MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama Supreme Court justices have recused themselves from hearing an appeal by suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore, instead deciding to select a panel from a pool of retired judges.
The justices recused themselves on Monday from hearing Moore's appeal because of the belief that their impartiality might be questioned. By a 5-3 vote, it was decided that the names of 50 judges would be drawn randomly from a pool of retired appellate, circuit and district judges. The first seven pulled would serve as a special supreme court to hear Moore's appeal.
Moore had previously filed a motion to have four of the five justices, Lynn Stuart, Michael Bolin, James, Main and Greg Shaw, recused. Moore also argued that Justice Stuart should play no role in selecting replacement judges due to a conflict of interest and that a judge who is disqualified from acting cannot be the one to appoint a replacement, according to the Liberty Counsel.
A judicial panel suspended Moore for the remainder of his term after finding he urged state probate judges to defy the federal courts on gay marriage. Moore denied the accusations, saying he never told probate judges what to do.
Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver released this statement following Monday's decision: