A state judicial panel on Monday refused to dismiss an ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, saying that Moore will go to trial in September on accusations that he urged 68 probate judges to defy the federal courts on same-sex marriage.
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary, a state panel that disciplines judges, refused dueling requests to either dismiss the complaint against Moore outright or go ahead and remove him from office. Chief Judge Michael Joiner said the case will go to trial Sept. 28. The panel of nine judges will hear the case and decide whether Moore violated judicial ethics and if so, what punishment he will face.
The decision came down shortly after the conclusion of a 60-minute hearing in which Moore was alternately portrayed as a politician on a mission to block gay couples from marrying in Alabama or a judge who was merely trying answer questions from confused probate judges. Moore — who was ousted from office by the court in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building — could be removed as chief justice for a second time.