get over the idea of elected judges. Whoever thought that was a good idea?

    Rich donors.

  27. 27


    how BAD does a Conservative judge have to be for that Alabama judicial watch to actually even investigate him? If a judge ever goes that far drawing outside the lines, there is something seriously wrong with that judge.

    AND THIS IS THE SECOND TIME. Buy a clue, Alabama. You’re making my mom upset.

  28. 28

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    The idea behind directly elected Judges goes back to a time when some states didn’t have enough lawyers to serve as justices, so some counties and states made the positions open to anyone who didn’t necessarily have the Juris Doctorate but could be viewed as accountable to the voters. As long as the person was deemed of sound mind to serve as judge while the prosecutors and defense attorneys were the legal experts making the arguments, it was how things had to work.

    At some point, it became viewed as a check and balance against judicial abuse of power: against the fear that an appointed, lifetime judge would never really answer to anyone else.

    Some states have a mix: the judges are appointed by the state gov’t, but face the occasional “recall” vote every 4-6 years by the voters, most of whom rubber-stamp it because 99 percent of the time the judges haven’t done anything deserving of removal… like here in Florida. Parties tend to keep such votes non-partisan and don’t draw any attention to it. Except lately when Rick “No Ethics” Scott’s people tried to get voters to remove the State Supreme Court justices up for recall a few years ago: they wanted to toss out as many of the justices as they could – even two of the Republican-nominated ones – just so Scott could pack the court with HIS cronies. The Florida Bar and the Court made their first ever appeals to the public opposing Scott’s move… and the judges were overwhelmingly voted back in.

  29. 29
    debbie says:


    From your lips to…! Moore as Trump’s VP would be the perfect seal on the coffin of the GOP.

  30. 30
    ThresherK says:

    Moore is inching ever closer to the “Francisco Franco is still dead” headline, isn’t he? How many more times until it’s no longer breaking?

  31. 31
    Jay C says:


    The system does work the other way around ( negatively ) some times, though: remember when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriages ( early on), and the wingnuts immediately mounted a campaign to deny three of the judges re-election, via a concerted campaign? And they did: leading the bigots to crow over their ” victory”, and how that would teach a lesson to any ” activist judges” who dared mess with “sacred” marriage rules?

  32. 32
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Jay C: Yup.

    Caperton v. Massey also too.

    “The $3 million in expenditures; the fact that those expenditures represented more than all other financial support for Justice Benjamin combined; the sole interested source of those funds; the timing of the expenditures; and the other facts of this case are so egregious-by today’s standards at least-that they offer the Court the ideal opportunity to reinforce one of the most fundamental rights in any system based on the rule of law: the right to a fair hearing before an impartial arbiter.”

    Yeah, elected judges can be very problematic these days.


  33. 33
    Big R says:

    Charlie Pierce calls an elected judiciary The Second Worst Idea in American Politics. Sandra Day O’Connor has dedicated her retirement activism to getting rid of judicial elections. My buddy’s dissertation boils down to “all judicial selection mechanisms suck; non-partisan merit retention elections after gubernatorial appointment is the least bad mechanism.”

    N.B.: In Alabama, judicial elections are partisan. There is some evidence that partisan elections actually increase judicial independence (compared to non-partisan elections), because the partisan label acts as a signal to voters that allows the judge to act without regard to public opinion, because the party label doth cover a multitude of sins.

  34. 34
    GregB says:

    Could he be any Moore of an asshole?

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