Alabama Chief Justice battles ethics charges after abusing authority to block gay weddings
Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore appeared in court this week to battle ethics charges brought against him over his crusade against gay weddings.
After the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of equal marriage last summer, Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore tried to actively disregard the rulings – issuing a number of judicial orders to officials in a brazen attempt to re-ban gay weddings.
He declared the Supreme Court rulings “doesn’t apply” in Alabama due to state anti-gay laws and ordered probate judges to enforce a gay marriage ban – but soon learned the hard way you can’t just ignore the highest court in America.
Moore was indefinitely suspended after the Judicial Inquiry Commission launched action against him for his string of illegal orders – and is facing a trial on the allegations that he “flagrantly disregarding and abusing his authority” in his crusade against gay weddings.
The justice appeared in court this week to battle six charges of ethics violations that could see him removed from the bench for a second time.
In 2003, Moore was removed from the same job after refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument in the secular judicial building, despite an order from a federal court and the constitutional separation of church and state.
Moore was later re-elected by voters in 2012.
The justice claims he is being targeted for his religious views, while opponents say action is being brought because he ignored federal court orders and established law to pursue his own petty agenda, trying to block gay weddings.
Moore is represented by the same law firm as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.
His lawyer Mat Staver insisted: “The Judicial Inquiry Commission abused its authority when it filed charges against Chief Justice Roy Moore.
“The charges should never have been filed and must be dismissed.
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“The JIC knows that it has no case and refuses to face the reality of the four-page administrative order, which any plain reading reveals did not direct the probate judges to disobey the U.S. Supreme Court. The JIC’s charges are full of colorful adjectives and lacking in substance.”
Despite Staver’s claim that Moore did not try to re-ban gay weddings, it is a matter of objective, indisputable fact and public record that he did.
Following the SCOTUS ruling, Moore wrote in an order: “IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED THAT: Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”
Moore has never until now tried to deny the root of his actions.
Last year he said: “They’re toying with something that’s like dynamite, that will destroy our country. I think eventually, over a period of time, it will.”
“It definitely will, because the gender, the homosexual movement, is to force acceptance of this on everybody.”