Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the bench for telling probate judges to defy federal orders regarding gay marriage.

It’s the second time Moore has been removed from the chief justice job for defiance of federal courts – the first time in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) issued the order Friday suspending Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term after a unanimous vote of the nine-member court.

“For these violations, Chief Justice Moore is hereby suspended from office without pay for the remainder of his term. This suspension is effective immediately,” the order stated.

The court found him guilty of all six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics. Moore’s term is to end in 2019, but because of his age, 69, he cannot run for the office again.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will not have an appointment. Justice Lyn Stuart will continue in the role of Acting Chief Justice and that court will continue with eight justices.  The reason there won’t be a replacement is because Moore was suspended, not removed from office.  Moore is filing an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.

While the Alabama Court of the Judiciary may have dealt a professional blow to Roy Moore by suspending him without pay for the remainder of his term, the body’s decision is also very likely a political win for Moore’s potential candidacy for governor.

In fact, they just may be making him out to be a martyr.  The decision could certainly rally the troops and potentially make Roy Moore a serious gubernatorial candidate in the 2018 election.

The COJ found him guilty of all six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics brought by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC).

Moore, the now suspended Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, was served the penalty by the court for what it described as his defiance in ordering probate judges not to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.

By being suspended, Moore can say that he stuck to his convictions and didn’t flip flop.  He certainly is not an establishment candidate and therefore could be extremely popular with the anti-establishment constituents.

Bottom line, Roy Moore stuck to his guns and didn’t waver in his convictions despite political pressure over an extremely controversial issue.  Time will tell where this leads Judge Roy Moore but I bet we haven’t seen the last of him.  I wouldn’t bet against him.

That’s The Lowe Down!

Jonathan Lowe