Moore argues that because the Alabama Supreme Court had not ruled in the API case by January 6, there was "confusion" from probate judges, and that he was trying to give them a status update about what he called differing orders. "That he used every tool at his disposal to defy the federal courts of this country", said Ashby Pate, who represented the Judicial Inquiry Commission. Closing statements finished around 2:30 p.m.
The court will rule in about 10 days.
The trial on Wednesday was among the final stages of a last-gasp, conservative stand against federal same-sex marriage law that began with Moore's administrative ruling in January. The Judicial Inquiry Commission has accused Moore of violating those ethics, after he ordered probate judges to uphold the state's ban on same sex marriage.
A federal court had already overturned Alabama's same-sex marriage ban several months prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, however.
Staver said Moore's order speaks for itself because it includes a paragraph in which he states he can't provide guidance to probate judges on what to do. He testified states that weren't party to the lawsuit that led to the Obergefell decision, like Alabama, had to update their own laws, and he was seeking to clear up confusion for the state's probate judges. There was a prayer service this morning outside the Alabama Supreme Court Building.
Alabama Republican Chief Justice Roy Moore is fighting to keep his job. The charges center on a January 6 administrative order to the state's 68 probate judges regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.
Lawyers, judges and reporters weren't the only people in Montgomery today for Moore's trial. A decision to remove him from the bench must be unanimous.
"He merely gave a status report on the pending case and the JIC overstepped its authority to bring these politically-motivated charges", said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
The justice appeared in court this week to battle six charges of ethics violations that could see him removed from the bench for a second time.
"In that administrative order, I wasn't telling them to do anything", Moore said. Moore told probate judges that because the Alabama Supreme Court had not rescinded the state's gay marriage ban, they still remained bound by it.
"He was on a mission not to recognize federal law on same-sex couples", attorney John Carroll said.
Crowds of Moore's supporters and critics were on hand at the Court of the Judiciary on Wednesday. A federal judge later dismissed his attempt to overturn his suspension. The Articles of Impeachment - now in the House Judiciary Committee - accuse Bentley of willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, and "offenses of moral terpitude".
The state of Alabama was not a part of that specific case, according to Moore.
"Equal marriage is the law". Moore's supporters gathered for an early rally, and while the chief justice insisted in court his actions had nothing to do with his opposition to same-sex marriage, his supporters came to praise that opposition.
Eva Kendrick, state manager of the Human Rights Campaign, said she thought the JIC did well in their arguments.