Gov. Ivey appoints Stuart as Chief Justice of Alabama

Tabitha Dunn
April 30, 2017

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was ousted from his position previous year after leading a judicial revolt against same-sex marriage, announced plans Wednesday to run for U.S. Senate.

Moore, now 70, was a little known judge in Etowah County in the 1990s until the American Civil Liberties Union unsuccessfully sued him over a handmade wooden Ten Commandment plaque he hung on his courtroom wall. She has served as Acting Chief Justice since May 6, 2016.

Raised in Atmore, Stuart graduated from Auburn University in 1977 and the University of Alabama School of Law in 1980. He first came to national attention in the 1990s as a state circuit court judge who was sued by the ACLU for posting the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and holding pretrial prayers.

Ivey said Stuart has served on the court with honor and integrity. "I look forward to working with her as she now leads the judicial branch of state government". Sue Bell Cobb was the first to hold the office in 2007. Bentley had planned to hold the Senate election in 2018, but the state's new governor, Kay Ivey, moved it up to this year, setting off what's expected to be a four-month demolition derby among Republicans, the dominating political party in the state.

"I have done my duty under the laws of this state to stand for the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage as the union of one man and one woman", Moore said after the ruling.

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"Alabama will become "Ground Zero" in the political and cultural war", said Dean Young, a longtime Moore supporter. Former state attorney general Luther Strange, appointed to the vacancy by former Gov. Robert Bentley, is expected to contest the seat along with State Rep. Ed Henry and Christian activist Randy Brinson. A special committee of retired Alabama Supreme Court justices upheld the decision April 19.

After two unsuccessful campaigns for governor, Moore won re-election as chief justice in 2012.

Moore has twice been taken off the Supreme Court bench for violating judicial ethics after taking stances that endeared him to some Christian conservatives but were seen by critics as evidence of his inability to comprehend a separation between church and state. Our families are being crippled by divorce and abortion. He also told supporters the U.S. Supreme Court "destroyed" the "sacred institution of marriage".

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". Age limits prevent Moore from seeking another position on the bench.

"We've got to understand that getting back to the constitution, getting back to its restraints, are what we need in this country to make it great again", Moore added.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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