Friday, August 05, 2016

Court Applies Younger Abstention To Alabama Chief Justice's Suit Over Temporary Removal

In Moore v. Judicial Inquiry Commission of the State of Alabama, (MD AL, Aug. 4, 2016), an Alabama federal district court, applying the Younger abstention doctrine, dismissed a suit brought by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore challenging a provision of the Alabama Constitution that provides a judge formally charged with misconduct shall be disqualified from acting as a judge while the complaint is pending.  Moore is charged with judicial misconduct because of his issuance, after the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, of an administrative order to all probate judges telling them that they had a duty under Alabama law to continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. (See prior posting.)   As reported by the Washington Times, Alabama is the only state with an automatic removal provision for judges charged with misconduct.   A hearing before the Judicial Inquiry Commission on the case is scheduled for Monday.