Order Sent to Probate Judges Focus of Disciplinary Hearing for Chief Justice

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Daniel McGowan is an Ohio and Florida probate lawyer and can be reached for a free consultation at 216-242-6054 (Ohio) or 954-803-0877 (Florida) or dan.mcgowan@yahoo.com.  Click here to contact

The Associated Press reported earlier today that closing arguments are continuing in a disciplinary hearing that could result in Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s second removal from office, this time over gay marriage.   Someone please send a memo to the Alabama Chief Justice reminding him that he doesn’t preside over the ecclesiastical courts—those went out of style shortly after the American Revolution!

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is facing a judicial ethics court to account for allegations that he abused his power by trying to block gay couples from marrying in the state.  The process for this type of an ethics inquiry is reportedly in a trial like proceeding which could ultimately result in Moore’s removal from office if it is determined by the ethics panel that his conduct fell below the standards for judicial ethics.

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Specifically, the Chief Justice allegedly ordered dozens of probate judges to ignore federal rulings on same sex marriage.

While it is true that historically matters sounding in probate were handled in neither a law or equity court, but in ecclesiastical courts, Judge Moore may need a refresher course on his state’s probate code and perhaps read Article III of his own state’s constitution which went into effect in 1901.  Depending on how the ethics panel rules, he may have some extra time for reading rather than ruling.