Moore Suspended, Faces Removal from Office

Via Roy Moore suspended from office: Alabama chief justice faces removal over gay marriage stance

For the second time in his career, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces charges before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary and potential removal from office.

Until that court hears and rules on those charges, Moore will be suspended with pay from his position atop the state’s highest court.

On Friday, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission forwarded charges to the commission, accusing the chief justice of violating judicial ethics in his opposition to same-sex marriage.


This is the second time Moore has faced such charges. In 2003, the Court of the Judiciary removed Moore from office after he installed a washing machine-sized monument of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building in Montgomery. Moore refused a federal court order to remove the monument, leading to his removal from the state’s highest court.

Moore’s response:

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the administrative orders of the chief justice of Alabama or the legal injunctions of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses,” Moore said. “The Judicial Inquiry Commission has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations that support their agenda.”

First, I am no expert on this type of process, but it would seem to me that if the Chief Justice issues an administrative order to probate judges to violate federal court orders, then that is an offense worthy of attention by the Court of the Judiciary and, in fact, one that warrants removal from office.  Moore has some bizarre views about the basic relationship between the federal and state judiciaries that I do not think can withstand scrutiny in this process.

Second, in his response we get a taste of the real heart of the matter:  he sees being “a professed transvestite” or “other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals” invalidates one’s position or arguments.  And here we hit the crux of the matter:  he does not see persons with sexual identities other than his own as worthy of being treated as equal citizens.

The man deserves to be removed from office as he clearly cannot perform the functions needed for a member of the judiciary.  This is a true case, by the way, of the worst kind of judicial activism.

(For more info, also via  Who is Ambrosia Starling? Roy Moore blames ‘transvestite’ for gay marriage controversy).



FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Okay. But isn’t the Chief Justice an elected position in Alabama? (I’m just guessing based on the fact that he was removed once before and yet, here he is.) While I agree with the process, I also lament that it has a futility to it as long as Alabamans will reelect him on the basis of being “God’s Stalwart in Montgomery” or some other nonsense. Or am I wrong?

  2. @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Yes, the fundamental problem is deeper than Moore.

  3. James Joyner says:

    He’s been removed from office before. It didn’t take, alas.

  4. Argon says:

    As I understand it, Moore will be too old to run for the position again.