Alabama Chief Justice, suspended over gay marriage orderAround the Nation, Breaking News, Top Highlights Friday, September 30th, 2016
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary today suspended anti-LGBTQ Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term, due to his unethical and extralegal actions surrounding marriage equality. Moore will remain on the bench, but will not receive a salary and he will be unable to make any legal decisions. Moore’s term is up in 2018, and he will be unable to run for the office of Supreme Court justice again in Alabama as he will be past the office’s age restriction. The nine-member Court of the Judiciary found Moore unanimously guilty of all six charges brought against him.
“Roy Moore has flagrantly and willfully attempted to block marriage equality at every turn in Alabama, using his position of power to push a personal, radically anti-LGBTQ agenda. We are thrilled that justice has been done today and he will no longer be able to use the bench to discriminate against people he had taken an oath to to protect,” said Eva Kendrick, state manager for the Human Rights Campaign, Alabama. “Roy Moore’s bigoted rhetoric and unethical actions harmed LGBTQ Alabamians and emboldened those who would seek to hurt us further. We hope this is a turning point for our state. We must focus on electing politicians and judges who will move us forward, not backward.”
In Moore’s view, reported The New York Times, the federal Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry, was not binding on Alabama directly. Without a final ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court, he insisted, the question was still open, and in January he issued an order to the state’s 68 probate judges, informing them that they had a “ministerial duty” to refuse licenses to same-sex couples until a state-level decision was handed down. It was this action that brought charges from the Judicial Inquiry Commission.
What Moore will do next is open to speculation and in the same report The New York Times quoted Jack Campbell, a Republican consultant and a former spokesman for the state Supreme Court as saying, “The last time he was kicked off as chief justice, he ran for governor. I don’t think he’s done.” We shall see.
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