Tentative trial date set for America’s most ethically challenged judge

Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, speaks during a news conference at the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Moore says a judicial ethics panel should dismiss complaints filed against him as he fought to keep gays and lesbians from marrying in the state.

Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, speaks during a news conference at the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Moore says a judicial ethics panel should dismiss complaints filed against him as he fought to keep gays and lesbians from marrying in the state. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore urged fellow justices to action after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide, court documents filed Tuesday show.

Papers submitted by attorneys representing Moore in a state judicial ethics case that could result in his ouster showed that Moore asked the other justices to clarify the state’s position in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. His request came in a legal memo asking colleagues to rule in a lawsuit filed by a conservative think tank that opposes gay marriage.

The documents show that Moore cited Kentucky court clerk and gay-marriage opponent Kim Davis in claiming that Christians who oppose same-sex weddings could be forced to give up their public jobs. Moore also quoted Shakespeare, a Nazi opponent from 1940s Germany and internet postings in asking fellow court members to act.

Moore is suspended from his job pending trial on judicial ethics charges of improperly issuing an order on same-sex marriage. An order released Monday by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary says Moore’s trial on judicial ethics charges will begin Sept. 28 if the case isn’t resolved by then.

The case could come to an earlier end if the court agrees with judicial prosecutors and removes Moore based on legal arguments.

Moore opposes a move by prosecutors to have him ousted without a trial. A hearing is set for Aug. 8.

Moore is a Christian who opposes same-sex marriage. He is accused of wrongly issuing an order to state probate judges in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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