An Alabama judicial panel suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore for violating ethics rules after he earlier this year instructed probate judges to ignore the law granting same-sex couples the right marry.
Moore “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority,” the court judiciary said. He will face a trial in front of the Alabama Judiciary Committee and faces removal from office.
In a statement, Moore vowed to fight the charges. Moore has previously called the charges "politically motivated."
In January, Moore insisted that probate judges could not issue same-sex marriage licenses until the Alabama Supreme Court weighed in due to a legal challenge by two groups that disagree with same-sex marriage. The Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program are disputing a January 2015 order that removed the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
This is not the first time Moore has made national headlines. In 2003, he was removed from office when refused to move a 2.6-ton Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building. A federal judicial panel unanimously found that Moore disregarded the separation of church and state by placing the monument there and then refusing to remove it.
In the years following his removal from office, Moore remained defiant, running for governor of Alabama in 2006 and in 2010. In 2011, he formed an exploratory committee to run for president. Finally in 2012, he successfully ran for re-election as Chief Justice.
According to AL.com, Moore autographs Bibles, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In fact, he put the copyright symbol next to his name on the granite Ten Commandments.
Moore's suspension comes in the same week that Missouri narrowly avoided passing a law that would allow a religious exemption that would hamper gay rights. In the same week, Mississippi finally removed a ban on same-sex adoption, making it legal in all 50 states.