SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston reports on a disturbing development in the Deep South’s ongoing fight against nationwide marriage equality.
Asked by the Alabama Supreme Court for advice on how to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, the Alabama Policy Institution and the inter-denominational church support group Alabama Citizens Action Program have both urged for direct and indirect resistance.
Three days after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the state court asked the two groups and two probate judges directly involved in the case for their views on the effect of the Supreme Court decision on the state court’s earlier action. The two probate judges said in short briefs that the state court had to respect and follow the binding ruling of the Supreme Court — the same position that Alabama’s attorney general has taken.
But the two organization leading the challenge before the state court used a combination of arguments — points made by the dissenting Justices in the Obergefell decision on the errors they found in the majority ruling, the protests of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., against “unjust laws,” and a series of Wisconsin Supreme Court rulings defying the Supreme Court in a mid-nineteenth-century runaway slave case — to persuade the state judges to treat the Obergefell ruling as not binding on them.
Denniston adds that “depending on what the state court now does, it could set up a new federal-state collision that potentially could go to the Supreme Court.”
Presumably though, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore doesn’t even need this outside advice on why it’s a “good” idea to break the law as his Foundation for Moral Law has already pledged to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage.
Read the defiant brief below: