Attorney says Alabama probate judges that issue same-sex marriage licenses could face contempt of court

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Sample Alabama marriage license

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The federal government does not take kindly to states getting in the way of their rulings.

Attorney Shelley Bilbrey notes, “You know at some point, we end up with the George Wallace standing at the school-house door situation.”

Let’s say a probate judge wants to issue a same-sex marriage license. Let’s say they want to side with the federal court and ignore the state ruling.

Why not?

Bilbrey answers, “They would be fearful of a contempt citing.”

She’s saying probate judges could be jailed for following a federal court decision.

You can see why they may be reluctant to issue the same-sex marriage licenses, no matter their own feelings on the legality or morality of the issue.

Bilbrey adds, “Regardless of what he believes about the issue, I certainly would never want to risk a contempt citing.”

Because the ruling itself shows the state supreme court is using a lot of the powers at their disposal.

As for contempt, Bilbrey assesses, “I wouldn’t doubt that they would exercise that, since they’ve already taken this drastic measure.”