Federal Judge Dismisses Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Challenging Suspension From Bench

Moore-pdMONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge has dismissed a federal lawsuit filed by attorneys for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore challenging the constitutionality of the charges leveled against the “Ten Commandments Judge” and seeking his immediate reinstatement to the bench.

U.S. District Court Judge W. Harold Albritton issued a notice that he was dismissing the suit because he does not believe that federal courts should intervene in state proceedings.

“Chief Justice Moore has asked this federal court to hold that the disqualification provision of the Judicial Article of the Alabama Constitution violates his due process rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and to enjoin its enforcement and reinstate him fully to his service as Chief Justice while the charges against him are proceeding,” he wrote.

“He has chosen not to allow the state courts to determine his federal constitutional challenges, but instead to ask this federal court to act,” Albritton continued. “This court, out of respect for the state court’s proceedings for determining discipline of the state’s elected judges, in the manner provided by the state’s own constitution, declines to do so.”

As previously reported, Moore was suspended from the bench in May and now faces possible removal after the homosexual advocacy groups Southern Poverty Law Center, People for the American Way, the Human Rights Campaign, and a drag queen who goes by the name Ambrosia Starling, pressed the JIC to take action against Moore.

The situation began in 2013 when two lesbians in the state sued Gov. Robert Bentley, Attorney General Luther Strange and Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis—among others—in an attempt to overturn Alabama’s marriage amendment after one of the women was denied from adopting the other woman’s child.

In January 2015, U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade ruled in favor of the women, prompting Moore to send a memo to probate judges throughout the state, advising that they are not required to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples as he believed that Grenade’s ruling only applied to the two women.

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“[N]othing in the orders of Judge Grenadae requires Alabama probate judges to issue marriage licenses that are illegal in Alabama,” he wrote. “Pursuant to … the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Alabama probate judges are not subject to those orders because the probate judges are not parties or associated with any party in those cases.”

“[T]he injunction and the stay or the lifting thereof can only apply to the sole defendant, the Alabama attorney general,” Moore said. “I urge you to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution and the Constitution of the United States to the best of your ability. So help you God.”

Moore also wrote a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley, urging him to “uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity.”

“Be advised that I will stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority,” he stated.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) then filed a judicial ethics complaint against Moore over his letter to Gov. Bentley, and the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) submitted 28,000 petition signatures to the JIC calling for Moore’s removal.

As confusion ensued over Moore’s letter to probate judges, one judge, John Enslen of Elmore County, asked the full Alabama Supreme Court for further guidance. In March 2015, six of the nine judges of the Alabama Supreme Court released a historic order halting the issuance of same-sex “marriage” licenses in the state. Moore recused himself from the matter and was not included in the order.

“As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman,” the 148-page order read. “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”

In January, Moore sent another letter advising that the full court’s would remain in effect until it issued directives in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“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,” he wrote on Jan. 6.

He also noted that his order does not weigh in on how June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling has impact on the Alabama Supreme Court’s directive, and said that it was not his place to make that determination.

“I am not at liberty to provide any guidance to Alabama probate judges on the effect of Obergefell on the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court. That issue remains before the entire court, which continues to deliberate on the matter,” Moore wrote.

In May, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) announced that it had filed ethics charges against Moore, and suspended the chief justice while he faces a trial before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

It said that Moore was “bound by the United State Supreme Court’s interpretation and application” of the Constitution to same-sex “marriage,” but Moore notes that his letter had nothing to do with the Supreme Court order, and that the full court was to later issue directives about the matter after receiving legal briefing.

Attorneys for the legal group Liberty Counsel soon filed suit against the JIC, stating that the entity has no authority to render legal opinions when it disagrees with a judge’s view of the law, and that the automatic suspension requirement in the Alabama Constitution violates due process.

It stood by its view on Thursday after Albritton dismissed the case.

“Alabama’s automatic removal provision goes against the assumption in law that a person is innocent until proven otherwise,” said Founder Mat Staver in a statement. “This provision should be struck down. We will discuss the matter with our client about appealing the ruling.”

“We have preserved this issue in the state proceeding and will continue our challenge to this automatic removal provision,” he continued. We are ready for Monday’s hearing to address the politically-motivated charges filed against Chief Justice Moore.”

A hearing is scheduled surrounding the ethics charges on Aug. 8.

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  • Liberal Elitist

    A good and just decision by Judge Albritton.

