The penalty for Judge Roy Moore ordering Alabama judges to ignore the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling has been decided: he will be suspended without pay until his term is up:
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary Friday suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for the rest of his term, saying he violated judicial ethics in a Jan. 6 order that said the state’s probate judges had a “ministerial duty” to not issue same-sex marriage licenses, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court said bans against the practice were unconstitutional.
Moore, an outspoken social conservative, argued in the order that the Alabama Supreme Court was still dealing with a lawsuit brought against same-sex marriage prior to the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, and had not ruled on its effect in Alabama. The state’s probate judges largely ignored the order, but the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission did not.
The JIC charged Moore May 6 with ethics violations, including failing to act with impartiality and failure to follow clear law. The charged led to Moore’s immediate suspension as Alabama chief justice.
Moore and his attorneys argued the order was meant as guidance to probate judges, but attorneys for the JIC said Moore was urging defiance of the federal judiciary.
The order from the Court of the Judiciary takes effect immediately. Moore’s term runs through 2019.
The reason for the suspension rather than the firing is because the votes in the Court of the Judiciary had to be unanimous and, well, they weren’t. So somebody wanted a mandatory lame duck Chief Justice in Alabama, and apparently also didn’t think that defying the Supreme Court was that big of a deal. Ugh.
Now the even shittier news: Moore is probably going to run for governor of Alabama, and there’s a decent shot a guy who’s twice been sanctioned for misconduct in his present role will get elected. It’s funny how pretty much every one of his supporters pisses and moans about “activist judges” whenever they see a ruling they don’t like. Yet, here’s an unquestionably activist judge who breaks the law in ways they like and they couldn’t love him more (pun intended).
If only the bible said something about hypocrites, right?