NOM BLOG

Alabama Supreme Court Urged to Protect Religious Liberty

 

In a potentially significant development, Liberty Counsel has led a brief with the Alabama Supreme Court urging it to ignore the SCOTUS ruling on marriage, citing as precedent a state Supreme Court ruling in Wisconsin where that Court refused to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling in the infamous Dred Scott case.

The Alabama Supreme Court has been a staunch advocate for the decision of their elected officials and voters who overwhelmingly desire to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They refused to allow state clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a federal judge’s order to do so. In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s illegitimate ruling imposing gay ‘marriage’ on the nation, the Alabama court asked for parties to their marriage litigation to file appropriate briefs advising the court what they should do in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges.

Liberty Counsel’s brief filed in response to the request has decried the Obergefell ruling as an unlawful and illegal federal usurpation of power that is reserved to the states. In an accompanying press release the group said, “A judicial opinion without constitutional basis is not law and should not be followed by any state or citizen.”

Below is language from their Press Release:

ThinkstockPhotos-78632601Montgomery, AL—In a brief to the Alabama Supreme Court, Liberty Counsel presented legal arguments following the opinion in the marriage case at the U.S. Supreme Court. “When considering the Supreme Court’s Obergefell opinion, state Supreme Courts should contemplate the “decision’s substantial assault on the Rule of Law, Democracy, and Natural Law, and its necessary diminishment of the constitutional right to Free Exercise of Religion,” Liberty Counsel told the Alabama Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts said it best: “[For] those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening….Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law.”

The Obergefell opinion is an assault on Democracy. Justice Antonin Scalia warned, “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine…robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

ThinkstockPhotos-106536180The decision from five lawyers ignored the natural order of marriage: the union of a man and a woman who complement each other biologically and socially, which union produces children, creates a family, and builds society.

“Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect,” Justice Clarence Thomas put forth in his dissent.

The brief by Liberty Counsel points out that the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to follow the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the Dred Scott case, which said that blacks were not entitled to full protection as citizens. The Liberty Counsel brief also urged the Alabama Supreme Court to protect the religious freedom of its citizens.

“There is existing precedent for a state’s highest court to reject an unlawful mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. Staver continued, “The hope of our Constitutional Republic rests upon state officials and American citizens who will refuse to allow five, black-robed judges to rob us of our free, representative form of government. A judicial opinion without constitutional basis is not law and should not be followed by any state or citizen.”

Liberty Counsel also asked Alabama’s High Court to ensure protection of the constitutional rights of Alabama probate judges and other Christian business owners. “Never before in America has a religious requirement been required to hold office or own a business, and it cannot begin now,” Staver cautioned. “To require Christians to pull out pages of their Bible in order to hold office or own a business is anti-American and it is unconstitutional, despite what any judge may say otherwise.”

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.