SPLC Files Ethics Complaint Against Moore, Alabama Sues U.S. Over Refugees

Jan 8, 2016

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Federal prosecutors say Alabama’s probate judges should continue issuing same sex marriage licenses, despite the actions of the state’s chief justice. APR’s Pat Duggins spoke to one group that thinks Roy Moore should be kicked out of office, again.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a complaint against Roy Moore with the state’s Judicial Ethics Panel. This comes after Moore suggested that probate judges defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same sex marriage.

SPLC President Richard Cohen says Moore’s current actions hearken back to when he was kicked out of office in 2003 for refusing to take down the Ten Commandments from Alabama’s Supreme Court building.

“It’s clear that he at least encouraged them to violate a court order, and I think that’s at least as bad as his outright defiance back in 2003. And, I certainly think the court of the judiciary should remove him from office.”

Some county judges are refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses altogether. Judge Moore told the Associated Press a state Supreme Court ban on same sex unions is still in place.

Alabama has become the second state in the U.S. to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement. Alabama is accusing the Obama administration of failing to consult with states on placement of those who have fled their home countries.

Gov. Robert Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis says the lawsuit was filed yesterday.

Bentley is one of several Republican governors who opposed the settlement of Syrian refugees in their states after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. The lawsuit doesn't specifically address Syrian refugees, but it follows the lead of Texas, which sued last month to try to block six Syrian refugees from settling in Dallas.

The Alabama lawsuit says the federal government hasn't followed part of the Refugee Act of 1980, which says the federal government "shall consult regularly" with states on refugee placement.

The federal government controls resettlement programs. Experts have said states have no authority to ban refugees from entering.

Mardi Gras is more than a month away, but Dauphin Island is getting a head start on the season this weekend.

The south Alabama island will host its 22nd annual Krewe de la Dauphine Mardi Gras parade tomorrow afternoon. The theme for this year's parade is Broadway Nights, with floats fashioned after Broadway plays.

Jeff Collier is the mayor of Dauphin Island and the grand marshal of this year's parade. He says there's something for everyone on the island.

“It's just a great time. We encourage folks to get here early, there's always a big crowd. Find 'em a good parking spot and enjoy the day. While they're coming for the parade, we encourage them to come early and stay late. There's lots of other stuff to do on the island, and we encourage them to do that.”

The parade will begin at 1 PM tomorrow and will stretch from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to Dauphin Island Elementary School.