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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Moore No More: Alabama Chief Justice Removed

Chief Justice Roy Moore, who installed a monument to the 10 Commandments and then defied a federal court order to remove it, was removed from office today:

The nine-member Court of the Judiciary issued its unanimous decision after a one-day trial Wednesday. ... "In defying that order, the chief justice placed himself above the law," said Judge William Thompson, head of the Court of the Judiciary.

The panel also found that Moore "showed no signs of contrition for his actions."

The last is a bit of an understatement. Moore has promoted himself as a martyr for God during these past months, and the act is wearing thin. I do not believe that any great harm is done to the establishment clause by placing a monument to the Decalogue in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court. After all, it is represented in the US Supreme Court's chambers, but not anywhere near as ostentatiously. I also believe that the federal court order to remove the monument is as silly as installing the monument was in the first place.

But -- but -- that order was a lawful order, given by a superior court with proper jurisdiction, and Moore was bound by his oath as an officer of the court to obey it. An oath, by the way, invoking the same God he claims to defend! His mutinous behavior brought disrepute to the Alabama Supreme Court and certainly cast doubt on whether Moore was more interested in interpreting Alabama and US law than in delivering his own version of God's law unto his people ... which makes the 10 Commandments symbolism fairly compelling, if you think about it. The Judicial Ethics Panel did the right thing in removing Moore, and perhaps the state Bar association should look into some sort of moderate penalty for his refusal to submit to a proper court order.

To all the Moores of the nation who think they are saving America by pulling these stunts: God doesn't count monuments to judge our faith. If you truly believe that the strength of faith, or our nation, is based on whether one can build monuments on public lands, then you have fallen into idolatry. (via A Small Victory)

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12:39 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


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