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Complaint: Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Attended Anti-Choice Rally With Domestic Terrorists

Jessica Mason Pieklo

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore faces another judicial ethics complaint after appearing to attend an anti-choice rally with convicted domestic terrorists.

Reproductive rights advocates filed a judicial ethics complaint against Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore alleging Moore showed public support for domestic terrorism by speaking at a rally held by the radically anti-choice group, Operation Save America.

Moore attended the July 11 rally in Montgomery, Alabama, the complaint reads, as did convicted abortion clinic bomber John Brockhoeft, according to photos shared by Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates, a reproductive rights advocacy organization. Brockhoeft, an affiliate of the extremist organization the Army of God, served seven years in federal prison for setting fire to two Cincinnati abortion clinics in 1985 and planting a pipe bomb at another in 1987.

The Alabama rally was one of several taking place over a week in the state. Organizers said their short-term goal was preventing patients from accessing abortion care in Montgomery, with a long-term goal of closing the clinic there altogether.

ARRA filed the complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Commission following Moore’s appearance at the July 11 rally.

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“By affiliating with members of Operation Rescue, Army of God, and OSA he has aligned himself ethically with people and organizations who meed the federal criteria of domestic terrorists,” AARA stated in a release following filing the ethics charge. “By aligning with them, Moore is guilty of domestic treason by association, conflict of interest, misconduct, collusion, and consorting with the enemy.”

Other anti-choice extremists were in attendance at the OSA rallies, many of whom believe in justifiable homicide against anyone working in an abortion clinic. As alleged in the complaint, the Rev. Matthew Trewhella, a Milwaukee anti-choice leader and co-founder of the Missionaries to the Preborn, was among those in attendance.

Trewhella, a convicted arsonist, was investigated in the 1990s for abortion clinic violence and served 14 months in prison for violation of the federal FACE Act. Convicted rapist and anti-choice extremist Scott Heldreth also attended the rally in Montgomery, the ARRA notes.

Moore is no stranger to anti-choice extremism. In April 2014 he wrote a concurring opinion in Ex Parte Hicks calling for the jailing and prosecuting of patients who choose abortion care. Ex Parte Hicks involved the conviction of Sarah Janie Hicks under Alabama’s child endangerment statute for giving birth to a healthy baby that later tested positive for cocaine.

Moore also faces an ethics complaint related to his calls for a “confrontation” with the federal courts over marriage equality, including orders disallowing probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed that complaint, requesting Moore face a formal ethics inquiry.

The Judicial Inquiry Commission has not yet responded to this latest ethics complaint.

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