Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's
outspoken opposition to gay marriage is a violation of judicial
ethics, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said Wednesday.
The SPLC filed a complaint against
Moore to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama on January 28.
The group filed a supplement on February 3.
In its initial complaint, the SPLC
accused Moore of “encouraging lawlessness by attempting to assemble
state officials and judges to oppose the federal court system”
after a federal district court judge struck down Alabama's ban on gay
In its latest filing, the SPLC said
Moore continues to “flout and violate” the state's code of
judicial ethics following a ruling by the Supreme Court striking down
gay marriage bans in all 50 states.
“The filing to the Judicial Inquiry
Commission of Alabama alleges that Moore has committed new ethics
violations by improperly commenting on pending or impending cases in
numerous speeches and interviews; by suggesting that Supreme Court
precedent need not be followed; and by announcing that he would
recuse himself from cases rather than apply precedents with which he
disagreed,” the group said in a written statement.
“If Chief Justice Moore wants to make
political speeches or be an activist in opposition to same-sex
marriage, he is free to do so, but he cannot simultaneously hold his
current position on the Alabama Supreme Court,” said SPLC President
Richard Cohen. “It's obviously unethical for him to urge defiance
of a United States Supreme Court ruling. He needs to understand that
he is a judge, not a preacher.”
In speaking out against marriage
equality, Moore has claimed that such unions go
against God, will lead to
incest, polygamy and child
abuse, and will “destroy”
the United States.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission of
Alabama is the same court that ousted Moore from the bench in 2003
for refusing to remove from public property a monument of the Ten
Commandments which he had commissioned.