Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is back at it again by banning gay marriage in Alabama.
Going up against a federal law may seem like a fun, rebellious adventure — to go up against a constitutional law that trumps all states, but it also can lead you into trouble.
Usurping a federal law, is no threat for a man who was kicked out of the office in 2003 for refusing to comply with a federal court order that he remove a giant monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building. After he was kicked out of office, he ran for governor twice, until he won back office of chief justice in 2012.
It all started on January 6 when Judge Moore issued an administrative order declaring that “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage licenses” to same-sex couples.
Judge Moore is trying to make 67 probate courts stop issuing marriage licenses because he thinks that there was a confusion with the Obergefell v. Hodges case.
“The above cases reflect an elementary principle of federal jurisdiction: a judgment only binds the parties to the case before the court. A judgment or decree among parties to a lawsuit resolves issues as among them, but it does not conclude the rights of strangers to those proceedings… [N]o court can make a decree which will bind anyone but a party … no matter how broadly it words its decree,” stated Judge Moore in his orders.
Moore feels that the Obergefell case is binding only on the parties who were included in that case, and who weren’t from Alabama. In reality, there was not any confusion at all because the Obergefell case clearly made same-sex marriage legal everywhere in the nation. Judge Moore is simply trying to cause confusion where it never existed. Moore is making the situation even worse by getting the probate court confused.
“Out of 67 probate judges in Alabama, 13 were not issuing marriage licenses to any couple – gay or straight – as of Thursday afternoon,” American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama’s Susan Watson told MSNBC last week.
Even though most of the probate courts in Alabama are ignoring Chief Justice Moore, 13 of them are not. Although this may not seem like a problem to most people who aren’t from Alabama or to people who aren’t from those counties, this is still a huge problem to those same-sex couples who are trying to get married in those counties. Couples who lives in rural areas would have to drive 100 miles on country roads to get to a county that is issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It isn’t fair that they have to go through this just to be married to someone they love.
Also, many protests have erupted both in opposition and in favor of Judge Moore’s actions and statements. Back in 2006, 81 percent of Alabama citizens voted for an amendment to be added to the state’s constitution to define marriage as being only between man and woman. It’s also known as Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendments.
“This is just another example of Roy Moore defending the people of Alabama,” stated by Young Dean, a supporter of Judge Moore told reporter Kelly Poe from AL.
I think Young did have a point when he brought up the vote, but then again that was in 2006, and the issue of gay marriage was resolved in June 2015 during the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. The Supreme Court Decision was a 5-4 ruling which legalized gay marriage nationwide. Also, the courts ruled that states cannot ban gay marriage.
Roy Moore is defying the government’s laws again just as he did in 2003. Judge Moore knows the fact that federal laws trump all state laws, but he’s just not respecting them. I think that this is one of the main reason why the Supreme Court has not gotten involved and that many of the courts in Alabama have ignored Judge Moore’s statement. There is no use for Judge Moore to even continue the fight against gay marriage when his statement will just be ignored by the Supreme Court because have made the final decision. Judge Moore could try to go up against the Supreme Court, but it’s less likely that they will ever hear his case.
Before making any statements or orders, Judge Moore should’ve discussed it with the probate courts and the citizens in Alabama first. I know the 2006 vote clearly meant that the citizens wanted marriage between man and woman only. 697,591 people in Alabama was in favor of the amendment, while 161,694 opposed the amendment.
Despite the fact that only 161,694 opposed the amendment, their voices should still matter. Judge Moore shouldn’t just not think about the people who do support gay marriage in Alabama; because their voices should be heard as well.
Even though the Supreme Court is not going to get involved, because Judge Moore won’t get anywhere on trying to ban the law, he should, at least, get punished for confusing the state and for trying to defy the Supreme Court law. Moore should get a suspension or possibly get removed from office.
Judge Moore is just trying to be above the federal laws, because he feels as though the Supreme Court’s laws do not count in Alabama. This is his second time defying the Supreme Court. He was removed from office previously, and if he continues to pull this stunt and just make decisions on his own he should just be removed from office again.
Moore’s actions only harm Alabama. What he does reflects his state and the people of the state. There are plenty of people in Alabama and outside of Alabama who agree with him, but he still needs to think about the people who oppose him and his decisions. After all, their perspective is the legally supported one.