Alabama Chief Justice Orders State Judges To Defy Federal Order, Block Same-Sex Marriages


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has directed state judges to ignore an explicit order of a federal court. A ruling by federal judge Ginny Granade required Alabama probate judges to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Monday. In an extraordinary show of defiance, Moore issued his own order telling the state probate judges to ignore the federal courts:


You can read Moore’s full order, issued late Sunday, here.

Moore’s move appears to be a flagrant violation of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. Granade ruled that “the state‚Äôs 1998 law and 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage” were unconstitutional. In conflicts between state and federal law, federal law is controlling.

It’s unclear how the 68 Alabama probate judges will respond.

Moore previously was removed as Chief Justice by a state ethics panel for “defying a federal judge’s order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.” He was reelected to the position in 2011.