Moore takes the stand in 'testy' court hearing

Thursday, September 29, 2016
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Roy Moore (close-up)An Alabama Supreme Court chief justice will soon learn whether he will be punished by a judicial body.

Roy Moore appeared on Wednesday before the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which is weighing whether the justice violated judicial ethics and, if so, what punishment he deserves.

After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized unnatural marriage in June, probate judges in Alabama asked Moore if they had to issue licenses for same-sex couples and perform civil ceremonies for them.

Moore issued an adminstrative order pointing out that the Alabama Supreme Court had not rescinded state law upholding natural marriage, and therefore the judges were bound by that law. 

At the hearing this week, the conservative justice told the commission that he gave judges a "status of the facts" about the Obergefell court decision. He would never encourage them to defy a federal court, he testified under oath.

"That is all I did," he said, according to an Associated Press story about the court hearing.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, who represented Moore in Wednesday's hearing, argued that Moore did not tell them to defy the high court.

gay flag waving outside SCOTUS"The chief justice testified - and it's very clear from his testimony - that he didn't do anything wrong," Staver argues. "That he is here because of a wrong decision from this Judicial Inquiry Commission, which frankly doesn't know the law, doesn't understand the law, and is politically motivated."

The AP story described a "testy" cross-examination in which Moore acknowledged, according to the press service, that he told the judges to follow the same state court order that a federal judge had said they could not enforce.

Staver says Moore left the courtroom with hope that he will prevail.

"Based on how this case went," says the attorney, "I think there's no question but that the chief prevail. But we're going to wait and see what the Court of the Judiciary does."

The commission has 10 days to render a decision but the expectation is a ruling will come quickly.

A decision to remove Moore from the bench must be unanimous according to the AP.

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