Roy Moore, Alabama judge who defied SCOTUS on gay marriage, to run for Senate

Source: AP
Source: AP

The Supreme Court of Alabama's Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was suspended from his post in September 2016 for refusing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, is seeking to run as a Republican for a Senate seat.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, in an announcement speech on Wednesday Moore sounded familiar "themes of social conservatism and originalism" and pledged support for President Donald Trump, saying "Before we can make America great again, we've got to make America good."

The 70-year-old justice turned in his resignation papers shortly after the speech, aide Rich Hobson told the Advertiser, thus clearing him to run.

Alabama's Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore without pay from his seat on the bench in 2016 for the remainder of his term after it ruled his intransigent stance on same-sex marriage was a violation of federal law and judicial ethics. Moore had repeatedly ordered the state's probate judges to defy federal court rulings striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban, including the historic SCOTUS ruling striking down all such bans across the country. 

When his suspension from the bench was upheld in April 2017, he reacted by accusing the judicial court of "a politically motivated prosecution" and lashed out at "certain transgender and homosexual groups" who he said conspired to "remove me from public office because of my stand on same-sex marriage," according to the Advertiser.

Moore's judicial career may well be at its end. But his Senate run could easily end just as abruptly; competitors include incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who former Sen. Jeff Sessions appointed to fill his seat while he served in Trump's administration; Rep. Ed Henry; and Randy Brinson, the head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. A poll taken last August, though taken far too early to serve as a reliable bellwether in the future election, showed Moore at the head of the pack with 28.2% support among 600 Republican respondents.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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