Alabama Supreme Court Rejects Petitions Challenging Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
Alabama Supreme Court has rejected petitions seeking to restore the prohibition of the same sex marriage in the state. The petitions made by Alabama Citizens Action Program, the Alabama Policy Institute and the probate judge of the Elmore County.
The petitions called for legal provisions that would be in violation of the landmark Federal Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v Hodges. This measure by the State Supreme Court has ensured that same-sex marriage remains legal in Alabama in accordance with the federal law.
However, the Supreme Court justices expressed their dissent to the Obergefell v Hodges verdict at the same time, with Justice Roy Moore commenting on it as a “lawless act.” He also considered the ruling unconstitutional and immoral, while also commenting that “blindly following Supreme Court opinions as the law of the land is a dangerous fallacy.” Justice Tom Parker also expressed similar dissent to the Obergefell verdict.
Moore’s vote on the verdict was significant as he had earlier recused himself from participating in any decision pertaining to same-sex marriage because of his earlier decision ordering probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage.
Other justices such as Michael Bolin issued the verdict while commenting that the authority of the Federal decision was binding on the State Supreme Court. Justice Greg Shaw strongly disagreed with the arguments presented by Justice Moore in his dissent and remarked that a justice refusing to be bound by the orders of a lower court should leave the bench.
Richard Cohen, the President of Southern Poverty Law Centre, also criticized Justice Moore and Justice Parker in a similar fashion, calling them “a disgrace to the bench.” In addition to that, the Southern Poverty Law Centre has lodged complaints with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission against the justices for violating the judicial cannon by issuing public statements pertaining to the Obergefell verdict.
Eric Johnston, the attorney representing the Alabama Policy Institute, expressed his disappointment at the verdict. He said that he hoped that the verdict would restore the previous decision which would prevent the district probate judges from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. “What they (Alabama justices) did today is, they closed that door,” said Eric while commenting on the verdict.