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 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

The "Justice Moore" conflict,
Part 4: 2004-JAN-01 until now

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Sponsored link.

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Read prior events in the Chief Justice Moore case:
up to 2003-JUL, during 2003-AUG, the rest of 2003

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Overview:

The monument was installed in the rotunda of the State Judicial Building, in Montgomery, AL on 2001-AUG-1. The building houses the Alabama Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roy Moore had been ordered by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the monument because it violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its principle of separation of church and state. It was removed on 2003-AUG-27, and installed in a storeroom that has no public access. Moore was suspended from office. He continues his fight to be reinstated and to restore the monument to the building rotunda.

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2004-JAN-8: Former Chief Justice Moore asks to be reinstated in office: Roy Moore appealed the decision of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to the Alabama Supreme Court -- the body that he once led. He stated in legal briefs that "The Court of the Judiciary's crucial failure to distinguish between lawful and unlawful orders sets a dangerous precedent for all judicial officials in that...it requires obedience to all court orders including those that are illegal and unethical." He wrote that relocating the Decalogue monument would have forced him to "forsake an acknowledgment of God....Both the Alabama and the federal constitution prohibit Alabama from forcing public officers to choose between their job and their God.

He said at a news conference: "I've been removed from public office -- the highest judicial office in this state -- by an unelected, politically appointed body, and they did not question why I did not obey an unlawful order of the federal court. Basically, I was given the choice to fail to acknowledge God or keep my job....We are at a very critical point in our country to determine whether the federal government can tell us what to think. A lot of people seem to be missing it." He hopes to write a book which define his interpretation of such terms as "the rule of law" and "separation of church and state." 1

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2004-JAN-30: Little support for bill to abolish the Judicial Commission:  After the Judicial Commission removed former chief justice Roy Moore from office, some of Moore's supporters suggested that the Commission be eliminated. The legislature would then remain the only group with the power to remove a judge. Some Republican leaders in the Alabama House have proposed the abolition. Some comments:

bulletJohn Giles, of the Christian Coalition in Alabama likened the process whereby judges evaluated judges is like a "..fox guarding the hen house...." He said: "We embrace restoring us to the original constitutional process of the Legislature impeaching judges."
bulletHouse Speaker Pro Tem Demetrius Newton, (D-Birmingham) said: "I think it's a horrible idea." He is concerned that having the legislature discipline judges would politicize the process.
bulletRepresentative Greg Albritton, (R-Excel) favored the proposal. He said: "The Legislature has given up way too much authority to the executive and judicial branches. It's time we faced responsibility and took on that job ourselves,"

However, there appears to be  little support in the Senate for such a move. The Associated Press surveyed senators and found that 3% supported the proposal, 70% were opposed and 27% were undecided. Among House representatives, the vote was 22% in support, 54% opposed and 24% undecided. 2

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2004-JUN-2: Former aide to Roy Moore wins state Supreme Court GOP primary:  Tom Parker was victorious over incumbent justice Jean Brown. Three other Moore supporters who tried to win at various GOP primaries were defeated. CNN reported that: "Parker told his supporters, many of whom knelt in prayer near a Ten Commandments display as word of victory came, that their vote was their 'civic duty in maintaining our way of life. Judges take an oath of office to support the Constitution. But we here in Alabama experienced a sad spectacle of state judges abandoning the Constitution in order to comply with an unlawful order of a federal court that did not even have jurisdiction over them'....[Alabamians are] fed up [with judges who] give lip-service to principles but then cave in to cooperate with the ACLU and liberal activist federal judges. We don't need politicians who will run for something, we need politicians who will stand for something." 3

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Sponsored link:

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2004-JUL-17: USA: Monument to tour the country: Former Chief Justice Roy Moore has given the Texas-based group Veterans Standing for God and Country permission to take his Ten Commandments monument from its storage area in the Alabama Judicial Building on tour around the U.S., ending in Washington, DC. Moore has asked Congress to allow the monument to be displayed at the Capitol building. He wrote: "At a time when our sacred institution of marriage is being assaulted by those who would deny the law of God, Americans need to be reminded of our moral foundation. I have agreed to allow the Veterans Standing for God and Country to display the monument in various locations across the country."

