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Alabama Chief Justice Suspended for Blocking Gay Marriage

Roy Moore

The state’s judiciary commission will determine whether to remove judge Roy Moore from office—for a second time.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended from his post as the state's highest judge last week after repeated efforts to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission accused Moore Friday of advising the state's probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples--despite district court rulings leading up to Obergefell v. Hodges and after.

"Justice Moore, under the guise of his administrative authority as chief justice, unilaterally issued an order to all probate judges that they continue to have a ministerial duty ... to enforce the Alabama marriage laws against same-sex couples," read the 293-page complaint.

Moore was suspended and removed as chief justice in 2003 after he refused a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building. He was reelected in 2012.

Before his suspension, Moore responded to ethics complaints against him during an April 27 news conference. "This is not about any wrongdoing that I have done," he said. "This is not about ethics. This is about marriage."

He continued, "We're in a serious time in our country. We're at a time when people just a few year ago would have been ascribed a mental illness, a mental disorder .... This is about judicial independence, about the power of a justice to speak."

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary will rule on the commission's complaints.

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