• Source: File
  • UPDATING: Alabama Chief Justice Issues Order Blocking Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

    Chief Justice Roy Moore Claims Previous Order Issued To Probate Judges In March Remains In Effect

    The Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court Wednesday morning issued an order to all probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Judge Roy Moore claims a previous order issued by his court in March remains in effect, and warns those judges that they "have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary" to Alabama state law and its constitution.

    Justice 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," AL.com reports.

    The Decateur Daily adds that "Moore's order found that a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down laws banning same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee did not necessarily affect Alabama's similar laws."

    "Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect," Moore stated.

    For now it is unclear if same-sex couples can still obtain marriage licenses in Alabama via other venues. Stay tuned.

    All updates are in Eastern Standard Time:

    UPDATE I: 1:36 PM –

    UPDATE II: 1:44 PM –
    Moore is claiming the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell last June applied only to Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, the states that comprise the 6th Circuit, and which ultimately became the Obergefell case. 

    Moore points to three recent decisions from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that he says state the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision only applies to those four states from the 6th Circuit.

    UPDATE III: 1:55 PM –
    Two attorneys weigh in:

    UPDATE IV: 2:00 PM –
    The Southern Poverty Law Center just sent this statement from Senior Staff Attorney Scott McCoy to The New Civil Rights Movement:

    "Chief Justice Roy Moore today issued a dead letter. In no way does his administrative order supersede Judge Granade’s federal injunction prohibiting probate judges from enforcing discriminatory Alabama marriage laws. If probate judges violate the injunction, they can be held in contempt. This is Moore yet again confusing his role as chief justice with his personal anti-LGBT agenda."

    UPDATE V: 5:23 PM –

    Some Alabama Judges Obey Chief Justice's Order Banning Same-Sex Marriage, Some Hysterically Defy It


    This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.


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    • commented 2016-01-07 18:00:46 -0500
      no one is above the law! Lock him up!

    • commented 2016-01-07 13:19:43 -0500
      Southern Poverty Law Center Calls for Chief Justice Moore Removal ~ Again!
      Originally removed from office 13 years ago refusing to comply with a previous Federal mandate.


    • commented 2016-01-07 13:13:33 -0500
      So your Honor, it’s ok to marry your cousins and sister and a minor but same sex is wrong, hmmmm? Sounds about right, hope a church falls on your sanctimonious arse lol

    • commented 2016-01-07 01:42:27 -0500
      So tell me, is Alabama an independent country or is it one of the United States of America, is it exempt from the Federal Court rulings / laws ? Does the United States need to draw attention from the rest of the civilised world simply because some power hungry Bible bashing White Male is determined to have his own way! Stand up and be counted just look at The United Kingdom and Europe!

    • commented 2016-01-06 21:07:27 -0500
      Roy Moore needs a good ‘bitch slapping’ from the Feds!!!!!!

    • commented 2016-01-06 21:05:48 -0500
      Roy Moore needs a good ‘bitch slapping’ from the Feds!!!!!!

    • commented 2016-01-06 19:21:31 -0500
      Toy Moore. Everyone knows you’re just a hateful asshat. Give up your pointless fight already. Tired of your ilk wasting tax payer dollars.

    • commented 2016-01-06 17:01:19 -0500
      First, it’s an “administrative order” (NOT “executive”); higher courts routinely issue them to courts they oversee all the time, but they usually are “per curiam” (unsigned, by the court as as whole) — NOT issued by the chief justice personally.

      Second, it’s “ministerial” (NOT “minstrel”) duty, which has a specific legal meaning unrelated to ministers OR minstrels: The license issuer is required to issue marriage licenses to ANY couple he/she finds is legally entitled to the license. In Alabama, probate judges have been found to have this kind of duty DESPITE the “may” language in the marriage law itself. (Here in Arkansas, that duty is explicitly imposed on county clerks by state law.) After Obergefell (and the injunction from Mobile), this is actually why probate judges MUST issue otherwise valid same-sex marriage licenses, no matter what Roy Moore or the Alabama Constitution says.

