Roy Moore gets the boot

Oops. Roy Moore has been suspended without pay and ordered to pay costs.

Saying that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore violated judicial ethics when he ordered judges not to respect the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage, Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary suspended Moore for the rest of his term in office.

The order also requires the head of Alabama’s highest court to pay the costs of the proceedings against him and stipulates that he will not be paid for the remainder of his six-year term.

Once his term is up his age will disqualify him from running again.

The judgment against Moore was unanimous. But the nine-member court also noted that the decision is based on a review of Moore’s behavior and decisions, not on the justices’ views of the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry — contrary to Alabama’s law, adopted in 2016, that had reserved marriage for heterosexual couples only.

Saying that “some members of this court did not personally agree with” the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, the judges wrote, “This court simply does not have the authority to reexamine those issues.”

Because that’s what the “Supreme” in “Supreme Court” means – it’s at the top of the hierarchy, and lower courts don’t get to overturn its rulings.

For Moore, this is the second high-profile dispute that has cut short his term leading the Alabama Supreme Court. In 2003, he was removed from office after refusing a federal court’s order to remove a prominent display of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building. Alabama voters elected him to the office again in 2012.

Too bad, Alabama voters.

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