by Micah J. Fleck
Chief Justice of Alabama Roy Moore has been removed from his duties after defying the Supreme Court’s recent marriage ruling and refusing to legally officiate gay marriages.
According to the Associated Press:
The nine-member Alabama Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore without pay for the remainder of his term. While the court stopped short of outright removing him as they did in 2003, the punishment has the same effect, ending his rule as Alabama’s top jurist.
The judiciary court ruled that Moore defied law already clearly settled by the high court’s Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling when he told Alabama’s probate judges six months later that they were still bound by a 2015 state court order to deny marriage licenses to gays and lesbians.
“Beyond question, at the time he issued the January 6, 2016, order, Chief Justice Roy Moore knew about Obergefell and its clear holding that the United States Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry,” the court wrote in the unanimous decision.
They said Moore also flouted a federal judge’s order that enjoined the judges from enforcing Alabama’s same sex marriage ban after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.
The 50-page decision indicated that a majority of justices wanted to completely remove Moore — not just suspend him without pay — but they lacked unanimous agreement.
Moore said the decision violates the standards of evidence and the requirement of a unanimous vote to remove a judge, and his lawyer announced an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.
It “clearly reflects the corrupt nature of our political and legal system at our highest level,” Moore said in a statement. “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as chief justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”
Moore had previously gotten into trouble for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments on public property that he was federally ordered to take down a decade ago.