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Renegade Alabama Judges Have Law On Their Side


February 12, 2015

When Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore pointed out that state judges are not bound by lower federal court decisions-in this case a ruling that same-sex marriages could be performed in the state—he was technically correct, says American University law professor Amanda Frost. When U.S. District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama’s ban on gay marriage, Moore said it did not mean Alabama judges were under any obligation to perform the ceremonies. However, that thinking—shared, at least in theory, by Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas—is “on surprisingly shaky foundations,” Frost writes, and in the Alabama case is complicated by the fact the judges at issue are probate judges.

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