In front of the State Judicial Building where Roy Moore said he last stood eight years ago as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court before being removed from office, he said Tuesday he was running for another term as chief justice.
Moore was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to follow a federal judge’s order to move a more than two-ton monument that included the Ten Commandments from the State Judicial Building.
“There is no question I know this job and I believe the people of Alabama know exactly what I stand for,” Moore said.
Moore, who has since run twice for the Republican nomination for governor, said his experience would be beneficial as the state court system he once presided over tries to adjust to millions in funding cuts.
Moore joins a high-profile Republican field that includes current Chief Justice Chuck Malone, who was appointed to the position earlier this year by Gov. Robert Bentley, and former Attorney General Charlie Graddick, who is now presiding circuit court judge in Mobile County.
Some entities with an interest in the state’s court system have already endorsed a candidate in the race.
“I’ve never been a fan of special interests and special interests have never been a fan of me,” Moore said.
But, he said, he already has high name recognition. Moore said he is ready to travel the state again meeting people and said he will try to raise money.
Moore said he was proud of his time as chief justice, which followed his election in 2000. He said he wrote a key advisory opinion about the prohibition of gambling devices in Alabama and said that opinion has helped guide state and federal courts during the fight over gambling in the state.
Moore, who lives on a farm in Gallant in Etowah County, also said the state’s high court, under his leadership, ended the “Equity Funding Lawsuit,” saving taxpayers $1 billion, and ended the “unlawful occupational tax” in Montgomery County.
He acknowledged the court system is struggling due to reduced budgets. Moore said that, during his first two years as chief justice, the court system was faced with its largest cuts up until that time “yet we kept our courts open to the public.” The chief justice presides over the state’s court system and its employees.
When asked how he thought people might perceive him running for chief justice after he was removed from that same position, Moore said “I hope they realize what I was removed for was wrong.”
“I have always acknowledged God and will continue to do so,” he said.
Moore finished fourth in the 2010 Republican primary for governor.
– posted by Sebastian Kitchen