  • TheBottomline4This

    Chief Justice Roy Moore is one of the better judges in the country.
    Best wishes to him and his family!!!

    • Georgie Franklin

      Did you get pass the 3rd grade? The reason I ask is because that is one dumb statement.

      • TheBottomline4This

        Yes Georgette. It’s only dumb to those who are against Roy Moore.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          If you think Roy Moore does not deserve sanctions, maybe you can explain how his actions were legal.

          He ordered his subordinate Alabama judges to ignore a ruling of the United States Supreme Court. There’s nothing legal about that.

          • sangrita

            Oh I can answer that.
            Roy Moore was right because Jesus.

    • David Thompson

      Judge Moore believes that he can dictate law according to his religious belief. His job is to follow US and Alabama law and uphold the constitution, not his bible. The bottom line is that he is a religious authoritarian that believes the bible runs this country, not the constitution. That makes him a traitor. It makes him unfit for office.

  • james blue

    Am I the only one to find it Ironic that they are asking the federal courts to declare a state constitution provision unconstitutional in a case where the judge got into trouble for trying to say the state constitution overrules the US constitutions?

  • axelbeingcivil

    The guy’s gotta do what his conscience dictates but he was suspended because he told government officials that they were not to do what they were legally mandated to. When you give a blatantly illegal order like that, you will face charges.

    Here, the federal judge has dismissed the complaint, but only while this case is ongoing. This is due to Supreme Court rulings that federal court judges not interfere with ongoing state cases. If, once this is settled, Moore chooses to, he can file again to challenge at a later date.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    America is being unfair to Christians. No Christianity = No fairness

    • sangrita

      And what about when Christians are unfair? You know that happens.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        The Holy Bible warns against every sin and every wrong conduct and every unfairness. State-sanctioned depravity is unacceptable. It’s Nazism by immorality instead of by nationalism, and USA is falling into the pit. Nations take turns for taking up the role of a villain, so it seems. Justice Moore is the righteous man today’s America desperately needs.

        • sangrita

          It is neither state-sanctioned depravity, which is entirely your imagination, nor is it nazism by immorality, which is again your own colorful language but just paranoia and nonsense.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Because you are on the bullies’ side currently, you never understand the situation of the oppressed. America will be another villain empire if it does not stop silencing the Christians.

          • sangrita

            You are one of the bullies, Grace, not the bullied. But we will never accept hatred.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Read the news; it’s secularists bullying the Christians in USA all the time. You must hate sin and falsehood and immorality instead of bullying the Christians here. You are the one who keep writing replies in an attempt to silence me. Write independent comments instead of bullying me with your replying comments. Give Christians freedom of speeches in your land. Secular Westerners bully the Christians even in a Christian news site; shame on all of you. Your purpose is to make individual Christians suffer without reasons and nothing of finding out the truth for yourself; that’s why today’s America’s Sodomism is altogether wrong and evil. Secular West’s eternal abysmal positivity led to the hatred against the truth and Christianity, infanticide, unconditional support of sexual depravity over all things, and crimes against the Christians. You need to repent of your sins to get saved from your own errors and malice.

          • sangrita

            I do read the news. I read about Kim Davis refusing to obey the law because she hates homosexuals. I see Christian businesses telling gay and lesbian customers that they refuse to serve them. I see beatings. I see hate. And the homosexuals are the victims, and very often the Christians are doing the bullying. This is what you LIKE, Grace. This is what you think is good. This is what you’re trying to convince people God wants.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Kim Davis did what is right by refusing to conduct a falsehood. Americans are being bored and have nothing valuable to do and that’s why they started ordering normal people to call sexual depravity as marriage. You guys never got rid of the mentality of slave owners by bullying people by pushing falsehood all you want. You cannot do a single right thing apart from the Holy Bible. LGBT people are not given hard time by the Christians at all; it’s the other way around this century.

            Bored unbelieving Americans are experimenting how much ridiculous evil non-sense the cowardly American people can take in by pushing nudism and Sodomy in the land. It’ll be too late by the time the West apologizes for its Sodomic atrocities. God condemns nations like today’s USA in Psalms, Isaiah, and Revelation. For individual Christians, no submission to Western pervs. It’s a disgrace even as a human being, not just as a Christian. You guys must stop being bored and bullying moral people. America is just another bully if the nation does not follow God. Its strength will be used against its own people. Read the Holy Bible and get sane warnings.

