Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, a Republican, has been accused of having sexual contact with a minor and inappropriate relations with three other teens.
It’s too late to remove Moore from the ballot. What happens if Alabama voters elect him anyway?
Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and both Texas senators, have called for Moore to step down from the election. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut off funding for his campaign.
In a tweet, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrote, “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.”
Sen. John McCain tweeted, “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
So far Moore’s response has been to deny the allegations and continue campaigning. He has called the accusations a smear campaign by Democrats wanting to discredit him and boost the campaign of his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones. (Leigh Corfman, who said Moore had a relationship with her when she was 14, has said she is, in fact, a Republican.)
According to Article 1 Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”
Two thirds of the Senate may vote to expel a member based on violating rules they have established. Presumably, sex with a minor is a violation of Senate rules. It’s not clear whether they may refuse to seat Moore before he’s seated, but once seated, they may remove him with a two-thirds vote before he casts his first vote.
— David Taffet