Lambda Legal Commends Suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore

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September 30, 2016
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Roy Moore

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ) issued an order today suspending Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore from the bench for the remainder of his term after a unanimous vote of the nine-member board.

The decision comes after Moore directed probate judges to disregard federal orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s enthusiasm for flouting the rulings of our federal courts and his willingness to cast aside the principles embedded in the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics has harmed the integrity of the Alabama court system and the legitimacy of its rulings.

Chief Justice Moore is Exhibit A for why we shouldn’t elect judges in the first place.

Moore was re-elected after being removed from the bench, repeatedly and loudly vilifying LGBT people on the campaign trail. He ran for his seat on an anti-marriage equality platform, predicting that a ruling would “cause the destruction of our country” and would generate a “great backlash.”

Moore has even managed to work his anti-LGBT demagoguery into a legal decision by citing scripture in a 2002 judicial opinion in a child custody case that shockingly referred to lesbian parents as “immoral,” “detestable,” “an inherent evil,” and “inherently destructive to the natural order of society."

Roy Moore’s defiance of federal law, his overtly political actions and his disparaging statements about LGBT people contravene his ethical obligations. We are pleased by the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s decision. The people of Alabama deserve better from the head of their state judiciary.

Justice Out of Balance, a report published by Lambda Legal on Wednesday, examined all cases involving LGBT issues in state high courts since 2003 and found that the election of judges and stunning lack of diversity on state courts threaten the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Read the press release.