MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, also known as the Ten Commandments Judge, has sent a letter and memorandum to probate judges throughout the state, advising them that they are not required to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples despite a recent federal court ruling striking down the state’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.
“Lower federal courts are without authority to impose their own interpretation of federal constitutional law upon the state courts,” he wrote. “Not only is the Mobile federal court acting without constitutional authority, but it is doing so in a manner inconsistent with the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
“Interference with the right of state courts to make independent judgments based on their own view of the U.S. Constitution is a violation of state sovereignty,” Moore said.
As previously reported, Moore also sent a letter to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley last week following the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade, who declared the voter-approved state amendment unconstitutional.
“As you know, nothing in the United States Constitution grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage,” he wrote, stating that the recent ruling raised “serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.”
Moore pointed to the Scriptures in his letter, as Jesus declared in Mark 10:6-9 that “from the beginning of creation God made them male and female, [and] for this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh.” He also noted a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1885, which was reiterated in 1908, which stated that the foundation for marriage and family is “the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony.”
Moore then called upon called upon Bentley defend the state Constitution as he does the same as Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice.
“I ask you to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of this state and for our posterity,” he urged. “Be advised that I will stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.”
Bentley issued a statement soon afterward, vowing to fight to defend Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.
“The people of Alabama elected me to uphold our state Constitution, and when I took the oath of office last week, that is what I promised to do,” the governor said. “As governor, I must uphold the Constitution. … I will continue to oppose this ruling. The federal government must not infringe on the rights of states.”
Although the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a judicial ethics complaint against Moore over the letter, Matt Trewhella, pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wisc. and author of the book “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate,” told Christian News Network on Wednesday that Moore’s actions are right and proper.
“What Judge Moore and Gov. Bentley are saying is, this is an unjust, immoral ruling by the federal courts,” he said. “They have contradicted not only the law of God, but also the created order of God, and they are not going to go along with the federal government’s rebellion against God, but rather do their duty as lesser magistrates and defy the tyranny that the federal courts are imposing upon the people in states across America while they’re trampling Constitutions across the country.”
“What Judge Moore is saying is correct. The federal courts should not be the lone arbiters of what is constitutional or not, but state judges have the duty to rule on the constitutionality of law,” Trewhella continued. “That’s an extremely important issue for people to understand in this matter.”
He said that it is encouraging to see civil leaders take a stand for the law of God and states’ rights.
“I thank God for Judge Moore’s active interposition and I pray that both he and Gov. Bentley stand strong,” Trewhella stated. “Governor after governor across the country has capitulated to the federal courts and hid behind the lie that they simply have to obey the federal courts, which is not true. So, to finally see a governor and a chief supreme court justice of the state interpose is refreshing, and what they’re doing is right, just and needed.”