MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The acting head of the Alabama Supreme Court has asked suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore to remove his personal items from the state courthouse and turn in his building keys.
Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart sent a letter asking Moore to remove his items and return his keys by Oct. 18. The Supreme Court letterhead also appeared to have had Moore’s name removed from the list of justices. Stuart also wrote that her staff will begin opening official court correspondence addressed to the chief justice but will leave Moore’s personal mail untouched so he can pick it up.
The letters show the court adjusting to daily business without Moore as chief justice, but Moore’s attorney on Thursday called the action premature as Moore appeals his suspension to the Alabama Supreme Court.
A judicial panel last month suspended Moore for the remainder of his term after finding he urged state probate judges to defy the federal courts on gay marriage. The panel, in its decision, indicated that a majority wanted to outright remove Moore from office but did not have the unanimous agreement required to do so.
By the end of his term in 2019, he’ll be beyond the age limit of 70 for judges.
Moore’s attorney released the letters Thursday saying that they were evidence of Moore’s “de facto removal” without the required unanimous consent of the panel.
“Removing the Chief Justice’s name from the official Supreme Court letterhead and demanding he remove all his personal items sure looks like removal to any objective observer,” attorney Mat Staver said in a statement.