Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
A day doesn’t seem to go by, where some obnoxious Rethuglickan pulls an opinion out of his (or her) ass, and tries to tell us it’s covered in chocolate. Case in point:
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore sees his stand against a U.S. District judge's decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban as neither political nor emotional.
"My stand is a legal stand on the Constitution and the principles of federalism, as well as the principle of dual sovereignty," Moore said Friday in an interview with AL.com. "It's a stand on the law of the state of Alabama."
On Jan. 23, U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade ruled that the Alabama Marriage Protection Act and the amendment that later enshrined it in the state constitution both were unconstitutional.
The relationship between federal and state courts is parallel, Moore said, and a lower federal court's interpretation is not binding for the state.
"For one district judge to overturn the laws of Alabama - she can't do that... because federal rules don't allow her to do that," Moore said.
District court rulings typically affect the people involved in a specific case instead of making a law that applies to the entire state. That distinction has also been noted by U.S. Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.
Bans on gay marriage have been overturned elsewhere in the U.S. under similar circumstances. So if that isn't legal, as Moore argues, why has it occurred?
"It's happened in other states because nobody has stood up and said, 'Wait a minute, state court rulings on these issues are just as authoritative as federal court rulings,'" he said.
The New York Times' Emily Bazelon wrote this week that Moore's central legal claim of states' rights is ineffective. However, she wrote, his frustration with the process that led to gay marriage in Alabama has some validity.
"To contest the statewide application of [Granade's] ruling is a far more legitimate form of fist-shaking by a state official than contesting an order from a higher federal court would be," Bazelon wrote.
Moore said Alabama will be bound by whatever the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately decides when it takes up the issue of gay marriage this summer. It's "unfair to the people of the state of Alabama" for anyone to claim to have resolved the issue before that happens, he said.
Chief Justice Roy Moore on taking a stand, running for office Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore talks about taking a stand and what the future might bring in an interview Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. (Julie Bennett/ firstname.lastname@example.org)
Moore declined to comment further on Granade's decision because there is a case filed before the Alabama Supreme Court regarding the same issues. He said he will decide whether or not to recuse himself in the future on a case-by-case basis.
Moore stood by the administrative order he issued Sunday night, reemphasizing that probate judges are not bound by the decision of a single federal judge to issue licenses to same-sex couples.
Almost two-thirds of the state's probate courts are now issuing marriage licenses to all couples, gay and straight. In a ruling Thursday, Granade ordered the Mobile County probate judge to issue license to gay couples and, in turn, nudged many judges sitting on the fence to accept her earlier ruling.
Moore would not say how he would react, as chief justice, if same-sex marriage were legalized in Alabama.
He did say he currently has no plans to run for another office.
"It seems like every time you take a stand, every time you do something right, people start saying you're running for something because that's what politicians normally do," he said.
“Doing something right.” Yeah, pal, you keep telling yourself that little white lie. Its what the Christians seem to do best, especially the ultra-conservative ones. Moore is just another talking head puppet for the religious right. Despite the mountains of evidence contrary, he is one of those (perhaps unwitting) sycophants who have been brainwashed by the lie of Christian origins for this country. He has had several controversial moments, from having a Decalogue monument built (a clear violation of SOCAS), whilst babbling about sovereignty and his imaginary friend. Not to mention the ridiculous Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 (which luckily was defeated – WHEW!), or his anachronistic view of same sex marriages.
This is the sort of thing I’ve been railing against for the past decade. I constantly point out that people like this Moore character are inherently untrustworthy, not because they’re religious, but because their religion is an automatic default (though I’ve been accused more than once of wanting someone in office who agrees with me in toto, when I explain this).
Your oath to the Constitution should be total, and separate from all else. There should be no provisos, no escape clauses, no waffling. Freedom of religion stipulates freedom from religion. Undigested cake? Too effin’ bad, fella. Hypothetically, even if this country was allegedly built on Christian values (yeah? Freedom of religion? That doesn’t sound like something those jaysus-freaks would let pass), it has less standing in this day and age. Because the Constitution is a living document – it changes with the times, and besides, this country was built on slavery (ratified in the document itself), and we sure as fuck don’t keep other human beings as property anymore. Besides, Jefferson argued that America wasn’t founded on Christian principles, but English law (see his letter to John Cartwright).
Fact is, I’ve had this argument so many times (realtime as well as blogosphere), that it is almost a rote patter. It’s an old, tired argument rebutted once too often these days. But then again, children only learn from repetition, and the American gestalt is more akin to a toddler than a grown adult.
Till the next post then.