The Alabama Court of the Judiciary ruled on Monday that state Chief Justice Roy Moore will face ethics charges for trying to defy the Supreme Court's ruling legalizing marriage equality, AL.com reported.
The judiciary panel rejected a motion by Moore's attorneys calling for the charges to be dismissed, as well as a motion to immediately be removed from his position. WIAT-TV reported that Moore will instead go to trial in September.
Moore was suspended in May after he issued an order to probate judges around the state telling them not to recognize same-sex couples' marriages.
While the charges against Moore were brought by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, he accused the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of being the true source of the accusations. He also argued that he was not trying to stop judges from enforcing the high court's ruling.
"They're the ones who hired the prosecutor, they're the ones that brought the case for the second time," Moore said of the SPLC after the hearing. "They don't want anybody opposing the agenda of the homosexual movement. That's what they don’t want."
SPLC president Richard Cohen rejected the allegation.
"We've said it many times, he acts as if he is the Ayatollah of Alabama," he said. "Instead he is an elected state judge required to follow the oath of his office, which makes federal law supreme, whether he likes it or not."
"It is unseemly and it is dishonest. Alabama is a great state and deserves better than a chief justice who thinks he is the law unto himself," Cohen said.
Watch a report on the hearing, as aired on WIAT, below.