          • sangrita

            Kim Davis defied the law, and broke it. She is a criminal.
            She does not understand that her jurisdiction is not just within her church walls. She is in essence taking rules that only apply within her church and applying them to an area where they are not valid.
            She is a religious bully.
            Would you like it Grace if people started to ram through Muslim beliefs and teachings, saying they override the law?
            And don’t you dare mention slave owners – they did exactly what Kim Davis did – forced their will on innocent people. No one is “forcing” you to submit to gay and lesbian rights – they do not affect you in any way.
            We are not bullying anyone by allowing them the same freedoms you enjoy. Shame on you for trying to make yourself out to be the oppressed when you are the oppressor.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Kim Davis is the true American hero and the champion of religious freedom and a functioning conscience. Too many Americans got false education from the liberals and are afraid of the Sodomites; that’s why truth and the liberty for conscience got lost in America. Islam’s dominion does not apply to USA; Christianity created the USA proper and the Christian religion did not need any other ideologies. Islam has no religious freedom. Every Earthling must read the Holy Bible for free access to God’s truth and establishment of everyone’s human rights and freedom. Today’s Sodomic Americans are forcing the system of falsehood and immorality on mankind; they are the unconscious slave owners again. Read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Free men promote truth and morality, not infanticide or Sodomy. Sin is slavery. Truth is freedom. Jesus is the Truth. LGBT people need Jesus, not your lies.

          • sangrita

            You are wrong, Grace, not me.
            Kim Davis was jailed for failing to comply with the law. That is not a hero. That is a national disgrace.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans are a bored people this century, Sangrita. You guys will turn back into slave owners again if you don’t take warnings from the Holy Bible. Stop attacking your own conscience, namely the Christianity. America has nothing that resembles laws apart from the Holy Bible; that’s why they jailed the freedom fighter.

          • sangrita

            I never claimed to be American, Grace. You should stop with your assumptions.
            And even if I side with the Americans in your example, which I do, I have no idea where you get the idea anyone wants to turn into slave owners. What are you even TALKING about here, who are the “slaves” you speak of, and who would “own” them?
            Christianity is not my conscience. Christians such as yourself, in fact, believe in some things so shocking and horrible I can’t believe you’re considering yourself a moral person.
            They jailed Kim Davis because she broke the law, putting her religion above the law.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            I’m not American, either. If you are a Westerner, everything you have as the finest is from Christianity; you didn’t read the Holy Bible and are not aware of the Origin of everything vital and excellent on Planet Earth. The access to the Holy Bible made a difference in the Western civilization. Secular West has not many children of its own; that’s why they don’t mind polluting the planet to the core by forcing destructive abnormal immorality upon mankind. The West used to treat colored people as sub-humans before; this time the victims are unborn babies and Biblical Christians. Mankind must not submit to villains. Today’s Western culture needs a fix by the Church like the rest.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “You guys will turn back into slave owners again if you don’t take warnings from the Holy Bible.”

            Tell me where the Bible says anything negative about slavery.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            “Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’ …Keeping the commandments of God is what matters. Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” ( John ch.8, I Corinthians ch.7)

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “No, his mind is not for rent/To any God or government/Always hopeful yet discontent/He knows changes aren’t permanent/But change is”

            (Peart/Lee/Lifeson, 1981)

          • sangrita

            “Jesus loves the little children
            All the children of the world
            Black and yellow, red and white
            They’re all precious in his sight.”

            (Clare Herbert Woolston (1856-1927)

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It means racial differences and nothing of sexual “orientations.” God established only one; marriage between one man and one woman. All others are sins according to His Word. Secular West and its mental slaves do not uphold morality partially because of their rampant childlessness. All children have rights to God’s truth. Pagans do evil for false survival means and secularists do evil to quench boredom and for mere experimentations. Christian virtues alone seriously cherish everyone’s life and protect everyone.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            ? You Westerners are villains when you oppose the Holy Bible. There hasn’t been any exception at that. Go back to Christianity and become human again.

          • Bob Johnson

            It is an American tradition, going back at least to Henry David Thoreau.

  • Ambulance Chaser

    It’s basical constitutional law: federal courts can hear cases involving a federal question, or an interstate controversy surrounding $75,000 or more. The federal court has no jurisdiction in this matter.

  • John

    The supreme court is legislating. Moore is upholding alabama law.