Roy Moore, Alabama’s quixotic chief justice, faces removal from the bench once again.
The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission charged Moore with six counts of violating judicial ethics Friday evening for issuing an order in January that blocked marriage licenses for same-sex couples statewide.
In its 32-page complaint on Friday, the state’s disciplinary board for judges said Moore had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” by issuing the order and “abandoned his role as a neutral and detached chief administrator of the judicial system.”
Moore struck a defiant note in response to the charges, which he blamed on local LGBT activists. The Montgomery Advertiser has more:
In a statement Friday, Moore said the JIC “had no authority” over administrative orders related to probate judges.
“The JIC has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda,” the statement said. “We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail.”
Moore called the complaints “politically motivated” at an April 27 presser conference. His attorney, Matt Staver, said the orders reflected "a disagreement between state and federal courts on an issue.”
Moore’s January order followed a complex legal battle over marriage equality in Alabama. First, a federal district court struck down Alabama’s bans on same-sex marriages in February 2015, but stayed its ruling while U.S. Supreme Court considered the issue in Obergefell v. Hodges. The following month, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the marriage bans in a separate case and ordered the probate judges in the state to comply with them.