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The Shameful Suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore

Image: The Shameful Suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore

In August of 2016, then-Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to the media during a news conference in Montgomery, Ala. Moore appeared before a judicial discipline panel to answer accusations that he tried to block gay couples from marrying. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

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Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017 03:56 PM Current | Bio | Archive

A good man has been suspended. Again. Ultimately he’s a victim of judicial activism — of judges making things up from the bench and saying it’s what our Constitution requires.

The so-called "Ten Commandments judge," Roy Moore won election as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for the second time in 2012.

Here’s a timeline of the events of his suspension:

  • Nov. 7, 2006. 81 percent of Alabama voters vote on a state constitutional amendment that marriage in that state is one man, one woman.

  • Jan. 11, 2013. Roy S. Moore is sworn in again as Chief Justice.

  • February 3, 2015. Chief Justice Moore wrote a memo to the Alabama Probate Judges, stating, "the rulings in the marriage cases do not require you to issue marriage licenses that are illegal under Alabama law."

  • March 3, 2015. By a 6-1 decision (Chief Justice Moore not participating), the Alabama Supreme Court ruled the state’s constitutional amendment was valid, and no marriage licenses were to be issued for same-sex couples in what is known as the Alabama Policy Institute (API) decision.

  • June 26, 2015. By a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

  • January 6, 2016. Chief Justice Moore wrote a memo to probate judges, referring to the API decision, stating," Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect." Retired law professor John Eidsmoe comments, "Note that Chief Justice Moore did not tell the probate judges what to do. He simply noted that the API ruling was still in effect."

  • May 6, 2016. The Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama issued a complaint against the chief justice for the Jan. 6 memo.

  • Sept. 30, 2016. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary found him guilty. He was suspended without pay for the rest of his term and denied the ability to practice law or even seek another job to provide for his family.

•April 19, 2017. His appeal against that court’s decision failed, affirming the suspension.

Roy Moore held a press conference on April 19, 2017, saying, "This was a politically motivated prosecution from the very beginning by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Judicial Inquiry Commission with certain transgender and homosexual groups to remove me from public office because of my stand on same-sex marriage.  . . . I’ve done my duty under the laws of this state to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. Mere human judges have no authority to say otherwise."

Through the years, I’ve interviewed Roy Moore and have heard him recite a poem, "A Sad but Holy God," a poem he wrote, at least before 1998, based on "America the Beautiful" — underscoring our nation's need to return to God. He gave me permission to quote it for this column.

Roy S. Moore writes:

"America the beautiful or so you used to be land of the pilgrim’s pride I’m glad they’re not here to see babies piled in dumpsters abortion on demand. Oh, sweet land of liberty your house is on the sand.

"When your children wander aimlessly poisoned by cocaine choosing to indulge their lust when God has said, 'abstain.' From sea to shining sea this nation has turned away from the teaching of God’s law and a need to always pray.

"So many worldly pastors telling lies about our rock saying that God is going broke so that they can fleece the flock. And we’ve kept God in our temples how foolish have we grown when all the earth is but his footstool and heaven is his throne. 

'We’ve voted in governments that are rotten to the core choosing godless judges who’ve thrown reason out the door. Too soft to put a killer in a well-deserved tomb but brave enough to kill that child before it leaves the womb.

"And you think that God’s not angry that this land’s a moral slum? (And) how much longer will it be before his judgment comes? And how can we face our God from whom we cannot hide? What is left for us to do but to stem this evil tide?

"For if we who are his children will humbly turn and pray If we seek his holy face and mend our evil way then God will hear from heaven and will forgive us of our sin he’ll heal this sickly land and all that live within. But America the beautiful if you don't, then you will see a sad but holy God withdraw his hand from thee."

Jerry Newcombe is co-host/senior TV producer of Kennedy Classics. He has written/co-written 25 books, including "The Book That Made America, Doubting Thomas" (with Mark Beliles), "What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?" (With D. James Kennedy), and "George Washington's Sacred Fire" (with Peter Lillback). For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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JerryNewcombe
A good man has been suspended. Again. Ultimately he’s a victim of judicial activism, of judges making things up from the bench and saying it’s what our Constitution requires.
alabama, justice
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2017-56-26
Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017 03:56 PM
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