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|Hail to the Chief?|
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“”I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another… Our families were strong, our country had a direction.
|—In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience, who asked when Moore thought America was previously "great".|
Roy Stewart Moore is the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, former contributor for WorldNetDaily, and failed candidate for the United States Senate. Having twice lost his job as chief justice of the court, he denies evolution, is a raging homophobe, Islamophobe, and serial violator of judicial ethics rules, and has said the events of September 11 were God's punishment for America's acceptance of gay rights and abortion. A ghastly campaign for the Senate in 2017 revealed more details of Moore's personal seaminess, and he narrowly lost the election to Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
- 1 A monument to stupidity
- 2 Return to glory infamy
- 3 Senate candidacy
- 4 In summary
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
A monument to stupidity
A month after his first election to the court, Moore began making plans for a Ten Commandments statue to be placed in the Court rotunda. The day after it was finished, he held a press conference in the central rotunda to unveil the statue. In a speech following the unveiling, he said, "Today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgement of that God upon whom this nation and our laws were founded… May this day mark the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and the return to the knowledge of God in our land."
On October 30, 2001, groups including the ACLU of Alabama, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, seeking removal of the monument 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 Christianity in particular."
Glassroth v. Moore began on October 15, 2002. Evidence for the plaintiffs 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 generated a religious atmosphere, with many people using the area for prayer.
Moore said he would not remove the monument, claiming that doing so would violate his oath of office. He also claimed that the Ten Commandments were the "moral foundation" of U.S. law, saying, "We must first recognize the source from which all morality springs... by recognizing the sovereignty of God." He added that the addition of the monument to the state judiciary building marked "the beginning of the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people" and "a return to the knowledge of God in our land." (As if Americans had all forgotten that most people in the country were Christian.)
Additionally, he acknowledged an explicit religious intent in placing the monument, agreeing that the monument "reflects the sovereignty of God over the affairs of men" and "acknowledge[s] God’s overruling power over the affairs of men." However, in Moore's view this did not violate the doctrine of separation of church and state. Moore argued that "the Judeo-Christian God reigned over both the church and the state in this country, and that both owed allegiance to that God".
Pwning and whining
On November 18, 2002, federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued his ruling declaring that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and was thus unconstitutional.
Judge Thompson's decision was given on December 23, 2002, and mandated that Moore remove the monument from the state judicial building by January 3, 2003. Moore appealed the decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which was argued before a three-judge panel in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 4, 2003. On July 1, 2003, the panel issued a ruling upholding the court's decision, agreeing that it violates the Establishment Clause. Additionally, the court noted that different religious traditions assigned different wordings of the Ten Commandments, meaning that "choosing which version of the Ten Commandments to display can have religious endorsement implications." But of course, it wasn't endorsing a religion.
Protests and monument removal
On August 14, 2003, Moore announced his intention to disobey Judge Thompson's order to have the monument removed. Eventually, a bunch of crazy people like the Reverend Nutcase and Moore himself ran around the place, not endorsing religions. The crowd peaked at 4,000 that day, significantly less than the expected 25,000.
The time limit for removal expired on August 20. As specified in Judge Thompson's order, Alabama faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. The eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court didn't like that, and ordered the removal of the statue. That really wasn't endorsing a religion.
Moore said Thompson decided to threaten other state officials and force them to remove the monument and that a threat of heavy fines was his way of coercing obedience to that order, an action that Moore sees as a violation of his... ummm... rights.[note 1] But of course, he would never infringe on others' rights.
On August 27, the monument was moved to a side room in the building, but it wasn't actually removed from the state judicial building until July 19, 2004.
Judge Moore became a hero in certain right-wing circles. There was talk of him running for governor of Alabama or even President of the US. (If he ran for the latter, he would have done so as a member of the Constitution Party.) Instead, though, he now tours with the giant statue and runs the "Foundation for Moral Law", an organization with Neo-Confederate sympathies. He also writes for WorldNetDaily.
During 2004, Moore campaigned against an amendment to the Alabama Constitution that would have removed from it sections mandating racial segregation in schools. During the campaign a former aide of Moore handed people miniature Confederate flags. The amendment was defeated on the ballot by a slim margin.
Despite having lost the 2006 Republican primaries by a 2-to-1 margin, he ran for Governor of Alabama again in 2010, only to finish in 4th place with only 19% of the vote.