A member of the group, Wiley Drake, who is the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, CA said: "We need to bring back to the attention of the American public that they need to acknowledge God in public because it is absolutely necessary for this nation to survive."

John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, hopes that the monument will eventually be on display in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. If that cannot happen, his second wish is that "...Congress will graciously welcome the foundation of our moral law in our nation's Capitol." 4

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2004-OCT-04: End of the road: Court rejected Moore's appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court decided to not consider former Chief Justice Roy Moore's request to reverse his expulsion from office by an Alabama judicial ethics panel. This ends his three-year battle. As is customary, the court made no comment on its decision. Moore issued a statement in which he said that it was hypocritical for the "liberal Supreme Court" to reject his appeal even as the justices begin each session with the phrase 'God save the United States and this honorable court'....Obviously, when they open their courts this way the majority of the court doesn't really mean it." The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State commented: "Now, no court on this planet has ruled in Moore's favor. It is truly time for him to understand that he has lost." 5

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2005-MAR-30: Roy Moore's book is released: So Help Me God: Broadman and Holman released Roy Moore's book: "The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, And The Battle For Religious Freedom."

A review by Amazon.com states:

"Chief Justice Roy Moore believes the state must acknowledge the moral principles on which America was founded and that it is not illegal to do so. While the separation of church and state may be a credible and legitimate tenet, it has been largely misconstrued and abused during the last forty years."

"Moore was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. His critics, both within conservative circles and without, have maintained that he violated the law by disobeying the order of a federal judge to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments. But Moore brilliantly argues that those who have ordered him to violate his oath have, in fact, broken the law."

"So Help Me God will articulate why he believes elected and appointed government officials have the right and the obligation to acknowledge God as the foundation of American government and jurisprudence."

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. As of 2005-OCT-04, it was available new from Amazon.com for $16.49 plus shipping, and was available -- both new and used -- at a much lower cost from Amazon Marketplace Sellers.

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2005-OCT-03: Roy Moore is running for governor of Alabama:  Former Chief Justice Roy Moore announced that he will be running for governor of Alabama in 2006 as a Republican. This could lead to a conflict with Governor Bob Riley (R) in the Republican primary on 2006-JUN-06. 6

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Related essays on this site

bulletDevelopments involving posting of the Ten Commandments:
bulletA detailed analysis of the Ten Commandments
bulletRecent U.S. court rulings on separation of church and state
bulletThe Istook Constitutional Amendment: 1995-1996
bulletThe Istook Constitutional Amendment: 1997-1999
bulletPrayer in the public schools

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References used:

  1. "Ousted Alabama justice seeks return to office; Moore calls his expulsion 'dangerous'," CNN.com, 2004-JAN-8, at: http://edition.cnn.com/
  2. "Little Support For Abolishing Judicial Commission," Associated Press, 2004-JAN-30, at: http://www.nbc13.com/
  3. John Mercurio, "Rep. Herseth, Judge Parker ... Mayor Barry?," CNN, 2004-JUN-3, at: http://edition.cnn.com
  4. Jannell McGrew, "Moore to move monument," Montgomery Advertiser, 2004-JUL-17, at: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/
  5. Kyle Wingfield, "Supreme Court rejects Commandments case," Salon.com, 2004-OCT-04, at: http://www.salon.com/
  6. "Ousted Alabama chief justice to run for governor," Associated Press, 2005-OCT-03, at: http://www.cnn.com/

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Site navigation: Home page > Religious LawsTen Commandments > here

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Copyright © 2004 & 2005, by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-JAN-10
Latest update: 2005-OCT-04
Author: B.A. Robinson

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