In apparent homage to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a rural state judge has started donning a robe embroidered with the Ten Commandments in the courtroom.
Covington County Presiding Circuit Court Judge Ashley McKathan began wearing his Commandments robe to court in early December. He told reporters that he paid for the robe to be embroidered with his own funds.
According to Religion News Service, McKathan said, “Truth is an absolute value, and you can’t divorce the law from the truth. I feel we must resist the modern attempts to discount the truth.”
A local attorney appearing before McKathan filed an objection, saying the robe had “created a great distraction in the courtroom with media present and cameras.
“And when the judge wears his personal views on his chest, does that influence the jury?” the attorney asked.
Moore, who lost a long-running legal battle in the federal courts to keep an enormous granite Commandments monument housed in the rotunda of the state’s Judicial Building, issued a statement praising McKathan’s actions.
“I applaud Judge McKathan,” Moore stated. “It is time for our judiciary to recognize the moral basis of our law.”
Moore’s Commandments battle has brought him hero-like status in the state, and he announced in late December that he was contemplating using his prominence to run for the governorship in 2006. Moore would have to beat a fellow Republican in a primary if Gov. Bob Riley decides to seek re-election.
“Nothing will play into my decision but what I feel God would have me do and what I feel the people of the state of Alabama need,” Moore said.