In 2012, he invoked the ghost of (deist) Thomas Jefferson in order to shore up a
completely batshit somewhat odd claim that Christians are now being persecuted while Sharia-loving Muslim bastards "people of a religion foreign to our country" were pretty much doing whatever they wanted. But of course, it wasn't endorsing... ah, skip it.
Moore ran again for Chief Justice in 2012, helped when the original Democratic opponent was almost as crazy as Moore and, after a lengthy homophobic tirade, was sacked by his own party (which he naturally attributed to a vast conspiracy), leaving his replacement candidate with too little time to campaign effectively. Even then, Moore could barely win the election. A couple of months later he used his regained position to promote birtherism.
Still at it
In 2014, Judge Moore claimed that the First Amendment only applied to Christians because "Buddha didn't create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures" who created us. "They didn't bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship," he continued. "Let's get real, let's go back and learn our history. Let's stop playing games." He later backpedaled, saying he was instead talking about the biblical foundations of the United States.
Toys ejected from pram redux
In 2015, Moore was back at proving his credentials as the epitome of judicial activism after he issued an order to Alabama probate court judges stating that they should refuse to recognize or issue licenses for same-sex marriages, in defiance of a federal court order.
Because his previous attempt at defying a federal court went so well, on February 7, 2015, he decided to do so again. When the Supreme Court refused to extend a stay on a ruling striking down a state ban on same-sex marriage — presumably requested by the state to allow time for additional hand-wringing amongst the part of the electorate who was heavily invested in denying other citizens their rights – he exhorted probate judges to defy the federal ruling and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. For the following week, marriage licenses were in a state of limbo; they may or may not be granted, depending on the county and the sexual orientation of the couple. When Judge Granade reiterated the ruling on February 11 with respect to one county, the situation began to improve state-wide. The Alabama Supreme Court set itself up for a showdown with federal authority by ruling on March 3 to halt same-sex marriages. Although Moore recused himself from the case, it's pretty obvious that the rest of the court was happy to follow his lead.[note 2] At least this way, when the state-level shenanigans are smacked down, he can claim that it wasn't a personal humiliation while still playing the martyr to his supporters.
Toys ejected from pram reredux
And smacked down they were. Afterwards, Moore said Obergefell v. Hodges was worse than Plessy v. Ferguson because it "affects our entire system of morality and family values." He even managed to pull a Godwin ("Could I do this if I were in Nuremberg — say that I was following the orders of the highest authority to kill Jews?") when discussing the role of precedent in the American legal system. The Christian persecution card also made an appearance.
"Jesus loves the little children..."
As befitting his usual modus operandi, when the question of growing racial intolerance was brought up during the campaign, he made the following tone-deaf comment concerning racial strife and what his cure for it was:
“”We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed? Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What's going to unite us? What's going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It's going to be God.
When faced with the questionable wording of that statement, he doubled down via Twitter:
Sexual abuse allegations
On November 9, 2017, The Washington Post published an article alleging that Moore had sexually pursued teenagers as an adult in his thirties. Leigh Corfman, the youngest of them, alleged that he had a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was 32 years old; the age of consent was 16 in Alabama at the time of the encounter (and still is). Some of the details have been confirmed by her mother and by court records. Two other women later came forward, alleging sexual assault.
A non-negligible number of Republican officials, including Moore himself, dismissed these allegations as fake news. Other Republican political activists such as Steve Bannon advocated a conspiracy theory that the Washington Post article was a hit piece conjured up by the Democratic Party and the media. In order to believe this was fake news, one would have to believe that all the contacts in the story independently decided to lie about Moore for political gain; this is so wildly implausible that even considering these allegations to be fabricated constitutes a form a denialism.
In his attempts to discredit his accusers, Moore resorted to pushing conspiracy theories laced with anti-Semitic dogwhistles. For example, at a rally, Moore alleged that the media's "attacks" on him were part of a plot orchestrated by George Soros, because of course he did. Most egregiously of all, Moore had an associate send out a falsified robocall to push the conspiracy further. Adopting a stereotypical Jewish name and accent, this person claimed to be a Washington Post reporter with a blatantly corrupt plan to smear Moore in the media by publishing uncorroborated allegations against him. Seriously. In a miserable attempt to defend him from accusations of antisemitism, Moore's wife Kayla stood by his side and used both a stereotype and the friend argument: "One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends who are Jewish and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them." Needless to say, this did not go over well. It later turned out that the Jewish lawyer she mentioned was a practicing Christian.
