Apr 29, 2004

A specially formed Alabama Supreme Court bench has unanimously rejected Roy Moore's effort to win back his seat on the state's high court.

In a ruling today, the special Supreme Court turned away Moore's appeal to overturn the state Court of the Judiciary's 2003 decision yanking Moore from his position as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore had refused to obey a federal order to remove his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. The Court of the Judiciary concluded that Moore's obstinacy had violated state canons of judicial ethics.

Primary Source

Read the decision: PDF

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the three public interest groups that challenged Moore's Ten Commandments monument in federal court, lauded today's ruling.

"It's just too bad that Moore has dragged the state of Alabama through this long, costly and embarrassing ordeal," said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. "I'm glad it's over, and I'm sure many citizens of Alabama are glad as well. As Donald Trump might put it, 'Roy Moore, you're fired!'"

In February, Moore told an Alabama newspaper that if he lost his appeal before the special state Supreme Court that he would again look to the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. Late last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear Moore's appeal of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that Moore's actions to keep the Commandments on public view in the state's Judicial Building violated the First Amendment principle of church-state separation. 

"Today's decision is another indicator that defiance of federal court rulings will not be tolerated in America," Lynn added.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.