MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Court of the Judiciary will decide if Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore violated judicial ethics with a January order to probate judges regarding same-sex marriage. Moore could be removed from office if he is found guilty of misconduct. Here is a timeline of key events in the case.
November 2003: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is removed from office by the Court of the Judiciary for defying a federal judge’s order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court rotunda.
October 2012: While campaigning again for the office of chief justice, emphasizing his conservative values and experience, Moore says legalizing gay marriage would lead to the nation’s “ultimate destruction.”
November 2012: Moore is elected as the state’s chief justice for a second time.
January 2015: U.S. District Judge Callie Granade rules Alabama same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
February 2015: Gay couples begin marrying across Alabama.
February 2015: Moore says probate judges are not bound to follow Granade’s direct court order because they are not named as defendants in the case. “No federal judge, or court, should redefine marriage,” Moore said in an interview.
February 2015: The Alabama Supreme Court agrees to consider an emergency request by two conservative groups seeking to stop the same-sex weddings.
March 2015: The Alabama Supreme Court orders state probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.
June 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that gays and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry.
June 2015: Granade issues an order citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in saying she is permanently barring Alabama from enforcing state laws that ban same-sex marriage.
January 6, 2016: Acting without the other justices, Moore sends an administrative order telling probate judges that the state Supreme Court’s March order to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples remains in “full force and effect” because it has not been lifted by the state court. The chief justice stops short of directly ordering judges to refuse the licenses, writing that he is not “at liberty to provide any guidance to Alabama probate judges on the effect of (the U.S. Supreme Court ruling) on the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court.”
May 2016: The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission accuses Moore of violating judicial ethics. “By issuing his unilateral order of January 6, 2016, Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed in all states as declared by the United States Court,” the commission writes.
August 8, 2016: The Alabama Court of the Judiciary refuses Moore’s request to dismiss the charges.
September 28, 2016: The Alabama Court of the Judiciary hears the case against Moore.