Moore's attorney slams decision to suspend chief justice
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Mat Staver, the attorney representing now-suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, slammed as a "miscarriage of justice" a decision Friday by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to suspend his client for the rest of his term. That term does not expire until 2019.
Moore was found guilty on six counts of violating canons of judicial ethics. The ACJ ruled Friday after hearing testimony earlier in the week in the case surrounding allegations that Moore misused his office by trying to block gay couples from marrying in the state, in conflict with federal court orders.
Staver, who is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, promised to appeal the ruling to the Alabama Supreme Court. "This case is far from over," he said.
"The rule of law should trump political agendas," Staver stated. "Sadly, today that is not the case. What this decision tells us today is that Montgomery has a long way to go to weed out abuse of political power and restore the rule of law."
Staver contends the ACJ did not follow its own rules in determining Moore's fate.
"To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the rest of his term is the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules," Staver said. "There is no meaningful difference between suspension for the remaining of the term and removal from office."
Staver speculated that the reason both sides were unsuccessful in getting the Court of the Judiciary to issue a summary judgement in August was because, "the COJ lacked a unanimous vote to remove the Chief and so the can was kicked down the road to keep the Chief off the bench for two more months."
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's office says he is reviewing the order and has no comment.
President Kayla Moore of the Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation dedicated to strict construction of the constitution according to its framers released the following statement:
"The ruling today regarding our founder Chief Justice Roy Moore is nothing more than persecution of a Christian official. It is an effort to silence by threat of removal a liberal agenda. There were professionals in that courtroom--doctors, lawyers, judges, and more who all agreed that Chief Justice Moore was completely correct. Yet, the Court of the Judiciary suspended Chief Justice Moore without pay for the remainder of his term and is making him pay all expenses of trial! This has never happened before.This small unelected group of people, mostly Democrats, have overturned an election of the people of Alabama. All these efforts are being led by a guy who dresses up like a woman and prances around on the stage. The good people of Alabama have had their votes taken away from them once again."
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