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Famous Like Me > Writer > M > Roy Moore

Profile of Roy Moore on Famous Like Me

Name: Roy Moore  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 18th July 1940
Place of Birth: Ontario, Canada
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Roy Stuart Moore (born February 11, 1947) is known as the "Ten Commandments" judge. On 14 November 2003, was removed from his post as Chief Justice of Alabama by a unanimous decision of the nine member state Court of the Judiciary. The Court found that he had "willfully and publicly" flouted a court order to remove a monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building, placing himself in contempt of the federal court which had ordered the removal, and thereby breaking his oath of office. Roy Moore and his supporters regard his defiant stand as a defense of States' Rights, the Constitution of Alabama, and an act of interposition analagous to the actions of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Opponents, meanwhile, contend that Moore's actions blurred the line between separation of church and state.

Moore is a controversial figure in Alabama, highly regarded and supported by some conservative Christians, but considered by many others to be seeking media attention for personal and political gain. He has announced he will seek the Governorship of Alabama in 2006.

Early judicial career

In 1992, Moore was elected circuit judge, Place Number One of the Alabama Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Gadsden, Alabama.

In 1995, still serving as circuit judge, Moore was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for displaying a copy of the Ten Commandments in his court, and for opening court sessions with prayer. In at least one instance, Judge Moore asked a clergyman to lead the court's jury pool in prayer.

In 2000, Moore leveraged the attention he gained in the ACLU dispute by running for the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. His campaign promised to "restore the moral foundation of law." He was elected Chief Justice in November 2000.

In 2001, in the middle of the night of 31 July, Moore installed a 5,300-pound granite monument to the Ten Commandments in the central rotunda of the Alabama state judicial building. The event was recorded, and proceeds from the sale of the videotape were used to raise money for a charity he supported.

Federal suit

On Tuesday 30 October 2001, the ACLU of Alabama, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Southern Poverty Law Center were among groups which filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, asking that the monument be removed because it "sends a message to all who enter the State Judicial Building that the government encourages and endorses the practice of religion in general and Judeo-Christianity in particular." Evidence included testimony that lawyers of different religious beliefs had changed their work practices, including routinely avoiding visiting the court building to avoid passing by the monument, and testimony that the monument created a religious atmosphere, with many people using the area for prayer.

Moore argued that he would not remove the monument, as doing so would violate his oath of office. Moore further claimed that the 10 Commandments are the moral basis of U.S. law.

Judgement and appeal

Federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the monument an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the government. The case was appealed to the Eleventh Circuit, the decision (PDF) of which, in part, reads:

The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court installed a two and one half-ton monument to the Ten Commandments as the centerpiece of the rotunda in the Alabama State Judicial Building. He did so in order to remind all Alabama citizens of, among other things, his belief in the sovereignty of the Judeo-Christian God over both the state and the church. And he rejected a request to permit a monument displaying a historically significant speech in the same space on the grounds that "[t]he placement of a speech of any man alongside the revealed law of God would tend in consequence to diminish the very purpose of the Ten Commandments monument."

After taking office he hung a hand-carved, wooden plaque depicting the Ten Commandments behind the bench in his courtroom and routinely invited clergy to lead prayer at jury organizing sessions....

Every fourth grader in the state is brought on a tour of the building as part of a field trip to the state capital. No one who enters the building through the main entrance can miss the monument. It is in the rotunda, directly across from the main entrance, in front of a plate-glass window with a courtyard and waterfall behind it. After entering the building, members of the public must pass through the rotunda to access the public elevator or stairs, to enter the law library, or to use the public restrooms.

Moore answered yes to these questions:

  • [W]as your purpose in putting the Ten Commandments monument in the Supreme Court rotunda to acknowledge GOD’s law and GOD’s sovereignty?
  • Do you agree that the monument, the Ten Commandments monument, reflects the sovereignty of GOD over the affairs of men?
  • And the monument is also intended to acknowledge God’s overruling power over the affairs of men, would that be correct?
  • [W]hen you say “GOD” you mean GOD of the Holy Scripture?

Moore also said, "there is no morality without God" on Sean Hannity's talk show.

The Appeals Court upheld the earlier decision and returned the matter to the lower court for enforcement, which was initiated with a court order requiring that the monument to be removed.


Moore refused to remove the monument as ordered, and allowed the time limit for removal to expire. The state of Alabama then faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. The eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened, unanimously overruled Moore, and then ordered the monument's removal.

Because of the monument's weight, worries that the monument could break through the floor if it was taken outside intact, and a desire to avoid confrontation with protesters massed outside the building, the monument was put into storage within the building.

Moore was then suspended as Chief Justice (with full pay) pending a hearing of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (a panel of judges, lawyers and others appointed variously by judges, legal leaders, the governor and the lieutenant governor).

On 3 November 2003 the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal against the court order to remove the monument.

On Thursday 13 November 2003, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed an unrepentant Moore from the office of Chief Justice because, according to Court of the Judiciary Presiding Judge William Thompson, "[t]he chief justice placed himself above the law."

In closing arguments, the Assistant Attorney General said Moore's defiance, left unchecked, "undercuts the entire workings of the judicial system" and "What message does that send to the public, to other litigants? The message it sends is: If you don't like a court order, you don't have to follow it."

Moore was considered as a possible candidate for the United States Constitution Party in the 2004 presidential election, but did not pursue their nomination.

Candidacy for Governor

On October 3, 2005, Judge Moore announced that he plans to run for governor of Alabama in the upcoming 2006 election. Current governor Bob Riley is running for reelection, placing two Republicans in the race. Primary elections are to be held June 6, 2006.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Roy Moore