US Politics

Alabama: A Man Who Allegedly Molested Eight Minors Is Probably Your Next Senator

Image: ABC News

A man who convicted a man of the murder of four children is currently losing to a man who allegedly molested/dated eight minors in a Senate race in Alabama—what a time to be alive!

It has been such a crazy month with the countless sexual assault allegations ever since #MeToo started trending. The charges of sexual assault on Roy Moore dropped a little over a week ago, but there’s no sign of them slowing down. Just last night, four more women came forward with claims against the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

Moore, born in 1947, was the oldest of five. Following high school, he attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1969. He subsequently served in the US Military, stationed in Vietnam, returning to his hometown of Gadsen in 1977.  That year, Moore began working for the office of the district attorney. He quit his job to run for the county’s circuit-court judge as a Democrat. He overwhelmingly lost in the primary to a fellow attorney, Donald Stewart. Shortly afterward, Moore left Gadsden to live in Australia for a year. He returned to Gadsen in 1985, the same year he got married.

In 1986, Moore decided to give it another shot and run for Etowah County’s district attorney, but he lost to fellow Democrat Jimmy Hedgspeth. Following his defeat, he decided to simply return to private practice in the city.

In 1992, the year that he had switched to the Republican Party, Etowah County’s circuit judge, Julius Swann, died in office, and the Governor of Alabama was to make a temporary appointment to fill the vacant seat. Jimmy Hedgspeth, Moore’s former political opponent who ran the D.A.’s office, recommended Moore, and Moore was installed in the position that he had failed to win in 1982. Moore ran as a Republican in the 1994 Etowah County election and was elected to the circuit judge seat.

Roy Moore was known as the “Ten Commandments Judge” for his refusal to take down a  plaque of the Ten Commandments that hung behind his bench. In 1995, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued him over the religious plaque and Moore’s tradition beginning sessions with prayers, saying such actions were unconstitutional and disregarded the separation of church and state. Moore told NPR:

Separation of church and state never meant to separate God from government. The First Amendment never meant to divide our country from an acknowledgement of God. It’s time to stand up and say, we have a right under our Constitution to acknowledge God.

The original case was dismissed, but in 1996, a Montgomery County Judge, Charles Price, initially ordered Moore to stop the prayer but he allowed the Ten Commandments plaque to be displayed. However, Price ordered the plaque removed after visiting Moore’s courtroom the following year. The case was again dismissed.

When Moore was elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000, he took his fight over the Ten Commandments even further. Now, he was designing and planning a two-and-a-half ton granite obelisk inscribed with the Ten Commandments to be placed in the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building. The Montgomery Advertiser states:

Moore had not told his fellow justices he was planning to install the monument, but brought a company into tape the installation of the monument in the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building. Sales of the tapes later helped pay for his legal defense fund.

In 2002, a federal district judge ruled that the new statue was unconstitutional, violating the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. A deadline for removing the monument was instated and ignored by Moore in August 2003. A panel ruled that Moore had violated the judicial ethics code, and Moore was removed from the bench.

Just after a decade after being removed from the bench, Moore successfully won back his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012. No, he didn’t resurrect his Ten Commandments monument, but with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage, Moore ordered state judges to protest it and enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriages instead. In response to Obergefell v. Hodges, Moore wrote:

The Court’s opinion speaks repeatedly of homosexuals being humiliated, demeaned, and being denied ‘equal dignity’ by a state’s refusal to issue them marriage licenses.

That attempt to defy yet another court order resulted in another appearance before Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary, and he was suspended for the rest of his term in 2016, however, Moore’s age has prevented him from any chance of running again in 2018.

Now, Moore has decided to run for Senate in Alabama, and many shocking and revealing allegations have been put against him. He has been accused by eight women of sexual assault, and people are not happy.

This story was broken by the Washington Post, but the saddest part of all this is that Moore will probably still win.

Nate Cohn, a writer at the Upshot and the New York Times’ political data guru, said:

I don’t see any reason to assume Moore is in serious jeopardy.

When asked how much does he think this scandal might affect Moore’s chances to be elected, Cohn said:

My honest answer is that I don’t know. Alabama is an extremely conservative state that is deeply polarized along racial lines. Hillary Clinton might not even have received 15 percent of the white vote in Alabama last year. For Doug Jones to win, he might need to double that number. So this is not an easy task at all for the Democrats.

Cohn was asked by Slate whether there is any other state in the union that would be more likely to elect Roy Moore than Alabama. To that, he responded:

No. In Mississippi, the white vote is more conservative, but black voters are a much larger share of the electorate. If you had a revolt against a Republican candidate and black turnout was high, I think you can imagine how the Democrats get over the top there in a way that is tougher to imagine in Alabama. The argument the other way is that Alabama has better-educated metropolitan areas like Birmingham or Huntsville where maybe you can imagine that a Republican revolt would be modestly more likely than it would in Mississippi. But no, I think Alabama is basically as tough as it gets for Democrats.

Seeing what the political expert has said, it’s heartbreaking to think that an alleged child molester could beat a perfectly qualified Democrat just because of the political polarization in our society.

Yes, it is possible that he could win and be kicked out of the Senate, something that hasn’t occurred in over 150 years, almost immediately, but it’s not about whether he serves or not. It’s about whether the citizens prefer a child molester and a man who has been kicked off the bench of the Alabama Supreme Court not once, but twice, over a perfectly qualified candidate, simply because they are too dedicated to their political party. I truly hope Alabama makes the right decision, but it’s their decision to make, not mine.

While the Alabama Republican Party has not taken back their endorsement of Roy Moore, many Republicans and Democrats alike have called for him to drop out of the race.

In the end, who knows whether he will win or not? This entire election is ensured to be a toss-up, even though it should just be handed on a silver platter to the one who is not a child molester.

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