General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Can you explain, in simple terms, the judiciary system of Alabama that allows Roy Moore to be removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary in 2003, and yet run for, and regain, the Chief Justice position 10 years later in 2012?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) February 18th, 2015

In case you need a refresher:
“During Moore’s first term as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments (which he had commissioned) from the Alabama Judicial Building despite orders to do so from a federal judge. On November 13, 2003, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from his post as Chief Justice.”

Same-sex marriage rolls on in Mobile without Roy Moore

Politifact gives Judge Roy Moore a ‘half-true’ on gay marriage claims

Chief Justice Roy Moore’s defiance to federal government ‘places Alabama a step backwards,’ says Montgomery probate judge

I linked to sources within the state of Alabama, since that is where the conflict is centered.

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7 Answers

Strauss's avatar

It could be that the laws of the State of Alabama don’t specifically disqualify someone who has been removed from office from seeking and regaining said office.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Yetanotheruser is correct. He wasn’t tossed out for a criminal reason – it was extra-judicial but not criminal.

It’s weird, but certainly legal.

rojo's avatar

Not sure what allows him to even consider running again But I believe the scientific term for his re-election is called “Stupidity”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The simplest explanation possible: It’s Alabama!

ibstubro's avatar

Seriously, kids, what does “elected” mean for a judge in Alabama?
Is there a public election for chief of the supreme court of Alabama?

Response moderated
SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, all of the judges on the Alabama Supreme Court—including the Chief Justice—are elected by popular vote. And since Moore was removed by powers above him, his dismissal did not necessarily reflect the sentiments of Alabama voters. Indeed, he still had quite a bit of popular support (as evidenced by his reelection). I also wouldn’t be surprised in the dismissal had galvanized his supporters.

Moore’s judicial career will be coming to an end soon in any case, though, since he is 68 and Alabama law does not allow judges to seek reelection once they turn 70. As Moore was elected to a six-year term in 2012, that means he will be done forever in 2018. And since he has never had any luck running for any other office, that’s likely the last we’ll ever hear of him in any official capacity.

By the way, John Oliver recently did a piece on elected judges if you’re interested. It even starts off with the example of Roy Moore.

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