Statement by Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor
Co-Presidents, Freedom From Religion Foundation
The Alabama ex-chief justice notorious for his fundamentalism is completely unfit to be appointed a U.S. senator.
"Roy Moore, the suspended chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is reportedly on Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's shortlist to fill the state's open U.S. Senate seat," Huffington Post reports. "As governor, Bentley is tasked with appointing someone to complete the Senate term of Jeff Sessions, whom President-elect Donald Trump has nominated to be U.S. attorney general."
It is outrageous that Moore is even in the running for representing the state of Alabama in this country's foremost legislative body. An incorrigible evangelical Christian theocrat, he has a terrible record.
Moore was suspended in September for a four-page administrative order he sent out to Alabama's probate judges telling them it was their "ministerial duty" not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. He previously defied a federal court order to remove a 5,000-pound, washing-machine-sized Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court, which he plopped there in the dead of night. For challenging the ruling, Moore was removed as chief justice by a state ethics panel in 2003. Nevertheless, Moore was voted back as chief justice in 2012, only to be suspended once again a few months ago.
His defiance has always been motivated by his zeal — and his blinkered belief that he has the right to inflict his religion on everyone else. Moore has tried to cover up his extremism by pretending that he's striking a blow for liberty, calling the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage "immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical." But the law of the land — as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court — is the law of the land.
Moore is an old nemesis of FFRF. FFRF's Alabama chapter, the Alabama Freethought Association, and several of its members, first blew the whistle on Moore when as a county judge in Gadsden he forced jurors to pray and subjected them to viewing his handcrafted wooden Ten Commandments plaque. Chapter members were the plaintiffs in the initial suit against Moore. Like a bad penny, he resurfaces, and regularly files briefs on behalf of his Foundation for Moral Law against FFRF and other allied groups.
Moore has included nonbelievers among those he blames for his travails.
"Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday accused several groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and 'atheists, homosexuals and transgender individuals' of bringing a politically motivated complaint about his administrative order to probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses gay marriage to the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama," reports AlabamaMediaGroup.com. So, we know each other well.
Instead of retiring in shame, Roy Moore may be rewarded with a position of even more influence and power. The prospect is horrifying, and all civil libertarians must ensure that his entry into the U.S. Senate doesn't become reality.