Tony Perkins: Just Because Roy Moore Ordered Judges To Defy SCOTUS Doesn’t Mean He Defied SCOTUS

Via press release:

Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore is probably one of the few judges who’s been cross-examined as much as his witnesses. The unapologetic constitutionalist has been under the microscope plenty of times in his long career — including a 2003 showdown over a Ten Commandments monument that he refused to remove from the court grounds. Now, the Left’s judicial target is back in their crosshairs, with another politically-motivated smear campaign.

What we know about the complaint is this: Southern Poverty Law Center is behind it. After the U.S. Supreme Court forced a radical redefinition of marriage on the entire country last summer, Justice Moore fought it with every legitimate judicial tool at his disposal. And while some have accused him of defying the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage, the reality is that Moore was simply holding out until an official decision was reached in his state.

Didn’t the Supreme Court already make that determination for Alabama in Obergefell? The answer is yes and no. Last spring, before five justices decided to rewrite thousands of years of natural law, the Alabama Supreme Court had upheld the state’s marriage amendment. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, there’s some confusion as to what the state’s decision means in light of that, and Chief Justice Moore has merely pointed out this lack of clarity. Until it rules, Chief Justice Moore has told probate judges to continue to follow his administrative order from last March: “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”

Of course, the Left is spinning that to mean that Moore is defying the Supreme Court — and now, they’ve gotten their SPLC cronies to help level ethics charges at the Justice because of it. Last Friday, the Judicial Inquiry Commission decided to suspend Justice Moore without pay until he himself is tried. “Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority,” the Commission insisted. “Moore knowingly ordered probate judges to commit violations… knowingly subjecting them to potential prosecution and removal from office.” The record will show Chief Justice Moore has done no such thing. What he has done is defend and represent the actual state of the law. His opponents just don’t like the policy implications of his legal arguments!