The tenacious former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore is continuing his quixotic quest against church-state separation. Rejected by every court that heard his Ten Commandments display case and kicked off the bench for spurning a federal court order, Moore is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for his final reprieve.
In a desperate last-ditch attempt, Moore is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate him on the grounds that he was subjected to an unconstitutional religious test. Moore also makes the radical claim that the federal court order against him was illegal and that he was denied due process by not being permitted to make this argument before the Court of the Judiciary.
Attorneys for Moore, in a 30-page brief to the high court, brazenly defend Moore's monument as merely a public "acknowledgment of God." Their argument centers around the premise that the federal court compelled the former judge to profess a belief or disbelief by removing his Commandments monument from the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building.
"This is about Judge Moore's acknowledgment of a Judeo-Christian God," one of Moore's attorney's, Phillip L. Jauregui, told an Aug. 2 news conference, according to the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper.
From the beginning of this debacle, Moore has defended his actions as an "acknowledgment of God." No court has ever endorsed the idea that installing a 5,280-pound religious monument in the rotunda of a state courthouse is constitutional.
As Moore said, if the Supreme Court denies his petition "it is over about me being removed from office."
While he readies his case for the court, his monument is out on tour. "Roy's rock," as many in Alabama dubbed it, made its first stop in Dayton, Tenn., the site of the famous Scopes monkey trial.
The stop at the courthouse and at Rhea County High School - where Bible classes were taught until a federal lawsuit ended them in 2002 - were the first in a tour that culminates with an "America For Jesus" rally in Washington, D.C., on October 22.