Air Date: February 12, 2015
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mat Staver
Mat Staver is the founder, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, an international, non-profit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life and the family. Mat is Dean of the Liberty School of Law.
A major fight for marriage and who has constitutional authority is underway in the state of Alabama. Listeners may remember that it was back in 2006 when Alabama voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman by 82%.
Last week, a federal district judge in southern Alabama issued a single ruling claiming that the marriage laws were struck down. In response, some of the probate judges were being told by the ACLU and others that they needed to issue same-sex marriage licenses around the state. The stay on the decision was lifted on February 9th and the Supreme Court of the U.S. refused to extend that stay while it’s in litigation.
On Monday the 9th, some people obtained same-sex marriage licenses. However, on Sunday evening, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court issued an administrative order to all probate judges saying that they had no authority and that they were prohibited from issuing such licenses because it’s not the law of the state. According to Mat, most but not all probate judges are following that administrative order.
Liberty Counsel currently has a case pending before the Alabama Supreme Court asking the entire court to weigh in on this and to order the few probate judges that have issued same-sex marriage licenses to cease and desist.
Jim has Mat comment on the response of Justices Scalia and Thomas to the Supreme Court’s refusal to keep the stay in motion; why he feels Justices Ginsburg and Kagan should recuse themselves from any such decision; why he feels Judge Moore has the authority to say that no Alabama probate judge (or their employees or agents) shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent with the state constitution; an overview of what ‘rule of law’ means and much more.
Alabama Supreme Court