Alabama Awaits Decision As Roy ‘Ten Commandments’ Moore Trial Ends (TWEETS)


Alabama’s supreme court chief justice was held to account in a trial today before the Judicial Inquiry Commission.

With both sides rested by lunch, closing statements were completed this afternoon, allowing JIC members to begin the difficult deliberations that may end in their second removal of Moore from the state’s highest bench.

Arguing against that move was Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, best known for his role in making Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis infamous. He says it would be “the death penalty” to “kill [Moore’s] career.”

The trial was short because the prosecutor, former Southern Poverty Law Center legal director John Carroll, rested on the evidence in the record. Taking the stand to defend himself, Moore tried to bury the proceedings under a blizzard of denial.

Moore claimed that his January order to county probate judges telling them to disobey the US Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling, which established marriage equality as the law of the land, was not in defiance of federal judge Callie V. Grenade’s order.

“I would never tell [the judges] what to do, except to advise them,” Moore said according to Anniston Star reporter Tim Lockette. “It would be against the principles that I hold dear to tell anyone to defy a court order. That is their decision.”

Moore was the only witness. With Carroll’s cross-examination complete, Alabama attorney Ashby Pate took over to make the closing statement for the prosecution before the trial recessed for lunch. Lockette reports that Pate “noted that in its 2015 ruling, the nation’s highest court explicitly stated same-sex marriage was a right ‘in all states.'”

“In a game of Constitutional chicken between state and federal courts, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution tells us who must yield,” Pate said.

When it was his turn, Staver argued that the JIC had violated due process by following its own rules and had acted in bad faith. According to Jim Little of the Opelika-Auburn News, Staver absurdly claimed that Moore’s order was no order at all, but “more like a status report” on the state supreme court.

In fact, Moore’s order was clearly aimed at encouraging chaos in county courthouses as a rear-guard action against the Obergefell ruling. Strangely, Staver cited this confused state of affairs as a defense of Moore’s order.

Carroll resumed his role in the prosecution’s final closing statement, though Staver had some objections.

The public record! How does it work?

Reminding the court that Roy Moore was already deposed from the state’s highest judicial office once before after he refused to follow a federal court order that his 2.5 ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments should be removed from the supreme court rotunda in Montgomery, Caroll said that “The chief justice learned nothing” and had demonstrated no remorse.

The JIC has said to expect a decision within ten days. If history is any guide, a decision to once again remove Moore from the chief justice’s seat will be announced late next Friday afternoon, long after Roy Moore’s supporters have left town and no longer stand in close proximity to the same activists whose complaints to the JIC instigated the trial.

Among the rainbow-flag waving protesters against Moore was Ambrosia Starling, the drag queen that the judge has obsessively blamed for his troubles. A large number of people came from out of state to support the judge. Their disruptions and chatter caused authorities to threaten to clear the room at least twice and cut the live feed of the trial at one point.

Some doubt that the JIC will choose to remove Moore again as in 2003. Such an act would doubtless serve as his catapult into the 2018 governor’s race, so the worse punishment might actually be to make him finish his term instead.

Featured image: POWER House

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016