Alabama chief justice may be sacked for trying to scupper gay marriage
The chief justice in Alabama, Roy Moore, may be sacked for his efforts to block same-sex marriage in his state.
Moore has been indefinitely suspended after the Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a formal complaint against him.
The Commission says he “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” by trying to block equal marriage.
After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage last summer, Moore instructed probate judges to ignore the ruling.
He declared the Supreme Court ruling “doesn’t apply”, but was immediately smacked down by a federal judge who clarified that the probate judges could not just ignore the ruling by the highest court in America.
Moore was suspended following the complaint on 6 May and faces a hearing before the Court of the Judiciary.
The 69-year-old may be found guilty, and could be removed from his office.
“By issuing his unilateral order of January 6, 2016, Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed in all states as declared by the United States Court in Obergefell,” the Commission said in the charges.
However Moore has not taken the charges lightly, saying the Commission has no authority to file a complaint against him.
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He said the Commission had “chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda.”
The chief justice also denied that he had ever put in writing his instruction to ignore the Supreme Court ruling, saying: “This is about legalism… There is nothing in writing that you will find that I told anybody to disobey a federal court order.”
Moore was in 2003 removed from office for refusing to remove a monument to the ten commandments he had installed in the state judicial building.
He was then re-elected in 2012.
The Souther Poverty Law Center has said “for the good of the state he should be kicked out of office”, and that he has “disgraced his office for far too long”.
Earlier this month, Moore said on camera that the complaint against him was brought by “mentally ill” transgender people.