Main | Sunday, January 25, 2015

ALABAMA: Montgomery County Judge Vows To Issue Licenses Tomorrow UPDATE: Probably Jefferson County Too

Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed announced on Twitter this afternoon that barring any stay he will be issuing same-sex marriage licenses tomorrow morning.

I just finished listening in on an hour-long conference call between reporters and Al Agricola, the lawyer who represents Alabama's probate judges association. According to Agricola, the association has no mechanism to discipline any judge who issues licenses as their declaration that the ruling only applies to the plaintiffs is merely their "opinion." Agricola says he has no idea how many judges will buck that opinion as "there is no time" to conduct a poll of Alabama's 67 county probate judges.

Responding to one reporter's question, Agricola revealed that the "don't issue" opinion was the work of a five-person executive committee. Another reporter asked if Agricola was familiar with the Loving v Virginia comparison made in today's response brief from the plaintiffs. Agricola replied that he's not yet read the response brief. He added later that his association plans to file an amicus brief in support of the state's demand for a stay.

In summation, it appears at this writing that at least one judge will be issuing licenses tomorrow morning and there's nothing the state can do to stop that.

UPDATE: JMG reader Jason alerts us to a text message sent today by Jefferson County Judge Sherry Coleman Friday who writes: "At this point our analysis is that the ban has been ruled unconstitutional. I don't violate federal court rulings." Jefferson County is Alabama's most-populous and is home to Birmingham, the state's largest city.

RELATED: Agricola has represented GOP Alabama Gov. Robert Benchley in the past, including during an unsuccessful 2010 campaign to have Benchley removed from the gubernatorial ballot. His wife, Bash Agricola (real name), is the head of the Montgomery County Tea Party. Ms Agricola is seen in the photo below as she protests against immigration reform.

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