GOP confronts long-shot options for dealing with Moore

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are confronted with a limited, unappealing set of options in responding to Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore, who is caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct.

For starters, the election in Alabama is already underway. Absentee ballots are being mailed in for the Dec. 12 contest, and Moore can’t be removed from the ballot, even if the Alabama Republican Party wanted to.

A victory by Democrat Doug Jones would narrow the margin of control in the GOP-controlled Senate to 51-49. That’s an outcome Republicans are anxious to avoid.

One way, albeit difficult, for Republicans to retain the seat would be to mount a successful write-in candidacy. Several Republican senators are urging Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the GOP primary in September, to launch such an effort.

If Moore were to win, there’s no precedent in the Senate for refusing to seat him. But the Senate could immediately move to expel him, though the chamber hasn’t taken such a step since the Civil War.

Moore remains defiant and retains a base of supporters in staunchly conservative Alabama. He says allegations that he molested teenage girls during the 1970s when he was a prosecutor in his 30s are false and the product of a witch hunt.

The Senate’s options for dealing with Moore:

WRITE-IN

One option under consideration would be for Republicans in Alabama to abandon Moore and rally around a write-in candidate, perhaps Strange or even U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who held the seat until his confirmation earlier this year. Such a candidacy would be an uphill slog, particularly if Moore remains defiant and pulls a sizable vote from his impassioned base of evangelical supporters.

Even if Moore were to step aside his name would remain on the ballot — siphoning votes away from any write-in candidate — and potentially swinging the race to Jones.

EXPLUSION

Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate GOP’s campaign committee, said on Monday that even if Moore were to win the election, the Senate might move to expel him. If that were to occur, GOP Gov. Kay Ivey would appoint another interim senator.

The U.S. Constitution says that both House and Senate have the power to “punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.” The Senate has expelled 15 of its members, 14 of whom were supporters of the Confederacy, but hasn’t expelled anyone since 1862. More recently, members such as Bob Packwood, the Oregon Republican who faced charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of power, have resigned rather than face expulsion.

In theory, expulsion offers a long-shot path for establishment Republicans to reclaim the seat. But Moore would have to win the seat in the first place, and do so in the face of a write-in candidacy and opposition from state and national Republicans.

“It’s premature to talk about expelling someone who hasn’t been elected,” said No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas.

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read