Alabama COJ Suspends Sexting Judge Six Months but Chief Justice Moore for

Oct 4, 2016

MONTGOMERY, AL – Tallapoosa County Probate Judge Leon Archer was suspended in August for six months without pay after the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) filed a judicial ethics complaint against him related to exchanging sexually explicit messages with a woman who was a former litigant in his court. The same Court of the Judiciary (COJ) that suspended Chief Justice Moore for life, suspended the sexting judge for only six months.

Archer, who became a probate judge in January 2013, issues marriage licenses and performs marriages. Judge Archer developed a relationship with a woman whom he met in his capacity as a probate judge when she came in for a marriage license with her husband. According to the complaint, the marriage was soon annulled. Archer began sending the woman sexually explicit messages on Facebook for three weeks, including nude photos of his genitals. Most of Archer’s communications took place during work hours at the county courthouse. The 64-page complaint includes printed messages between Archer and the woman, including “What happened to us hooking up?” and other pornographic statements.

On the same day that the COJ heard arguments from Moore on the motion for summary judgement in August 2016, they also heard from Judge Archer. In six months, Archer will return to the bench, but Moore is suspended for the rest of his term, which expires in January 2019. Due to the fact that Moore will reach 70 by 2019, he will not be able to run for the position of judge or justice again. He has been removed for life.

“It is unbelievable the seriousness of Judge Archer’s perverted sexual actions and yet he only receives a six-month suspension, while Chief Justice Moore is suspended for life,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Chief Justice Roy Moore did nothing wrong and he is suspended for the rest of his term without pay, and a sexting judge gets suspended for six months. Where is the justice here? There is none. The COJ’s disparity in punishment and disdain for the law and the rules is a travesty. Liberty Counsel and Chief Justice Moore will continue to fight this battle to restore the rule of law. The case has already been appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court,” Staver said.

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.