The Supreme Court Needs Moore Integrity

In early 2015 in Alabama, Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, became an outspoken proponent of natural marriage. He challenged a ruling issued by Judge Callie V.S. Granade, a Federal District Judge, who sought to use an adoption case involving a lesbian couple to impose same-sex marriage throughout the state.1 Moore did so based on the rule of law.2 He wrote a letter to Governor Robert Bentley contending for natural marriage as affirmed in the Alabama Constitution.3 Moreover, citing the Alabama Constitution and Alabama state law, he directed probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.4

The U.S. Supreme Court had refused to halt same-sex weddings from occurring in the state, so Liberty Counsel asked the Alabama Supreme Court to rule on the matter. The non-profit legal organization did so on February 11 on behalf of several Alabama probate judges and two conservative groups—the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program.5 6 Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel said, “America must adhere to the rule of law, not the arrogant creation of ‘laws’ by judicial activists.”7 He also said, “We…need a ruling, no matter what it is, from the Alabama Supreme Court.”8

Two days after the suit was filed, the Alabama Supreme Court voted 6 to 2 to hear the case. Appropriately and significantly, Chief Justice Moore did not participate in the vote. 9 Nor did he participate in determining the outcome of the case. He recused himself. On Tuesday evening, March 3, the Alabama Supreme Court directed probate judges across the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A resounding affirmation of natural marriage, the ruling was 7 to 1.10

Why was it important for Chief Justice Moore to recuse himself from this case? Title 28, Part I, Chapter 21, Section 455 of the U.S. Code reads: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”11

Roy Moore is a public servant with great integrity. Can we say the same thing about Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elana Kagan? We soon will know—because statements and actions from these two justices leave reasonable people to question their impartiality with regard to the high court’s upcoming case on same-sex marriage. 12

Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.


For Further Reading:

Supreme Court Justices Officiated at Same-Sex ‘Marriages’ —

Justice Ginsburg: US Ready to Accept Ruling Approving Gay Marriage —

Calls for Ginsburg to Drop out of Marriage Case Escalate —

Ginsburg and Kagan Must Recuse Themselves on ‘Gay Marriage’ Case —

Alabama Orders a Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses —New York Times

Alabama Supreme Court Again Halts Gay Marriage—NPR

March 20, 2015

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