“As United States senator, I will continue to stand for rights and liberties not only of this state, but of the people as well,” Moore said during an announcement at the Alabama State Capitol on Wednesday, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
He also linked himself to the president, saying, “I know I share the vision of our President Donald Trump to make America great again.”
Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore for the remainder of his term in September after he instructed the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore’s instruction clearly defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, and Moore was suspended for violating the state’s canon of judicial ethics ― a decision upheld by the state Supreme Court last week.
The 70-year-old’s term on the court would have ended in 2019, but because of his age he cannot run again for a judicial position. An aide told the Advertiser after the announcement Wednesday that Moore had filed paperwork to resign formally as chief justice.
Moore, who once suggested “same-sex marriage will be the ultimate destruction of our country,” has recovered from political controversies before. In 2003, he was removed from the bench for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court’s rotunda. He twice ran unsuccessfully for governor before being re-elected to the Supreme Court in 2012.
Moore is seeking the seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) tapped Alabama’s then-Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the seat, and a special election is scheduled for December. The primary will be on Aug. 15 with a runoff, if necessary, on Sept. 26.