An Alabama judicial ethics court announced today that controversial Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore will be suspended from the bench through the end of his term. This effectively removes him from the bench permanently since he will turn 70 before he would be eligible to be elected yet again, and Alabama has an age limit for active judges.
As you may recall Moore issued a memo to state probate judges in January, 2016 informing them that an order issued by the Alabama Supreme Court in March, 2015 remained in full force and effect. That order required Alabama probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This violated both the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and a Federal District Order specifically applicable to Alabama. Moore argued that he was simply clarifying the state supreme court order was still in full force and effect and that he did not comment on federal law. The Alabama judicial ethics court held that the memo issued by Moore violated Federal Law and violated his duties as a Justice.