Disgraced Judge Roy Moore has been back on the Alabama bench less than one week, and he is already giving church-state separation supporters reason to worry.
Moore was sworn in last Friday as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a post he held from 2001 until 2003, when he was removed from his position for defying a court order and ignoring the Constitution.
In 2001, Moore thought it would be a good idea to haul a 2.5-ton granite monument depicting a Protestant version of the Ten Commandments into the foyer of the Alabama Judicial Building and announce that it was his intent to “acknowledge God.”
Americans United and our allies in Alabama sued, charging Moore with violating the constitutional separation of church and state. The federal courts ruled in our favor, but Moore ignored the order to remove the monument.
That worked out about as well as you’d expect. The monument was removed from the foyer, and in 2003, Moore was removed from the state supreme court.
After failed runs for governor in 2006 and 2010, Moore somehow managed to get reelected to the Alabama Supreme Court last year. When he took his oath of office on Jan. 11, he showed he had learned little from past experience.
“We’ve got to remember most of what we do in court comes from some scriptures or is backed by scriptures,” Moore said, according to the Associated Press. (Moore took his oath not on one Bible, but a stack of them.)
That remark was bad enough, but Moore didn’t stop there. In fact, things got worse as Moore continued to rant on the importance of the Bible as the basis for laws in the United States.
The Christian News Network said Moore claimed that our court system is the creation of God and that the foundation of our legal system comes from the Book of Deuteronomy.
Americans United has monitored Moore’s shenanigans for more than a decade, and we had every reason to worry when he was elected again to serve as Alabama’s most powerful judge.
Clearly Moore learned nothing from his first term, and his comments last week did absolutely nothing to assuage our fears about his total disregard of the First Amendment and religious freedom.
Sadly, history looks to be repeating itself in Alabama, and we will be sure to keep a close watch on Moore’s activities.