MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Seven retired judges, including a former governor, were selected randomly in a lottery Monday to hear Roy Moore's (search) appeal of his ouster as chief justice in his Ten Commandments (search) monument case.
The drawing came just hours after all eight Supreme Court justices disqualified themselves from hearing the appeal because of their earlier involvement in the monument case.
Moore was ousted by the Court of the Judiciary on Nov. 13 for refusing to obey a federal judge's order to remove his 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building. The eight justices had the monument moved to a storage room in August after Moore refused to do so.
To pick a replacement court for Moore's appeal, the names of all of the state's retired circuit, district and appeals court judges were placed in a box and the seven names were drawn by Supreme Court Clerk Bob Esdale.
The seven chosen include former Gov. John Patterson, who is also a retired criminal appeals court judge, and retired Supreme Court Justice Janie Shores.
Troy King, legal adviser to Gov. Bob Riley, said the governor had agreed to certify the seven judges.
Acting Chief Justice Gorman Houston called the proceeding "absolutely historic" — and "a tragedy."