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Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Suspended for Gay Rights Stance
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WASHINGTON - JUNE 8:  Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of The Alabama Supreme Court, testifies at a Senate Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights Subcommittee hearing, entitled "Beyond the Pledge of Allegiance: Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square." on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC  June 8, 2004. Moore was removed from office for refusing to take down a public display of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse.  (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post. 

Summary: Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has been suspended, effective immediately. 

Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore defied the federal order to recognize gay marriage, and this week, he has been officially suspended from the branch, AL.com reports.

  
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Moore’s trial was on Wednesday, and it concerned a January 6 administrative order to the state’s probate judges. Prosecutors claimed that Moore told the 68 judges to halt giving same-sex marriage licenses, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that declared gay marriage legal across the country.

This is not the only time that Moore’s religious beliefs trickled into his job as a judge. In 2003, Moore, 69, was also removed from his post for refusing to take away a Ten Commandments monument from a government building. Despite the controversy, he was reelected to Supreme Court Justice in 2012.

Today, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) voted to suspend Moore. The nine-member court ruled unanimously to remove him without pay. The court had several options as to what to do with the justice, and those options included acquittal and leave with pay.

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Moore’s term was supposed to end in 2019, and his lawyer stated that Moore plans to appeal.

Alabama will continue to have eight justices, with Justice Lyn Stuart as the Acting Chief Justice. Governor Robert Bently’s office said that he will not have an appointment to replace Moore at this time.



The COJ said that this case was not about whether or not they agreed that same-sex marriage should be legal. Instead, this was a case about the violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

“At the outset, this court emphasizes that this case is concerned only with alleged violations of the Canons of Judicial Ethics,” the COJ said. “This case is not about whether same-sex marriage should be permitted: indeed, we recognize that a majority of voters in Alabama adopted a constitutional amendment in 2006 banning same-sex marriage, as did a majority of states over the last 15 years.”

Alabama as well as other conservative states such as Texas are fighting the federal same-sex marriage ruling, and the case is still pending.

Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, expressed his disappointment that Moore only received a suspension. The civil rights organization had filed the complaint against Moore, which resulted in his recent trial.

“He (Moore) disgraced his office and undermined the integrity of the judiciary by putting his personal religious beliefs above his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution,”  Cohen stated. “Moore was elected to be a judge, not a preacher. It’s something that he never seemed to understand. The people of Alabama who cherish the rule of law are not going to miss the Ayatollah of Alabama.”

Source: AL.com



 

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