Republican Executive Committee Demands Charges Against Chief Justice Be Dropped

May 24, 2016

Trussville, AL – The Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee passed a resolution last Saturday calling on the unelected Alabama Court of the Judiciary to drop the charges by the unelected Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) against Chief Justice Roy Moore.

The JIC has charged Chief Justice Moore with six counts. The Chief Justice has been suspended with pay pending that trial, pursuant to an automatic removal provision that requires any judge charged with a complaint be removed pending the hearing. Chief Justice Moore has argued that the JIC has exceeded its jurisdiction in bringing these charges against him. The charges stem from the Chief Justice’s January 2016 Administrative Order, which essentially said that the 2015 Orders of the Alabama Supreme Court remained in effect until such time as the Court said otherwise, and that the Alabama Supreme Court was reviewing the matter and would render an opinion.

“The six charges are based on the JIC’s erroneous opinion that Chief Justice Moore should have told the probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Had he done so, he would have been in direct violation of the Alabama Supreme Court Orders which were under review at that time,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents Chief Justice Moore. “The JIC is wrong on the law and has no jurisdiction to render legal opinions anyway. How many times does the JIC need to be reminded that it is not a court of law? The Alabama Supreme Court has repeatedly slapped the JIC for wading into legal interpretations. If the JIC can takes sides on a legal interpretation, then every Alabama judge should be in fear that unelected people, some of whom are not attorneys, will stand in judgement of their legal reasoning. This would threaten the judiciary and give the JIC unprecedented authority to remove judges they do not like, which appears to be the case here. The JIC could care less about the rules. It violated the rule of confidentiality by leaking the matter to the media and it exceeded its own jurisdiction. We will get these frivolous charges dismissed,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.