Judge Roy Moore

Judge Roy Moore

Judicial officials in Alabama have chosen to “ignore the law and the rules” by imposing a term-long unpaid suspension on state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, his lawyers are charging.

The banishment until the end of Moore’s term was imposed by a Court of the Judiciary panel led by J. Michael Joiner, a criminal appeals judge, after the Judicial Inquiry Commission, at the behest of the Southern Poverty Law Center, claimed Moore essentially told probate judges to disobey the law.

Joiner was unresponsive to a WND inquiry seeking a comment. An aide transferred a WND call to Joiner’s extension, where someone in the chambers picked up the phone and immediately hung up.

The case was developed with the help of a former SPLC official who was hired by the JIC for the case.

Moore’s legal representatives at Liberty Counsel were outraged, arguing the COJ didn’t even follow the law in its decision.

“To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the rest of his term is the same as removal,” said Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver. “The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules.”

He blasted the organization as biased.

Get the Whistleblower Magazine’s revelations about the SPLC, in its March 2015 edition of “The Hate Racket,” the complete story of how one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it.

“The rule of law should trump political agendas. Sadly, today that is not the case. What this decision tells us today is that Montgomery has a long way to go to weed out abuse of political power and restore the rule of law,” he said.

The COJ decision said: “A majority of this court also agrees with the JIC that the only appropriate sanction for Chief Justice Moore is removal from office. Removal of a judge from office, however, requires ‘the concurrence of all members sitting.’ Rule 16, R.P. Ala. Ct. Jud.”

Staver explained: “It is clear there was not a unanimous concurrence to remove the chief from office, so the COJ suspends him for the remainder of his term. In other words, the COJ did what the rules say they cannot do. There is no meaningful difference between suspension for the remaining of the term and removal from office.”

He said the evidence presented at a hearing earlier this week showed Moore “should be reinstated.”

“He did nothing wrong. The JIC presented no live testimony or affidavits. The charges should be dismissed. Today’s decision by the COJ to suspend the chief for the rest of his term throws the rule of law out the window. This system must be changed.”

The ruling from the COJ was signed by W.N. Watson, L. Gwaltney McCollum, Laura Petro, Lucinda Samford Cannon, Joiner, Jeffrey Brock, James W. Woodrock Jr., S. Dagnal Rowe and Daryl O. Perkins.

Moore told WND that the case was flawed from the beginning, and, consequently, the attorney general refused to prosecute.

“This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as chief justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda,” Moore said. “This opinion violates not only the legal standards of evidence but also the rule of law which states that no judge can be removed from office except by unanimous vote.”

In defense of Moore, Liberty Counsel contended the basis of SPLC’s attack on Moore is nothing but his personal stance on marriage.

SPLC has a long history of unrelenting attacks on anyone who fails to toe its line of support for homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” The organization, in pursuit of that agenda, earlier this year had to backtrack when it labeled Dr. Ben Carson, former GOP presidential candidate and one of the most admired men in America, as a “hater” because of his views on marriage.

Accusations that the JIC was acting politically was an issue from the outset.

Staver said earlier: “The politically motivated complaints filed with the JIC have no basis in the Canons of Judicial Ethics. The Alabama Supreme Court is the only body that has statutory authority to overrule administrative orders of the chief justice. See § 12-5-20, Ala. Code 1975. The complaints filed against the chief justice ask the JIC to usurp the legal authority of the justices of the Alabama Supreme Court to review the administrative orders of the chief justice.”

All six of the charges against Moore stem from his administrative order that, Liberty Counsel said, “merely advised probate judges that the prior Alabama Supreme Court orders from 2015 remained in effect while the court was reviewing the matter.”

The JIC had claimed Moore’s order “directed the probate judges to violate federal court rulings,” but Liberty quoted from its text, where Moore said, “I am not at liberty to provide any guidance to the Alabama probate judges on the effect of Obergefell on the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court. That issue remains before the entire court which continues to deliberate on the matter.”

WND reported last month Moore released internal court communications showing he had tried several times to get the justices to make that decision.

He told his fellow judges “one way or the other: to acquiesce in Obergefell and retreat from our March orders or reject Obergefell and maintain our orders in place.”

“Any decision is better than no decision at all,” he wrote. “The uncertainty facing the probate judges [those who issue marriage licenses in the state] is enormous. … They need guidance from us on this court’s view.”

He later repeated his plea.

The COJ’s ruling selectively quoted from various court decisions and precedents, including Moore’s memo to probate judges, the only officials in Alabama who grant marriage licenses.

The memo came because the state Supreme Court had failed, over months, to alter its ruling on marriage.

Get the Whistleblower Magazine’s revelations about the SPLC, in its March 2015 edition of “The Hate Racket,” the complete story of how one group fools government into equating Christians and conservatives with Klansmen and Nazis – and rakes in millions doing it.

Staver previously warned that the Alabama procedure for complaints regarding judges gives a commission too much power: They can remove a judge from the bench based on nothing more than someone’s unproven claim.

The process also poses a danger to justice, because an activist on the commission, or in the Court of the Judiciary, can reach an improper result by getting “a few other people to go along.”

“Might makes right” under the state’s system, he said.

SPLC’s history of politically motivated actions also was a factor, although the COJ did not address it.

Liberty Counsel, which also has been a target if SPLC attacks, said in a report last fall that by “falsely and recklessly labeling Christian ministries as ‘hate groups,’ the SPLC is directly responsible for the case of a man who intended to commit mass murder targeted against a policy organization in Washington, D.C.”

“On August 15, 2012, Floyd Corkins went to the Family Research Council with a gun and a bag filled with ammunition and Chick-fil-A sandwiches. His stated purpose was to kill as many employees of the Family Research Council as possible and then to smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces (because the founder of the food chain said he believed in marriage as a man and a woman). Fortunately, Mr. Corkins was stopped by the security guard, who was shot in the process. Corkins is now serving time in prison. Mr. Corkins admitted to the court that he learned of the Family Research Council by reading the SPLC’s hate map.”

Judge Roy Moore’s moral strength and legal brilliance shine through as he tells the story of his Ten Commandments monument battle: “So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom”

Moore also was removed from the same office more than a decade ago for installing a Ten Commandments monument in a state building as a representation of the foundation of American law.

But Moore’s career may not be over; there are discussions about running for governor.

WND reported last month a poll showed Moore was the favorite among Republicans in Alabama for governor in 2018.

According to a Yellowhammernews report, Moore has huge support among Alabama Republicans.

“The Alabama Forestry Association, one of the state’s most influential conservative groups, commissioned a survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters and found that Moore’s sky-high name recognition makes him the GOP’s current top choice for governor in 2018 in what promises to be a crowded field,” the report said.

The report said 28 percent picked Moore, 24 percent were undecided, Attorney General Luther Strange got 9 percent and another handful each drew support in the single digits.

The report said Moore was viewed favorably by 58 percent of the respondents, unfavorably by 29 percent and 11 percent had no opinion.

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