Tuesday, October 4, 2016
We reported in August, 2015, about the resistance of some Alabama judges to implementing Obergefell. Behind the resistance was Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore. Last week Justice Moore was suspended from office by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for refusing to implement same sex marriage and instructing others not to issue marriage licenses. Justice Moore was suspended without pay and he will remain unpaid for the next six years. At the end of the term, he will be too old to run for chief judge.
Moore used a tired rationalization to disguise his prejudice toward those who are not heterosexual. He argued that the federal government lacked authority to direct the states. In suspending the judge, the judiciary noted that Moore was not the only one on the Supreme Court who disagreed personally with the Obergefell ruling. But, the Court noted, "This Court simply does not have the authority to reexamine those issues."
This is the second time Moore has been relieved of his duties as a Supreme Court Justice. In 2003 he was removed from office for refusing to remove a replica of the ten commandments from display in the State Judiciary building. Again he claimed that he was not bound by federal authority.
In a culture where judges and others refuse to accept federal authority, we can only imagine the depth of difficulties encountered by advocates when advancing global human rights principles.