Mat Staver

Hate group leader Mat Staver insists publicly that his client, Roy Moore, did nothing wrong. According to a statement from Liberty Counsel:

The charges all focused on his January 2016 Administrative Order in
which he merely advised the probate judges that the case involving them
was still pending before the Alabama Supreme Court.

Here is the conclusion of that January 6, Administrative Order

Roy Moore


Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the
existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama
probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any
marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage
Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in
full force and effect.

Aside from the fact that the sentence is incomplete, this doesn’t seem ambiguous. He is telling probate judges not to issue marriage licenses because the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in “full force and effect.” I do not see any other way to read that.

Therefore, Roy Moore was telling subordinate judges to defy the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges more than six months earlier that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Not only should Moore be kicked off the bench, he should be disbarred.

The statement continues:

The Chief Justice’s testimony was uncontroverted and very clear. The
JIC had a short, and frankly weak, cross-examination. The JIC presented
no live testimony. The JIC presented closing arguments for about 45
minutes. Mat Staver presented closing arguments on behalf of Chief
Justice Moore for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Then the JIC presented a
short rebuttal argument. After hearing arguments from both sides, the
Court of Judiciary adjourned stating the court will make a decision
within 10 days.

It was all be irrelevant. There is no way to explain away the Administrative Order without committing perjury. The length of closing arguments is equally irrelevant. That Administrative Order is Roy Moore’s signed confession. I would be shocked if he is not relieved of his position as chief justice of Alabama’s highest court. Of course in Alabama that qualifies Moore to be the state’s next governor.

The statement continues:

“We felt our evidence was legally and factually unassailable and clearly
showed that the JIC’s charges are baseless,” said Mat Staver, Founder
and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Chief Justice did an excellent job
of testifying in the very court where he should be presiding,” said
Staver. “The JIC has too much power to file charges that have the effect
of automatically removing a judge. This system turns ‘innocent until
proven guilty’ on its head. After the JIC made a bogus statement of the
law, we had to rebut the JIC with a unanimous 2013 U.S. Supreme Court
case directly opposite of what the JIC argued.  And yet, no matter how
wrong the JIC may be in any given charge against a judge, that judge is
automatically removed. This system must be changed,” concluded Staver.

Whether or not the system of removing judges prior to adjudication is fair is irrelevant to whether or not Roy Moore is fit to serve. Three-fourths of that paragraph have absolutely nothing to do with Moore’s guilt or innocence. Staver made those arguments before trial and they were rejected by the Court. However, I have come to the conclusion that Mat Staver believes his own bullshit. It’s scary to think that Staver was once dean of a law school.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.