Moore, Butts#039; 15 minutes are up

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 29, 2003

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore is now accusing two members of the Court of the Judiciary should have stepped down

in his ethics case because they gave money to his Democratic opponent in the 2000 election.

He called the whole trial a sham, and his lawyer, former Justice Terry Butts is so quick to hop over to the media and while he said the contributions weren't enough under the law to require the judges to step down, the hint of scandal was left there for all to see.

We have to ask what Butts has been promised once all this is over?

If Moore runs for some higher office, what will he give Butts to continue to serve at his beck and call.

Despite Moore’s outrage, according to the Birmingham News, the contributions in question in his case are less troubling. For starters, the two Court of the Judiciary members – William D. Melton and Sue McInnish – gave to Sharon Yates’ campaign before Moore was officially her opponent. Yates, who then served on the Court of Civil Appeals, had no primary opposition. She got $1,000 from Melton and $200 from McInnish before Moore had even won the Republican primary.

It’s just a political fact that sitting judges such as Yates routinely rake in contributions like this from lawyers and others with an interest in the legal system.

Butts himself donated $1,000 to Yates’ 2000 campaign and he said he made the contribution because they were friends and fellow judges at the time. But clearly, he doesn’t believe his contribution represented such loyalty to Yates that he could not fairly represent Moore in the Ten Commandments dispute.

So why pretend that the contributions of McInnish and Melton bear so much more significance? If there’s a sham in all this, it’s Moore’s line of defense, not his trial.

Quite frankly, we're tired of this whole brouhaha and believe it's time they all be reminded that their 15 minutes of fame are up and be shown the door.