Moore Joins Media Request to Unseal Case

Chief Justice Moore has done nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical, and the COJ lacked the required 9-0 vote to remove him from the bench

judge roy moore AL Sup Ct

Oct 22, 2016 By Liberty Counsel

MONTGOMERY, AL – Chief Justice Roy Moore filed a motion with the Alabama Supreme Court siding with the Alabama Political Reporter’s (APR) request to unseal the record on the petition he filed in May 2016 against the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). Under JIC Rule 5, the JIC investigation of a complaint is confidential, but the confidentiality ends when a charge is issued. On May 4, Chief Justice Moore filed a petition with the Alabama Supreme Court against the JIC when he learned that the JIC’s investigation and impending charges were leaked to the media in violation of Rule 5.

When the petition was filed on May 4, it was sealed because the JIC had not yet filed charges. On May 6, the JIC filed charges against him, two days after Moore’s petition. Once a charge is filed, the matter is no longer confidential, and thus Chief Justice Moore and APR have requested the case be unsealed to the public. The case is No. 1150818, Ex parte Roy S. Moore (In re: Roy S. Moore v. Judicial Inquiry Commission of the State of Alabama).

In his affidavit, which accompanies the motion to unseal, Moore stated: “I requested twice by motion that the case be unsealed once the JIC filed charges against me in the Court of the Judiciary on May 6, 2016. Once the charges were filed, the mandate for pre-filing confidentiality in the JIC rules was no longer relevant. For inexplicable and unstated reasons, the Special Court that ruled on this case denied both motions that I filed to unseal the record. I am the only person with a legally cognizable interest in confidentiality in this case. That interest dissipated once the JIC filed charges and the matter became public.” Moore further stated, “The public has a right to know….”

Moore also stated yesterday: “Although I have not been removed from my position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, my chief of staff and two attorneys in my office have been terminated and my secretary has been removed. Today, Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart ordered the court marshals to deny me access to my office at the Alabama Supreme Court.”

The appeal of the order from the Court of the Judiciary is pending before the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore has filed a motion to recuse four current justices on the Alabama Supreme Court and three former justices who were specially appointed to hear the May petition. He has asked that neither Justice Stuart, nor any others he requested to recuse, play “any part in selecting replacement justices for that appeal.”

Other than Justice Stuart sending Moore a letter telling him to clean out his office and removing his name from the official Supreme Court letterhead, the firing of his three staff attorneys, and barring him from retrieving a file from his office, the Alabama Supreme Court has remained silent regarding its response to Chief Justice Roy Moore’s appeal and motion to recuse. Chief Justice Moore requested that replacement justices be selected by a random and publicly observable drawing from a pool of sitting circuit judges.

“Chief Justice Moore is calling for an open and transparent process and wants nine unbiased judges to decide his case. These judges should not have conflicts of interest against him or his case,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “No one should act as if this case is already decided. Chief Justice Moore has done nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical, and the COJ lacked the required 9-0 vote to remove him from the bench,” said Staver.