Today, HRC Alabama blasted disgraced Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore for engaging in stall tactics to delay responding to charges by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission that his defiance of federal marriage equality rulings violated judicial ethics rules. After more than a year of trying to deny loving same-sex couples their constitutional right to marriage, it is well past time for Chief Justice Roy Moore to be censured for disregarding the laws of our nation.
“Roy Moore has repeatedly used his authority to discriminate against LGBTQ people and their families, and this latest stall tactic continues his reckless pattern of delaying justice and skirting the law at every opportunity,” said Eva Walton Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Manager. “This extension does not change the facts -- Moore is unfit to serve on the court, and we look forward to the day he is permanently removed.”
Since January 2015, when Alabama’s marriage ban was first struck down, Moore has consistently used his position on the state Supreme Court to block marriage equality in Alabama. After the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was overturned, Moore wrote to Governor Robert Bentley urging him to view the ruling as non-binding “judicial tyranny,” and informing the state’s probate judges that they could ignore the decision.
Moore caused havoc again in January when he issued another shameful order, claiming that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed national marriage equality, did not invalidate Alabama’s marriage equality ban. Moore justified his unconscionable position by asserting that state law allows him to "take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state." Despite his opposition to marriage equality, earlier this year Moore was forced to dismiss a final legal effort seeking to uphold the state’s marriage ban.
Moore is no stranger to this type of ethics complaint. In 2003, he was removed from the state’s Supreme Court for ignoring a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments replica from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. Moore is being represented by Mat Staver, of the Liberty Counsel -- an organization that has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).