Shortly thereafter, another woman independently came forward and claimed Moore had attacked her in his car when she was 16 years old and he was district attorney of Etowah County. Part of her evidence included his signature in her high school yearbook. Through her lawyer, she challenged Moore to deny the mounting evidence under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was also reported that Moore was banned in the early 1980s from the local Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls. Two women have subsequently come forward to confirm that Moore spent a lot of time at the mall creeping on teenage girls including themselves in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A retired Alabama police officer said police were assigned to keep Moore away from cheerleaders at ball games during the 1980s because of his predilection for young girls.
On a lighter note, Moore is probably the most "godly" man ever to be banned from a YMCA.
End of the race
Subsequent to these revelations, some GOP officials, such as Mitt Romney, began changing their tune about their support for Moore. Others, such as Donald Trump, became more overt in their support, and directed the Republican National Committee to open up the coffers and support him despite the allegations.
Ultimately, the combination of the child molestation allegations and general disgust at his personality and beliefs were a little bit too much for fucking Alabama, and he narrowly(!) lost the Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.
Even though most of the entire political world has moved on after this debacle, Moore refused to concede, citing "suspiciously high voter turnout".
Some Moore supporters claim the Alabama election was rigged. They argue that busloads of (probably black) voters came in from outside the state of Alabama to vote Doug Jones. The underlying assumption is that these voters tipped the election in favor of Doug Jones.
This is, of course, utter bullshit. Like many conspiracy theories, this theory requires belief in a couple of bizarre assumptions that undermine the entire conspiracy theory. Doug Jones won the election by about 20,000 votes. In order to believe busloads of non-Alabamians tipped the election, you’d have to believe that at least 20,000 voters were shipped in from out of the state. That would’ve required hundreds of busloads of voters, and bus drivers who were in on the conspiracy. In addition, you’d have to have none of these conspirators leak, and have no witnesses comment on busloads of non-Alabamian voters that they’ve never seen before. Also, these voters would need to have fake photo IDs, or be able to impersonate Alabamians who they knew weren’t going to vote in advance, since Alabama law requires that you have photo ID in order to vote. To recap, for this conspiracy to work, you’d need hundreds of buses, tens of thousands of co-conspirators with fake IDs, and have none of them leak. These assumptions are so completely and utterly implausible that the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that busloads of non-Alabamians tipped the election can be dismissed as a complete fabrication.
“”Moore was such a comprehensive caricature — Sinclair Lewis could not have imagined this Elmer Gantry — that the acid rain of reports about his sexual predations, and his dissembling about them, almost benefited him by distracting attention from: the remunerative use he made of a charitable foundation. And his actions as a public official that by themselves sufficed to disqualify him from any public office. He is an anti-constitutional recidivist, twice removed from Alabama's highest court for his theocratic insistence that his religious convictions take precedence over U.S. Supreme Court decisions, so he could not have sincerely sworn to "support and defend the Constitution" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same."
|—George Will reflects on the Roy Moore's failed United States Senate campaign in a scathing criticism of the head of the Republican Party.|
- Steve Bannon
- Good old days
- Antonin Scalia
- George Wallace
- Todd Akin - also lost to a Democratic opponent in a deep red state after alienating voters
- Because, you know, it's like, so unreasonable to be expected to obey court orders.
- In fairness, one judge dissented, but only because he realized the question shouldn't have been brought straight to the conveniently friendly state Supreme Court.
- In Alabama, the heart of Trump country, many think he's backing the wrong candidate in Senate race by Lisa Mascaro (September 21, 2017, 3:00 AM) Los Angeles Times.
- Roy Moore won; everyone else just lost. The Baltimore Sun, September 27, 2007.
- Roy Moore's biography on the Alabama Judicial System's website
- Glassroth v. Moore (PDF) (M.D. Ala. 2002).
- Glassroth v. Moore Appeal (PDF) (11th Cir. 2003).
- Order No. 03-01 (PDF), August 21 2003.
