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January 7, 2016

Judge Roy Moore Once Again Defies Federal Ruling

He told the state’s probate judges to uphold state marriage law.

It’s possible that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued his order about same-sex marriage for the same reasons he defied federal orders in 2003 to remove a copy of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Judicial building. On Wednesday, Moore issued an administrative order telling the state’s probate judges to uphold the state law when it comes to marriage — a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. “Probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue licenses contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” Justice Moore wrote. The judge said that his court was still analyzing how the Supreme Court ruling from the summer that declared same-sex marriage the law of the land affects his state’s law. He saw confusion amongst the probate judges charged with issuing marriage licenses. Some of them were following SCOTUS’ order. Others followed Alabama law and others still refused to issue any kind of marriage license. “This disparity affects the administration of justice in this state,” Justice Moore wrote, also saying in his order that Obergefell v. Hodges only affected the states involved in the original suit, namely Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. When Justice Moore defied a federal order telling him to remove a granite monument to the Ten Commandments and other words foundational to our nation, he did so while evoking the Tenth Amendment, the one that says powers not delegated to the federal government via the Constitution are reserved for the states, and the people. That applies to marriage definitions and granite monuments.

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