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Roy Moore Resigns as Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court to Run for Senate

Roy Moore, who is currently on suspension, has resigned as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in order to challenge Luther Strange for his seat in the US Senate.

Roy Moore today announced he is resigning from his position as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court to run for the United States Senate.

“I’ll stand for the rights and liberties of the people,” Moore announced to cheering supporters and to reporters gathered at the State Capitol.

“My position has always been God first, family then country,” Moore said. “I share the vision of President Donald Trump to make America great again,” Moore said.

He later added, “Before we can make America great again, we’ve got to make America good again.”

Moore said a key to making that happen is making sure the federal government stays within constitutional bounds.

“We’ve got to understand that getting back to the Constitution, getting back to its restraints, are what we need in this country to make it great again.”

Moore said he has submitted his papers to resign from the state Supreme Court, a position he was suspended from for the remainder of his term.

Strange, of course, was appointed by disgraced former governor Robert Bentley to replace Jeff Sessions, who became US Attorney General. One presumes he’s vulnerable. Still, I’m dubious of Moore’s chances here.

Moore has, to say the least, been a controversial figure.  He was previously elected chief justice in 2002, came to national prominence over his insistence on posting the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, and was removed from office in 2003 after refusing to obey an order from the U.S. Supreme Court to take them down.

He subsequently ran twice, in 2006 and 2010, for the Republican nomination for governor and fared quite poorly. Undaunted, he formed an exploratory committee for a run for the presidency in 2012 and quickly found there was little interest in him. He quickly decided to run for his old job instead and won rather easily. After multiple ethics violations, however, he was suspended last May.

My co-blogger Steven Taylor is in better touch with the pulse of Alabama’s voters than I am, since he remains in the state and I’ve been living in Virginia the past fourteen-plus years. But I suspect this will be Moore’s last rodeo.

 

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    What a Bama boy hey? Yeeeeeeeeeeeee Hawwwwwwwwwww

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  2. Given his past performance in runs for statewide office other than Chief Justice, which he can no longer run for, I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

    Steven Taylor can speak better to this than I but, right now, Strange seems fairly well-positioned to win the Republican nomination in the August primary. The only question is whether he gets caught up in the mess surrounding Bentley and if that happens it’s likely that one of the state’s Republican Members of Congress will sense the opportunity and run against him.

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  3. al-Alameda says:

    Strange, of course, was appointed by disgraced former governor Robert Bentley to replace Jeff Sessions, who became US Attorney General. One presumes he’s vulnerable. Still, I’m dubious of Moore’s chances here.

    I certainly defer to Steven’s knowledge on Alabama politics also, but … Honestly, I have a hard time thinking of reasons why Moore wouldn’t do well.

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  4. Hal_10000 says:

    Alabama politics: where the Chief Justice, governor and Speaker of the House have all had to step down because of ethic violations/criminal acts.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    We are talking about Alabama here. They elected him to the court. Why wouldn’t they elect him as Senator?

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  6. Outside of his race for Chief Justice, Moore was trounced by Bob Riley in the GOP Gubernatorial Primary in 2006 and placed a distant fourth in the GOP Gubernatorial Primary in 2010.

    He’s not going to beat Luther Strange, who has never lost a statewide GOP primary in Alabama since he started running for office.

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