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Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Roy Moore, the GOP's nominee in Alabama's special Senate election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was alleged today in a report by The Washington Post to have sexually assaulted a 14-year-old in 1979 while he was 32. The report also claims that Moore pursued multiple other relationships with teenage girls at the time.

Why it matters: Moore is one of the most controversial and conservative politicians in America, known for his unbending stances on social issues. He had twice lost his position as the Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court — once by removal, once by resignation — after his refusal to back down on federal directives on cases relating to religion and sexuality.

Moore's backstory
  • He attended West Point and the University of Alabama Law School, returning to his hometown to begin a private law practice in 1977. From there, he entered the local district attorney's office, eventually became a state circuit judge in 1992, and was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001.
  • Moore was removed as the Chief Justice in 2003 after he refused to remove a stone monument of the Ten Commandments that he had commissioned and placed outside the state's main courthouse, defying a federal court order.
  • Moore was reelected as Chief Justice in 2013, but refused to acknowledge the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage in 2016 by directing his probate judges to enforce Alabama's marriage ban. That decision led to his suspension in May 2016 and his resignation in April 2017 — when he decided to pursue the open Alabama Senate seat.
Moore in his own words
  • On the separation of church and state: "The Church's role should be separated from the state's role. That is the definition of separation of church and state. But separation of church and state was never meant to separate God and government."
  • On homosexuality: "Homosexual conduct should be illegal, yes." Moore then compared homosexuality to bestiality — and, when asked if homosexuality was the same as bestiality, he responded, "It is a moral precept upon which this country was founded."
  • On the September 11 attacks: "You know, we've suffered a lot in this country. Maybe, just maybe, because we've distanced ourselves from the one that has it within his hands to heal this land."
  • On Islam: "False religions like Islam who teach that you must worship this way are completely opposite with what our First Amendment stands for."
  • On Islam, part 2: When Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim, used a Koran for his swearing-in ceremony, Moore wrote, "In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on Mein Kampf, or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the Communist Manifesto."
  • On evolution: "There's no such thing as evolution. That we came from a snake? No I don't believe that."
  • On Barack Obama's birthplace: In 2009, Moore said, "Now, I haven't seen one thing in the press about this, and yet the President of the United States will not produce his birth certificate. That's very strange indeed. Why we don't hear about it — because the press won't report it."

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Technology

Twitter sues Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at February's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), saying that his office launched an investigation into the social media giant because it banned former President Trump from its platform.

Driving the news: Twitter is seeking to halt an investigation launched by Paxton into moderation practices by Big Tech firms including Twitter for what he called "the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President," days after they banned him following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.