CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and a controversial Alabama judge had a lengthy and tense debate Thursday on the state’s same-sex marriage laws.
In an almost 30-minute exchange, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore passionately defended his decision to not enforce a court order mandating his state allow same-sex marriages. Moore, an ardent social conservative, repeatedly compared the order to some of the most infamous civil rights cases in Supreme Court history.
“Let me ask you this Chris. Would you have followed the order in Dred Scott saying that black people were property. Or would you have followed the order in Plessy v. Ferguson, which said ‘separate but equal’ was the policy of the United States?” Moore asked.
Cuomo initially refused to answer Moore’s question.
“Your job as chief justice is to administer the law. I’m not the chief justice of Alabama,” he said.
“You didn’t answer,” Moore said, smiling. “Yes or no? You can’t answer. You can’t answer it, can you Chris? You can’t answer.”
The CNN anchor finally relented after a lengthy back-and-forth.
“I would have been bound to” enforce the law, Cuomo conceded.
Last month, a federal judge struck down Alabama’s gay marriage ban as unconstitutional. In a move widely interpreted as a sign the US’ highest court will rule in favour of same-sex marriages later this year, the Supreme Court declined to halt the order on Monday. However, Moore said the Supreme Court would have no authority to make such a ruling.
“I don’t believe they have the right to push upon a state a definition that this state does not recognise,” Moore said, touting “states rights.”
After the interview, Cuomo said he could use a drink:
Moore previously drew national controversy when he refused to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from his state’s supreme court building. An ethics panel removed him for office in response. He successfully ran for his chief justice position again in 2012.
Watch the full exchange below, via Raw Story:
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