When we last left “Ten Commandments” judge Roy Moore, he was licking his wounds after being defeated for a U.S. Senate seat by Doug Jones in Alabama.
Well, kind of. See, Moore insisted he hadn’t really lost. Nefarious forces had bused people in from out of state, suppressed the vote or done something like that to cause Moore to lose. His defeat certainly wasn’t because reports surfaced of him allegedly assaulting a teenage girl in the 1980s and harassing others at a mall.
Moore raised money claiming he was going to expose the plot that kept him from office, but suddenly he’s gone quiet about that. Now Moore has decided on another flim-flam operation: bringing prayer back to public school football games in Alabama.
“Nobody stands up for the students of this state and we’re going to do that,” Moore vowed during a press conference last week. He announced that the Foundation for Moral Law, a group his wife supposedly runs, was sending memos to all Alabama school districts advising the superintendents on ways they can supposedly allow prayers before games.
It came out during his Senate campaign that Moore’s foundation is little more than a grifting operation, so I’d be highly skeptical of any advice it’s peddling. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court settled this business of school-sponsored prayers before public school football games back in 2000 in a case called Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe. The high court ruled that broadcasting prayers over a loudspeaker was coercive and put a stop to it.
Moore also has a rather checkered history when it comes to following the law, to put it mildly. After Americans United and its allies successfully sued him over a Ten Commandments display at a judicial building in Montgomery in 2001, he defied the federal court’s order to remove the monument. The incident led to Moore, who was then chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, being removed from that body.
For some reason, Alabama voters saw fit to return Moore to the Alabama high court in 2012. Three years later, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld marriage equality, Moore again engaged in judicial defiance. He ordered probate judges in the state not to recognize the ruling. This stunt led to Moore’s second removal from the court.
To sum up: What we have here is a man who has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl, a man who founded a charity and then used it to pay himself a handsome salary, a man who was twice removed from Alabama’s highest court because he would not follow the rulings of higher courts. (Have I mentioned that he also writes really bad poetry?)
Here’s a little suggestion for school superintendents in Alabama: You know that letter you just got from Roy Moore? Turn it into a paper airplane, recycle it, use it to line a birdcage, etc. Do anything but listen to it.
P.S. That Supreme Court case I mentioned involving prayers at a Texas public school’s football game? Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, then a private attorney, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in that case in support of school-sponsored prayer. It’s just one of the many ways Kavanaugh has shown he’s wrong on church-state separation and wrong for the Supreme Court. Our report on Kavanaugh’s record outlines many reasons why you should urge your senators to oppose his confirmation. And if you need even more reasons, how about this: Moore, seeing Kavanaugh as a kind of kindred spirit, endorsed him.