A state judicial panel on Monday refused to dismiss an ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, saying he will go to trial in September on accusations he urged 68 probate judges to defy the federal courts on same-sex marriage.
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary, which disciplines judges, refused dueling requests to dismiss the complaint against Moore and to 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 shortly after a 60-minute hearing in which Moore was alternately portrayed as a politician on a mission to block gay couples from marrying or a judge who was merely trying to answer questions from confused probate judges.
Moore, 69, was ousted from office by the court in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. He could be removed as chief justice for a second time if he loses the current case.
credit: Kim Chandler