‘Commandments Judge’ Fails At High Court, But Testifies In Congress

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Alabama “Commandments Judge” Roy\n Moore’s final attempt to get his job back.

On Oct. 4, the justices returned from a summer recess and issued a long list\n of cases that they had decided not to hear. Among them was a challenge Moore\n filed against the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission in an effort to be reinstated\n as chief justice of the state supreme court.

Moore was ousted from the state’s top judicial post after he defied\n a federal court order to remove a 2.5-ton Ten Commandments monument from display\n at the Judicial Building in Montgomery. The lawsuit against the display was\n brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and allied organizations.

Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said the Supreme Court’s\n action was to be expected.

“Now no court on this planet has ruled in Moore’s favor,” Lynn\n told The Birmingham News. “It is truly time for him to understand\n that he has lost. His effort to rewrite the Constitution and the laws of the\n land have been terminated.”

Moore’s defiance, however, has not made him a pariah in some circles.\n He recently appeared before a congressional panel and argued that the federal\n judiciary should be stripped of its power to hear cases dealing with religious\n displays by government.

Moore testified before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution Sept. 13\n in favor of H.R. 3799, the “Constitu­tion Restoration Act of 2004.” The\n legislation, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholdt (R-Ala.), would deny federal\n courts the right to hear cases involving government displays of religious symbols.\n Judges who failed to comply would face impeachment.

The bill is of dubious constitutionality. Many legal scholars argue that\n Congress does not have the power to strip the federal courts of their jurisdiction\n in cases dealing with the core freedoms of the American people.

Moore insisted that was not his intent.

“I’m not trying to interfere with the independence of the federal\n judiciary,” Moore said. “Acknowledgment of God is just not within\n the jurisdiction of the federal courts.”

But AU’s Lynn countered that it’s clear that the legislation\n is designed to neuter the federal courts. He said Moore is unfit to provide\n testimony on sensitive constitutional questions.

“Roy Moore has shown blatant contempt for the First Amendment’s\n call to keep church and state separate in America,” said Lynn. “It\n is shameful that some House lawmakers feel compelled to provide Moore a forum\n for his outlandish views.”

In other news about Moore:

• A state judge in Alabama has dismissed a lawsuit designed\n to force Moore to pay for the attorneys’ fees that his case generated.

Ten Alabama residents sued Moore, arguing that his behavior left the state\n with a $550,000 bill for legal fees. They asserted that Moore relied on arguments “calculated\n to lose” and that his defense in court was not credible.

Circuit Judge Tracy McCooey dismissed the case Sept. 28, ruling that the\n plaintiffs did not have the right to bring the legal challenge.