Skip to main content

Court hears ethics charges against Alabama’s ‘Ten Commandments’ judge

The Alabama Court of the Judiciary heard testimony today in a trial to determine whether state Chief Justice Roy Moore violated judicial ethics when he advised state officials to ignore federal court orders and uphold the state’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The charges against Moore are based on a complaint filed by the SPLC to the Alabama Commission on Judicial Ethics in 2015. The Court is expected to decide within 10 days whether Moore will be kicked off the bench for a second time within the last 13 years.

Moore was the only witness in today’s trial.

“I wish that everyone in Alabama could have been in the courtroom today, because they would have seen that it was absolutely clear that Justice Moore urged the state probate judges to defy a federal court injunction and to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell case,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “His own testimony convicts him.

“Justice Moore may personally oppose same-sex marriage, but it is the law of the land, and he cannot be allowed to use his office to block it. His defense was nothing more than word games in an effort to escape the consequences of his actions. It is shameful.

“The people of Alabama deserve a chief justice who will follow the law and uphold the law, not a chief justice who undermines it and injures the integrity of the judiciary.”

In 2003, the Court of the Judiciary kicked Moore off the bench after the SPLC successfully sued him for installing a granite Ten Commandments monument in the state courthouse and he defied a federal court order to remove it. Alabama voters elected him again as chief justice in 2012.

Read a timeline of Moore’s attempts over the last 25 years to mix religion and the law.