Roy Moore took an oath when he became chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
The oath required him to follow the law, to adhere to the U.S. Constitution.
Then the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay people have the right — under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment equal protection clause — to marry others of the same gender.
Moore disagreed with that ruling. So he ruled that county clerks and other duly empowered local officials should adhere instead to a state law that denied marriage to gay people.
Well, Judge Moore’s days as head of the state’s highest court are over. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary has suspended Moore for the remainder of his term, declaring that he violated state and federal law by denying gay Alabamans the right to marry.
This isn’t the first time Moore has gotten into trouble over his refusal to abide by federal law. He was removed earlier for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse grounds in Montgomery, Ala. That act of defiance didn’t bother me nearly as much as this one does.
The nation’s highest court is empowered to interpret the Constitution. It ruled that the 14th Amendment provides equal protection to all Americans under the law and that the amendment doesn’t allow for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Moore has no authority to flout that ruling, the state’s Court of the Judiciary has ruled.
When will it sink in to this fellow’s apparently thick skull that when he takes an oath to follow the law and obey the U.S. Constitution, that there’s no wiggle room.
Adhere to your oath or else step aside.