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Published On: Tue, May 10th, 2016

Alabama Judge Roy Moore suspended over traditional marriage stance

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was temporarily suspended following a complaint against his defense of Alabama’s marriage laws from the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC).

Moore now faces charges in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, which could remove him from the Court if they find he’s violated the Alabama Judicial Canons of Ethics or engaged in misconduct.

Moore’s January 2016 Administrative Order encouraged the state probate judges to “not…issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act.”

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Additionally, Moore instructed judges to not act contrary to state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman until the Supreme Court rules on the effects of its landmark same-sex “marriage” ruling Obergefell v. Hodges on the Alabama Supreme Court’s existing orders upholding the state’s marriage laws.

Most probate judges in Alabama ignored Moore and issued same-sex “marriage” licenses anyway.

“The Judicial Inquiry Commission has no authority over the Administrative Orders of the Chief Justice of Alabama or the legal injunction of the Alabama Supreme Court prohibiting probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.  We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail,” said Moore.

Joining the LGBT activists is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as well as Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other atheists and LGBT supporters to file complaints against Moore with the JIC.

 

Moore previously called the complaints against him “politically motivated” and baseless.  The SPLC first filed a complaint with the JIC against Moore in 2015.

“The Alabama Supreme Court has repeatedly slapped down the JIC for wading into legal arguments and has reminded the JIC it is not a court of law. Yet, the JIC has once again veered from its duty and now seeks to resolve a legal dispute that can only be resolved by the Alabama Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.  Staver is representing Moore in this matter.

“Earlier this year a federal Court of Appeals and three federal District Courts rendered the same opinion as Chief Justice Moore about how to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage opinion,” continued Staver.  “The Alabama Supreme Court also backed up the Chief Justice. If the JIC wants a final legal interpretation, it has no authority to render its own interpretation. That is a matter for the U.S. Supreme Court. The JIC complaint is outrageous because its sole focus is on the interpretation of the law, which is beyond the JIC’s authority to resolve.”

The SPLC celebrated Moore’s suspension.

“Chief Justice Roy Moore has disgraced his office for far too long,” SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote in a statement.  “He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with…We look forward to his trial in the Court of the Judiciary and his eventual removal from office once again.”

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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