The saga of Roy Moore has led an awful lot of Alabama Republicans to say an awful lot of dubious things to rationalize supporting him in the midst of an array of sexual misconduct allegations. But the latest comment, from the normally very reserved Governor Kay Ivey, may take the cake when you think about Moore’s career. She said she had “no reason to disbelieve” the women who have described Moore as a predator or worse, and that the allegations “bothered” her because “[t]here’s never an excuse for or rationale for sexual misconduct or sexual abuse.” But she’s going to vote for Moore anyway:
“I believe in the Republican Party, what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justices, other appointments the Senate has to confirm and make major decisions.”
Now just put aside, if you can, the testimony that as a prosecutor and officer of the court Roy Moore was hustling underage women for dates at best and sex at worst. This is a man whose entire statewide political career has been based on defying the federal judiciary. He has twice lost his gavel as chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court for ignoring federal court orders that were based on clear U.S. Supreme Court precedents (the first time he defied a long series of rulings on church-state separation, and the second time he refused to comply with the 2015 SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriages).
Whatever else Roy Moore is, he is very clearly a scofflaw when it comes to the federal courts and their power to shape constitutional law.
So it’s more than a little ironic — and alarming — that Alabama’s governor is saying she will reluctantly vote for Judge Roy so that he can help determine the membership of SCOTUS and other federal courts. It helps illustrate the climate of opinion in the state that made Roy Moore a viable political figure in the first place.