Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Again Proves He is Unfit for the Bench

Anti-gay extremist and modern day Pharisee Roy Moore
One of the most basic things that one learns in law school - actually in most high school government classes - is that the United States Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court rulings on federal constitutional issues trump ALL of the state constitutions and the rulings of state supreme courts.  Yet this simple concept is too much for mental midget and religious nutcase Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore who today released an order basically directing all Alabama probate judges (whose offices issue marriage licenses) to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hughes, that struck down ALL state gay marriage bans.  Moore is unfit for the bench - and I mean any court position - and needs to be permanently removed from the Alabama Supreme Court.  He is an embarrassment to the State of Alabama and makes a mockery of the judicial system.  As I have often noted, Alabama was far more sane 30+ years ago when I lived there compared to now when the state government seems controlled by ignorance embracing Christofascists.  Thankfully, some of the state's probate judges are ignoring Moore's invalid order.  The New Civil Rights Movement has details.  Here are highlights:
Wednesday morning Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order claiming the Supreme Court's ruling last June that found a constitutional right to marriage by same-sex couples applies only to the four states that were a party to the Obergefell lawsuit. It's a legal tactic the federal courts will at some point soon be forced into, but for now, according to Justice Moore, probate judges are not to be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Of course, if a probate judge actually follow's Moore's order, they may find themselves the defendant in a federal lawsuit.

For now, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, who was the subject of a related lawsuit over marriage licenses for same-sex couples, is once again refusing to issue licenses to any couples, as Buzzfeed reports
“Well, we have closed,” Russell Davidson, a supervisor of the court’s division that handles marriage licenses, told BuzzFeed News. “At this time, we are not issuing any licenses until further notice.”
But Montgomery County is taking a different course of action. One employee told Buzzfeed they “are issuing licenses until further notice. Our marriage department is open.”

And Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed posted this tweet in response to Justice Moore's decree:
Judge Moore's latest charade is just sad & pathetic. My office will ignore him & this.
DeKalb, Limestone, Marshall, Lauderdale, Morgan, and Franklin Counties are all issuing licenses to all couples. Madison County is accepting applications but not issuing licenses until further notice. 

Meanwhile, the ACLU has some advice for Justice Moore and the probate judges of Alabama: this has already been decided in federal court.

And State Rep. Patricia Todd, who is Alabama's first openly-gay lawmaker, notes the same, that "Probate Judges are under a federal court order to adhere to the SCOTUS decision. If they follow Moore's lead they can and will be held in contempt in federal court." She told the Montgomery Advertiser if Judge Moore "wants to waste the taxpayers' money, go ahead, but we're not going backwards."

Mobile is a very nice city and Don Davis is seriously harming the city's reputation.  I'd also add that as a member of the Alabama State Bar,  I believe it is time for the Bar to call for Moore's removal from the Alabama Supreme Court.

No comments: