Alabama’s process for punishing judges needs to be changed, the Alabama Republican Party’s executive committee says in a resolution aimed at what led to the suspension of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. The resolution asks that the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government enact law for the election of all nine of the Judicial Inquiry Commission members.
“It needs to be an elected group of people so it is accountable to the voters,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. The resolution also seeks to abolish the rule that judges are automatically suspended when charges are filed by the JIC.
Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC, said the ALGOP resolution was “wildly insulting to the JIC members. “It’s an insuslt to the integrity of the JIC by Moore’s supporters,” he said. Cohen said there is accountability with JIC. “Seven of the nine (JIC) members hold elected office or are appointed by those who do,” he said.
The effort to change the process is an effort by Roy Moore supporters “to undermine the strong judicial ethics laws that Alabama has,” Cohen said. The Rev. James Henderson offered the resolution at the Republican meeting. The resolution was overwhelmingly approved to applause, he said.
Moore’s trial begins September 28th.