The Associated Press reports:
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore should be removed from office for defying the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage, a lawyer for a disciplinary commission argued on Wednesday.
R. Ashby Pate, a lawyer for the Judicial Inquiry Commission, said marriage equality was settled law in all 50 states when Moore told Alabama’s 68 probate judges in January that they remained bound by his court’s order to refuse the licenses to same-sex couples.
A federal judge had already clarified this for Alabama’s judges, citing the Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling in an injunction telling them to drop the state’s ban, Pate said.
“His order sowed confusion. It did not clear it up. He urged defiance, not compliance,” Pate told the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. “He ordered each and every subordinate probate judge to defy a federal injunction.”
Moore did acknowledge in a testy cross-examination, however, that he told probate judges to follow the very same state court order that a federal judge specifically said they could no longer enforce.
The nine-member court has 10 days to rule on whether Moore violated judicial ethics, and what punishment he should face if so. A decision to remove him from the bench must be unanimous.
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