Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Corruption, Common Core Highlight Wild Race to Replace Jeff Sessions


The new Republican governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, just set the date for the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat: August 15. Let the games begin.

It’s pure Southern gothic.

First, there is the man currently holding that seat, appointed by disgraced former Gov. Robert Bentley as one of his final acts before leaving office.

If Superman’s archenemy and Batman’s archenemy met and produced a love child, they might have called him “Luther Strange.” Strange was elected as attorney general pledging to clean up Alabama’s government corruption. However, last November, Strange went to the GOP-controlled House Judiciary Committee and asked them to hold off on impeaching the governor pending his investigations. Then, mere weeks later, Strange turned around and asked Gov. Bentley for Sessions’ newly vacated seat. As a local columnist put it: “He wanted to clean up in Montgomery, it turned out.”

But, wait. The plot thickens.

This week, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the suspension of Judge Roy Moore from his (elected) seat as Chief Justice of that Court for his order to probate judges telling them Alabama law does not permit same-sex marriage (defying the Supreme Court indirectly). The ethics charge against Moore was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Moore decided not to take the injury lying down. He called the prosecution politically motivated and points out he remains Chief Justice despite the suspension:

“I have done my duty under the laws of this state to stand for the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Moore said during the press conference with reporters in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Alabama State Capitol.

This is the second time Moore was suspended from the State Supreme Court for defying a federal court order. The first time, in 2001, he refused to remove the Ten Commandments from the courtroom despite being directly ordered by a federal court to do so.

Judge Moore says he plans a big announcement for next Wednesday, and local media suggest he’s about to enter the race to unseat Strange.

He’s not the only one. Senate president Del Marsh, who is independently wealthy, has told the Washington Examiner he’s leaning towards running, setting up a third drama: the Common Core rebellion. Marsh “has repeatedly quashed efforts by conservatives to officially repeal Alabama’s use of national Common Core educational standards,” the Examiner reports.

Common Core moms have tipped elections before. Will they be giant slayers in this Alabama special election too?

Keep watching this one.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

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