Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hard to tell who's crazier - Roy Moore or Mat Staver

Roy Moore and Mat Staver
Roy Moore's judicial career is probably at an end. He is currently suspended from the bench and his fitness is being judged by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ). Acting as prosecutor is the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC). Moore is being defended by Liberty Counsel, an anti-gay hate group. The sequence of pertinent events:
  • May 6, JIC files the complaint against Roy Moore at COJ. 
  • May 30, Staver request an extension of time to file a response.
  • June 2, COJ allows a two-week extension of time.
  • Jun 21, Staver files a motion to dismiss.
  • July 15, JIC files motion in opposition to motion to dismiss.
  • July 26, Staver files a rather amusing, 54 page reply.
The complaint is multifaceted but the smoking gun is part of Moore's advice to Alabama's probate judges on January 6, 2016:
Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.
Any reasonably sane person would conclude that Moore is instructing subordinates to defy the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges. Staver is not among the reasonably sane. His explanation:
The purpose and effect of this selective emphasis is to make it appear that the Chief Justice himself is issuing an order to the probate judges to follow Alabama marriage law rather than that he is informing them that the orders of the Alabama Supreme Court to that effect had not as yet been altered. … The JIC wrongly attempts to convert the Chief Justice from the messenger to the principal and thus to attribute to him the responsibility for orders that he did not issue but whose existence he properly acknowledged. Without this misattribution the JIC’s case against the Chief Justice collapses …
Alabama still has an anti-sodomy law in effect. Suppose Moore sent a memo to all of the state's sheriffs and police chiefs. Further suppose that therein he reminds those law enforcers that Alabama still has a law on the books banning gay sex and they have a ministerial duty to arrest gay people. Staver would then claim that Moore was just the messenger of fact and not a principal.

As I said, Roy Moore's judicial career is probably at an end.

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