Lessons from Montgomery

Letter From Alabama

At 11:30 A.M. (CST) on Thursday, November 13, 2003, Roy Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was removed from office, and the will of the people of the sovereign state of Alabama was thwarted by a unanimous vote of the nine-member panel of the Court of Judicial Ethics.  In deciding Glassroth v. Moore, the panel charged Moore with violating the canons of judicial ethics by willfully and publicly defying a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.  Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, a Bush nominee for a federal judgeship on the 11th Circuit Court, served as chief prosecutor against Moore.

The proceedings of November 13 have their immediate roots in Moore’s refusal to obey the federal court order of Judge Myron Thompson issued in August 2003.  Thompson ruled that the monument violated the constitutional provision of the separation of Church and state.  Thompson gave Moore until 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 20, to remove the monument.  Moore refused, noting that the issue in question was not the Ten Commandments themselves but whether the state of Alabama, representing her citizens, could acknowledge God.  Who rules Alabama, the people of the state or the federal courts?

The League of the South was one of several organizations to hold a rally in Montgomery on the deadline day in support...

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