Monday, February 09, 2015

Judge Roy Moore of Alabama

You all remember Judge Roy Moore. He's the Chief Justice of the  Alabama Supreme Court who defied a federal court order to remove a monument of the 10 Commandments from the courthouse. As a result he was subsequently remove from his position as Chief Justice.

He then spent a few years trying to become governor but even the people in Alabama aren't that stupid and he usually lost big in the Republican primary.

Then the Republican Party nominated him again for Chief Justice and of course he won.

Now Roy Moore has the pleasure of residing over the establishment of gay marriage in Alabama. To say that he is kicking and screaming in an attempt to stop it from happening would be a serious understatement.

On Sunday night Moore sent a memo to all county probate judges in Alabama, the folks responsible for issuing marriage licenses and performing civil ceremonies, that they were not required to obey the directive handed down by a federal court stating that the laws banning same sex marriage in Alabama were not to be enforced.

Moore's rationale was that the court order was directed to the attorney general "...and all his officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them..." The attorney general is part of the executive branch while the probate judges are part of the judicial branch therefore they aren't bound by the court order.

And they wonder why people hate lawyers?

About 60% of the counties in Alabama appear to be ignoring Moore and issuing licenses and performing same sex weddings. The remaining counties appear to not be doing so. Whether that is in obedience to Moore or for some other reason is unknown.

So now we have the situation of a Chief Justice of a state supreme court claiming that a federal court order, the intention of which is perfectly clear even if one can nit pick the language, need not be obeyed by county probate judges and most of the county probate judges ignoring that directive from the Chief Justice of the state.

All I have to say to Judge Moore is Orval Faubus. He was the governor of Arkansas that made the mistake of trying to block a federal court order to integrate the schools using the Alabama National Guard. Faubus got to make the acquaintance of the 101st Airborne Division which President Eisenhower sent in to enforce the order after he nationalized the Alabama National Guard and ordered them to return to their armories.

I doubt that sort of action will be necessary here. Hopefully Governor Bentley of Alabama will figure out a way to shut Moore up and return some sanity to the situation.

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