      Finally, Arkansas was one of the three states subject to those 8th Circuit orders, but they did NOT say Obergefell did not apply here. In fact, the 8th Circuit had one of the few precedents that actually AGREED with the 6th Circuit (and was acknowledged as such in Obergefell), 2006’s Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning. The 8th Circuit rulings acknowledged that Obergefell changed case law in the 8th Circuit, thus reversing specific findings in each lower-court case upholding Bruning (as precedent then required) ONLY on the narrow legal claims it was based on, finding instead that the plaintiffs “won” on those grounds since Obergefell overruled Bruning. The alternative findings in each case that were used to permit same-sex marriage on legal grounds NOT argued in Bruning were all dismissed as “moot” ONLY because the plaintiffs were now all winners on Bruning’s legal grounds instead. Thus, the 8th Circuit explicitly ruled that Obergefell DOES apply here. (The Arkansas Supreme Court said basically the same thing when it dismissed an appeal of the state-court case legalizing same-sex marriage here — which it had previously stayed and then left in legal limbo for months, leading to accusations of chicanery — the very same day Obergefell was handed down. Unlike Roy Moore, they knew when they were beat!)

    • commented 2016-01-06 16:00:04 -0500
      Executive orders are meant for emergency situations, not presidents wanting to circumvent the democratic process. The Supreme Court, of this once great nation, is making laws, as is the executive branch. Judge Moore understands both are criminals. iI is the legislative that makes laws, not judges, not presidents. Nations are made by like-minded people, people with the same objectives, goals, dreams, aspirations. America has become a Balkanized nation, a nation of groups, fighting each other, no longer united. We should be called the Notunited States, Notunited People. More armed white Christian men standing for their group against a power hungry government, more destruction of private property in inner cities, civil war on the horizon, globalism against the rising tide of nationalism, individualism against multi-everythingism. Yeah – Judge Moore for standing in the gate against the rising tide of the barbarian ungodly hoards.

    • commented 2016-01-06 15:25:13 -0500
      He needs to be taken into custody by federal marshals.

    • commented 2016-01-06 15:09:59 -0500
      This is not an Obama thing.
      A higher court could disbar the judge.
      Which considering this action – Openly disregarding the decision of a higher court… Disbarment is certainly an option.
      That would not remove him from his elected position, but he’d no longer be allowed to render any binding legal decisions.

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:53:55 -0500
      Yea Alabama go ahead! You’ll just do fine on your own without federal funds!

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:43:27 -0500
      The probate judges will ignore this ruling, because they do not want to be held in contempt of federal court. He knows it, they know it; its just a way of increasing his bona fides with the conservative voters in his state.

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:14:48 -0500
      Alabama Chief Justice needs to go to jail…
      I hope he gets a REALLY friendly cellmate.

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:12:22 -0500
      Michael Rabara, quoting the Obergefell opinion, hits the nail on the head: “The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States.” All means all, Mr. Chief Justice. You’re entitled to your beliefs, but you may not impose them upon your states’ citizens.

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:05:11 -0500

      The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and six associate justices.
      Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Governor after first
      being reviewed by the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, and
      then being confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. To be eligible
      for appointment, a person must have been a member of the State Bar of California
      or a judge of a court in this state for at least 10 years.
      A Supreme Court justice serves a 12-year term. A new justice filling a predecessor’s
      unexpired term must stand for confirmation at the next gubernatorial election after his or her appointment.

    • commented 2016-01-06 14:01:03 -0500
      @john Dixon
      Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is within the President’s purview. Aren’t state supreme court judges elected officials (they are in California, and must seek reelection when their term ends), so this judge can only be removed by recall, or impeachment..

    • commented 2016-01-06 13:55:06 -0500
      I would love to see Obama demand Moore’s immediate resignation.

    • commented 2016-01-06 13:48:00 -0500
      Justice Kennedy further states:

      “As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

      They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

      It is so ordered."

    • commented 2016-01-06 13:42:53 -0500
      Obergefell vs. Hodges
      Majority Opinion of the Court
      Page 28

      “As counsel for the respondents acknowledged at argument, if States are required by the Constitution to issue
      marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the justifications for refusing to recognize those marriages performed elsewhere are undermined. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 2, p. 44. The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court also must hold—and it now does hold—that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character..”

    • commented 2016-01-06 13:40:50 -0500
      There is no minstrel duty for judges, a judges job is secular not pastoral

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