Reaction to the temporary suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore on Friday came quickly. Reaction came from opponents of the controversial judge and from his staunchest allies. First reactions came from the Alabama Christian Coalition and then from Moore's chief spokesman Tom Parker, who had earlier denied reports that Moore would be suspended.
It was as if the wind had been taken right out of their sails, but just for a moment. The news of the suspension also renewed their resolve to see this thing through.
A somber John Giles addressed a crowd of Justice Moore's supporters after hearing the news. "This is a very sobering moment for Alabama. This is a sobering moment for the United States of America...The Judicial Inquiry Commission made a very serious mistake today. They are trying to take down one of America's finest and we stand with Chief Justice Moore and the majority of the country stands with Judge Moore."
Judge Moore had already left the building before the ruling was released. Moore's chief spokesman, Tom Parker, spoke with Moore by phone. "He has not had a chance to see the complaint himself. His attorneys have had it faxed to them, but they have not had a chance to review the complaint. They will be here Monday to respond to the press about the complaint and where we go from here," Parker told the gathered media from around the country.
The charges came as no surprise to Richard Cohen with the Southern Poverty Law Center who said, "I think it is good news for the people of Alabama. It's a step to restore the rule of law to our state, just as the justices on the supreme court said. He was wrong. Now the judiciary inquiry commission says there is reasonable cause to believe that he's wrong and the Court of the Judiciary may remove him from office. That would be the right thing to do."