Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore may have been suspended from his position for the remainder of his term after attempting to defy federal court rulings on marriage equality, but much of his ideology lives on in the court in his close ally Justice Tom Parker. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that one of Moore’s most enthusiastic and problematic backers is continuing to give financial support to Parker.
The Anniston Star reports today that although Parker will be running unopposed for reelection in November, “he has raised $19,620 in campaign contributions since he locked up the Republican nomination in March.” According to state campaign finance records, $1,000 of that came from stalwart Moore ally Michael Peroutka in July; Peroutka gave Parker’s campaign another $1,000 in September 2015. Peroutka also contributed a hefty amounts to Parker’s campaigns in 2004 and 2010 and to his 2006 bid to become chief justice.
Peroutka, a Maryland-based activist who currently holds a seat as a Republican on his local county council, is a former member of the neo-Confederate League of the South who travels the country with his Institute on the Constitution promoting his view that a certain reading of the Bible trumps civil law. He also gives a lot of money to social conservative causes, including donating a $1 million dinosaur skeleton to the Creation Museum and bankrolling much of Moore’s activism. Brian summarized Peroutka’s relationship with Moore last year:
…Peroutka is more than a friend and ideological ally to Moore: he has funded Moore’s activism for more than a decade, and in 2012 bankrolled Moore’s successful campaign for the top seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.
After Moore was removed from his original position on Alabama’s high court in 2003 for defying a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building, Peroutka paid for the ousted judge to go on a national speaking tour to build support for his cause. He also funded a group that held rallies in support of Moore.
Over nine years, Peroutka contributed over a quarter of a million dollars to two groups founded by Moore, the Foundation for Moral Law (which is now run by Moore’s wife Kayla) and the now-defunct Coalition to Restore America.
Parker has neo-Confederate ties of his own, which the Southern Poverty Law Center exposed in 2004 when he was running for the state supreme court as Moore’s protégé. On the court, Parker has built an extremist record, including attempting to lay the groundwork for extreme anti-choice fetal “personhood” laws. He has been represented in an unrelated ethics complaint, which has since been dismissed, by Moore’s attorneys at the Religious Right law firm Liberty Counsel.
The Anniston Star reports than another contributor to Parker’s campaign is “a PAC funded solely by a law firm that had a case before the [state] Supreme Court earlier this year” and run by a pastor “best known as an opponent of same-sex marriage.”