An order by Federal Judge Callie Granade asking one particular state probate judge not to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the basis of an order from Moore has made the tussle even more acute.
The dispute is far from solution. The Federal Judge’s order looks to be focused on one probate judge. If Moore’s directive is to be followed, the Judge could appeal to the US Courts of Appeal. Further other probate judges who have not been named could contend that the order does not bind them.
The cause of Alabama Judge’s differing viewpoint to the federal decision requiring same-sex marriage is based on the fact that state courts are not bound by t the federal district or appellate courts opinion about the meaning of the Constitution. There are no dearths of experts who oppose this interpretation. They feel that state judges are basically functionaries when it comes to issuing marriage licenses, not independent decision-makers.
In Theory Moore must conclude that Granade has least authority to issue the order. As per this logic she’s a federal district judge who can’t review state court decisions. And therefore Moore’s position thus far should in principle remain unchanged by the order.
Alabama becomes the 37th US State where same sex marriage has been deemed legal and also the first in the Deep South where most voters are still orthodox and conservative. Meanwhile the US Supreme Court declined a request by Alabama’s Republican attorney general to keep the weddings on hold until it decides later this year whether laws banning gay matrimony violate the U.S. Constitution.