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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 7, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 41
Anti-Gay Judge Roy Moore sacked, files appeal
Section One
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Anti-Gay Judge Roy Moore sacked, files appeal

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Judge Roy Moore was suspended from his post for the remainder of his term by the state's judicial oversight body on September 30. Moore's attorneys at Liberty Counsel announced on October 5 that they would appeal the decision.

Alabama's Court of the Judiciary (COJ) said Moore flouted the US Constitution when he ordered Alabama state judges to continue to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples even after the US Supreme Court issued its Obergefell decision allowing Gay and Lesbian couples to marry.

'Beyond question, at the time he issued the January 6, 2016, order, Chief Justice Roy Moore knew about Obergefell and its clear holding that the United States Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry,' the court wrote in the unanimous decision.

The judiciary court's decision said Moore's January 6 order to the probate judges showed 'disregard for binding federal law.'

Moore is now 69, and Alabama law forbids people to run for judicial positions after they reach the age of 70, so he has effectively been barred from any future judicial posts.

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that 'the Court of the Judiciary has done the citizens of Alabama a great service by suspending Roy Moore from the bench.'

Mat Staver, CEO of Liberty Counsel and Moore's attorney in this case, called the court's action a 'miscarriage of justice' and filed an appeal.

'Liberty Counsel and the Chief Justice have appealed this case to the Alabama Supreme Court. These baseless charges should be dismissed, and the Chief Justice should be reinstated,' Staver said in a statement.

'To suspend Chief Justice Moore for the duration of his term is a miscarriage of justice and the same as removal. The COJ lacked the unanimous votes to remove the Chief, so the majority instead chose to ignore the law and the rules. We will continue the fight for justice to prevail in this case.'

Moore had previously been removed from the Chief Judge post in 2003, after disobeying a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Supreme Court building in Montgomery. The COJ cited this incident as evidence of a pattern of behavior showing disrespect for federal law.

Moore then ran for governor of Alabama in 2006 and 2010 but failed to win the Republican nomination. He was re-elected Chief Judge in 2012.

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