When we last left Alabama’s infamous “Ten Commandments” Judge Roy Moore, he had just lost a race for U.S. Senate to Democrat Doug Jones and was claiming that was due to some kind of conspiracy involving voter fraud. Moore was confident that he had really won that race, and he told his supporters that if they’d just send him some money he’d expose the scam and take his rightful place in that august body.
There was one little problem: Moore had absolutely no evidence that voter fraud had occurred. He never conceded the race but has moved on. In a recently released Facebook plea, Moore now says he needs money to fend off “another vicious attack from lawyers in Washington D. C. and San Francisco” who are going to “bring another legal action against me and ensure that I never fight again.”
Let’s be clear about what’s going on here: Whether their attack is vicious or mild-mannered, lawyers don’t just start suing someone on their own. They work on behalf of their clients. In Moore’s case, he is indeed being sued – by a woman who says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14.
As The Washington Post reported, “Leigh Corfman filed a defamation lawsuit against Moore in January, part of an emerging legal strategy of litigating sexual misconduct claims through civil lawsuits when the statute of limitations has expired for criminal charges.” (It’s worth noting that Corfman isn’t seeking any money from Moore. She wants an apology and a promise that he’ll stop verbally attacking her.)
Corfman was the first woman to come forward during the campaign with allegations against Moore. She was not the only one. Moore’s behavior during the late 1970s when he was in his 30s, which reportedly involved trolling a Gadsden mall for teen girls, was creepy enough to turn off a majority of Alabama voters, and he lost the race.
Moore refuses to go away. “My resources have been depleted and I have struggled to make ends meet...,” he complains in his message.
I’m not convinced this is even true, but let’s assume that it is. Who’s responsible for this? Moore outlines the grand conspiracy against him: It seems “the liberal media, in association with some who want to destroy our Country” has joined forces with “Gays, lesbians, and transgenders” as well as “those who believe in abortion, sodomy, and destruction of all that we hold dear.”
That’s quite a phalanx! But note there’s one person who is never to blame for Moore’s woes: Moore himself. The man had a job once – a good one, actually. He was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He managed to lose that position twice – once by defying a federal court order that he remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Judicial Building in Montgomery and once by telling probate judges in Alabama that they did not have to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
Americans United was involved in both of those cases. We sued Moore over the Ten Commandments monument along with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, and we represented clients in Alabama who had been unable to marry because probates judges were denying them licenses. We’re quite familiar with his stunts.
I don’t know what Moore’s financial situation is really like. (After he was removed from the court the first time, Moore made good money looting a nonprofit, but that’s another story.) But I do know this: If it’s as bad as he says it is, that’s not the fault of the “liberal media,” the “transgenders” (does he even know, or care, that that term is considered offensive?) or people who support legal abortion. None of those people made Moore prey on young girls. None of them compelled Moore to put himself above the law. None of them persuaded Moore to put aside our democratic principles and embrace theocratic ones.
Moore did all of that himself. Those were his choices, and far from making him the great moral leader the Religious Right holds him up to be, they have exposed him as a man of deep moral flaws.
I’m no theologian, but I do recall that Moore loves to claim that ours is a “Christian nation.” He insists that we should embrace the Bible as a legal and moral standard and loves to quote passages from it.
Two can play that game. I recommend Moore reflect on the Book of Isaiah 3:11: “Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.”