- Roy S. Moore, So Help Me God Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman and Holman Publisher, 2005, pp. 221-222
- Roy Moore orders ban on same-sex marriage licenses
-  US legal wrangles always look baroque from the other side of the pond
-  a patchwork quilt of misery
-  although the number of probate judges who seems to think that their own religious sentiments have any bearing in the matter is disturbing
- http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_supreme_court_orders_h.html Pity the probate judge explicitly-named in both the federal and state rulings, who has little choice but to defy one of the orders
- Jeremy Diamond, Alabama chief justice: Marriage ruling worse than segregation decision. CNN, 28 June 2015.
- Alabama Chief Justice Moore: Gay marriage 'not in accordance with Constitution' al.com, 30 June 2015.
- Roy Moore on gay marriage ruling: 'Christians are going to be persecuted' al.com, 28 June 2015.
- Jordain Carney, Republicans relieved by Moore loss in Alabama. thehill.com, 13 December 2017.
- Mona Charen, For Republicans, a Reckoning Is Coming. National Review, 13 December 2017.
- Kevin Pliszak, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore tweets affirmation of his 'reds, yellows' remarks. ABC News, 19 September 2007.
- Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32 by Stephanie McCrummen et al. (November 9, 2017 at 12:52 PM) The Washington Post.
- Vann R. Newkirk II, A Bizarre Night in the Roy Moore Scandal The Atlantic, 15 November 2017.
- Why Roy Moore supporters are standing by him, in their own words by Eric Levinson. (November 11, 2017 7:45 AM). CNN.
- Roy Moore Calls Report on Sexual Misconduct Allegations 'Fake News' by Associated Press (November 11, 2017 at 1:14 PM EST) Time.
- Bannon compares the Roy Moore allegations to Trump's 'Access Hollywood' tape. Washington Post, (November 20, 2017 at 12:06 PM PDT).
- Steve Bannon's wacko Roy Moore conspiracy theory by Erik Wemple. (November 10, 2017 at 11:49 am). The Washington Post.
- Kayla Moore On Anti-Semitism Claims: ‘'One Of Our Attorneys Is A Jew': "Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews," she said while defending husband Roy Moore. by Doha Madani (12/11/2017 10:43 pm ET) Huffington Post.
- New woman accuses Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor by Robert Costa & Jenna Johnson (November 13, 2017) The Washington Post.
- Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows, but Jesus. Not this. by Glynn Wilson (November 12, 2017) New American Journal.
- Locals Were Troubled by Roy Moore’s Interactions with Teen Girls at the Gadsden Mall by Charles Bethea (November 13, 2017) The New Yorker.
- Two more women describe unwanted overtures by Roy Moore at Alabama mall by Stephanie McCrummen et al. (November 15, 2017 at 8:09 PM) The Washington Post.
- Ex-Alabama cop had to watch Roy Moore in case he harassed cheerleaders at ball games in the 80s by Elizabeth Elizalde (November 21, 2017, 3:26 PM) New York Daily News.
- The audacity of hope: AL voters trust godly values and Roy Moore by Daniel Horowitz (September 27, 2017 07:39) Conservative Review.
- "Romney on Moore: 'No majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity'" by Eli Watkins (December 5, 2017 2:20 AM) CNN
- Trump praises 'very enthusiastic Roy Moore fans' at Pensacola rally by Brandon Carter (12/09/17 08:06 AM EST) The Hill.
- Andrew Buncombe, Roy Moore loses to Doug Jones in humiliating Senate result for Donald Trump. http://www.independent.co.uk/, December 13, 2017.
- Jim Geraghty, Roy Moore Has One More Embarrassment Up His Sleeve. National Review, 15 December 2017.
- David Weigel, Roy Moore refuses to conside, as some supporter push stories of voter fraud. Washington Post, 14 December 2017.
- Ed Mazza, Right-Wing conspiracy theory about Alabama election gets a reality check. Huffington Post, 14 December 2017.
- Alabama judge denies Roy Moore's complaint. CNN, 28 December 2017.
- Alabama certifies Jones' win over Moore. CNN, 28 December 2017.
- Shawn Boburg and Robert O'Harrow Jr., Undisclosed deal guaranteed Roy Moore $180,000 a year for part-time work at charity. The Washington Post, October 11, 2017.
- George F. Will, Moore endorsement sunk the presidency to unplumbed depths. The Washington Post, December 13, 2017.