Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore announced on Thursday that he is refusing to obey an order from a federal court to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument that he had installed in the rotunda of the state judicial building in the dead of night shortly after he was elected.
“Roy Moore has set himself higher than the Constitution and federal courts,” said People For the American Way Foundation Legal Director Elliot Mincberg. “It is astonishing that the chief justice of Alabama has so little respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Mincberg said that while Moore has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court and to request a stay of the court order while his request for a High Court hearing is pending, the judge’s statements suggested that he might refuse to obey the order even if the Supreme Court rules against him. Moore, who has repeatedly denounced the constitutional principle of church-state separation, is claiming that the federal courts have no authority to enforce that principle.
Moore and his supporters are planning a weekend rally to defend his defiance of the federal courts and his pattern of abusing the power of his office to promote his personal religious faith to those who come before the Alabama courts seeking justice.
Mincberg noted that several of Moore’s colleagues on the state supreme court have reportedly expressed their reservations about his actions, and that even federal appeals court nominee and Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, who has used the attorney general’s office to support Moore’s case at every step, released a statement acknowledging that Moore would have to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case.