Alabama Supreme Court “does not have the authority to interfere with a federal court order” HRC says
MONTGOMERY—Today, HRC condemned a ruling by the Alabama state Supreme Court ordering a halt to same-sex marriages in the state. In the ruling, the Court granted an emergency petition by two anti-LGBT groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program, who sought to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses across the state.
The order, which has no foundation in constitutional law, flies in the face a prevailing federal ruling by Judge Callie V.S. Granade issued weeks ago.
“The Alabama state Supreme Court does not have the authority to interfere with a federal court order,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “This order is outrageous and baffling, and no amount of legalese can hide the bare animus that forms the foundation of this extralegal ruling.”
In the bizarre, rambling 150 page opinion, the majority on the state Supreme Court steps far beyond the complaint before it, arguing, “Throughout the entirety of its history, Alabama has chosen the traditional definition of marriage. […] Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.”
Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade ruled in favor of equality in Searcy v. Strange, striking down Alabama’s discriminatory constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying. Since then, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has campaigned vocally against marriage equality. Last month, HRC Alabama submitted 28,000 petitions to the Judicial Inquiry Commission, urging a full ethics investigation of the Chief Justice.
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