Friday, September 30, 2016

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Suspended From Office Over Same-Sex Marriage Order

Alabama's 9-member Court of the Judiciary today unanimously concluded that Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore violated various Canons of Judicial Ethics in issuing an order to state probate judges telling them they had a duty under Alabama law to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court's decision finding that denial of marriage licences to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The Court of the Judiciary also found that Moore should have recused himself in a subsequent case involving same-sex marriage.  The Court suspended Moore from office for the remaining two years of his term.  As reported by NPR, Moore's age will disqualify him from again running for the state Supreme Court in 2018.  A majority of the court voted to completely remove Moore from office, but removal rather than suspension requires a unanimous vote.  In the 50-page opinion in In re Roy S. Moore, (AL Ct. Jud., Sept. 30, 2016), the Court of the Judiciary also took into account the fact that Moore had in 2003 been the subject of proceedings that removed him from office after his resistance to court orders relating to a Ten Commandments monument.