Alabama Judge's Grandstanding Over Same-Sex Marriage Is Pure Demagoguery

Earlier this week, we filed an ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over his public statements urging the governor and state judges to defy federal law and continue to enforce Alabama's ban on same-sex marriages.

We've been down this road with Moore before. Many around the country know him as the "Ten Commandments judge."

In 2003, we filed an ethics complaint over Moore's open defiance of a federal court order requiring him to remove his giant Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse. That complaint led to his removal from office.

Unfortunately, Alabama voters elected him chief justice again three years ago.

Now, he's at it again - confusing his personal religious beliefs with his duty to uphold both state and federal law, including the U.S. Constitution.

Our complaint spells out three specific violations of Alabama's Canons of Judicial Ethics: his improper comments about pending cases; his lack of faithfulness to the law; and his disrespect for the integrity of the judiciary.

It all started last week when a federal judge struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage.

In a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley yesterday, Moore claimed that marriage is Biblical and beyond the reach of the federal judiciary. He asked the governor and other judges to join him in defying "judicial tyranny" and warned that "we will have a confrontation."

It's an open secret that Moore wants to run for governor again in Alabama.

So he's wrapping himself in religion to get there in the same way that the segregationist George Wallace used race to further his political career a half century ago. In both cases, it's the same thing - pure demagoguery.

Moore's action is unethical, irresponsible, and lawless. It's precisely what got him removed from office the first time.

For the sake of all Alabamians who believe in the rule of law, we hope the result is the same this time. The people of Alabama elected Moore to be a judge, not a pastor.