Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore—ousted from office more than a decade ago over a Ten Commandments display—now faces possible removal from the bench over his effort to block gay marriage from coming to that state after the US Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, the AP reports. The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission on Friday filed ethics charges against Moore, saying the state chief justice abused the power of his office and displayed disrespect for the judiciary. Moore, 69, has been automatically suspended from the bench until there is a resolution.
The charges stem from a Jan. 6 administrative order Moore sent to probate judges telling them an Alabama court order and law banning same-sex marriages remained in full force despite a US Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized it. "By issuing his unilateral order of January 6, 2016, Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed in all states as declared by the United States Court in Obergefell," the Judicial Inquiry Commission wrote in the charges. The chief justice's order to probate judges also came even though a federal judge had enjoined probate judges from enforcing Alabama's same-sex marriage ban, the commission wrote. (Read more same-sex marriage stories.)