Chief Justice Roy Moore took his white robes into his own hands today and ordered a stop to same-sex-marriages in the state of Alabama despite the fact that any ban would violate the United States Supreme Court ruling last June in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order today saying that a ruling issued last March by the Alabama Supreme Court remains in effect and that probate judges “have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary” to Alabama’s law and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
In a four-page administrative order, Moore said the conflict between the state court ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June has caused “confusion and uncertainty” among probate judges.
Moore said he issued the order today in his role as administrative head of the state court system. He quoted a state law that says the chief justice is empowered to “take affirmative and appropriate action to correct or alleviate any condition or situation adversely affecting the administration of justice within the state.”
Moore wrote that since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that many Alabama probate judges are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while others are issuing licenses only to opposite-sex couples or not issuing licenses at all.
On January 28, 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a judicial ethics complaint against Moore, stating that he had publicly commented on pending same-sex marriage cases and encouraged state officials and judges to ignore federal court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage.
That case is till pending.