If Republicans think Roy Moore is going to step aside quietly, they're badly mistaken
Published 4:10 pm, Thursday, November 9, 2017
Scott Olson/Getty Images
- Republicans are calling for Roy Moore to drop out of the Senate race in Alabama if allegations are true that the then-32-year-old had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.
- Moore is no stranger to pressure to drop out of a race or resign from a position.
More than a dozen Republican senators have already called for Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore to drop out of the Senate race if allegations are true that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
But a quick look at Moore's well-documented history in public life shows that if Republicans think he will step away quietly from the race following the bombshell Washington Post report, they are likely mistaken.
Moore was removed from office twice while he served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to follow court orders, bashing the injunctions and promising not to waver on his stance.
Moore's past removal from office
The first time he was removed from office was in 2003, when he refused to remove a replica of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building. A state commission had filed formal charges against him for refusing to remove the monument. Responding to his initial suspension from his judgeship, Moore said the Ten Commandments were "the foundation of the justice system of this state."
"So we have no apologies, and we've done our job," he said.
At the time, Richard Cohen, an attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which sued Moore over the display, said Moore "forced" the commission's hand by not complying with the ruling.
"The canons of ethics say you have to respect and comply with the law," he said. "Justice Moore said he would defy the law. It's an open-and-shut case."
And it was. Soon after his initial suspension, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously imposed what was the harshest possibly penalty on Moore: removing him from the bench after a one-day trial.
He soon faced another court order
But Moore, in 2012, decided to run again for his old spot on the bench and won the seat. A couple of years after his reelection, Moore found himself facing another court order — one that he again defied.
It came over his ordering of probate judges in the state to refuse same-sex couples' applications for marriage licenses, following the landmark Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized such marriages nationwide. He was suspended for the rest of his term for refusing to comply with the order.
He fought back tooth-and-nail.
"We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail," Moore said in a statement at the time
He said the Alabama commission that had filed the complaint against him had "chosen to listen to ... a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda."
Roughly one year later, Moore launched his campaign for Senate.
Republicans push for Moore to quit
On Tuesday, multiple women told The Post that Moore pursued relationships with them while he was in his 30s and they were teens. One woman described a sexual encounter she had with Moore when she was 14.
Moore vehemently denied the claims.
"These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign," Moore said in a statement. His campaign said, "This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation."
"After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they surely would have been made public long before now," the statement continued.
Republican senators, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, John Thune, Cory Gardner, and others all called for Moore to get out of the race if the allegations are true.
"It's devastating," Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia told a reporter Thursday. "I think if those allegations are true, he should step aside. I mean, I'm sorry but this is untenable — if they're true. I have no facts, I just saw the story. But it's very serious."
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona called for Moore to leave the race immediately.
"The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying," he said in a statement. "He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."
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