“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
Chief Justice Roy Moore made national headlines when he refused to abide by the ruling from a federal judge that he remove the Ten Commandments monument he had specially ordered for the Alabama Supreme Court building. Chief Justice Moore said that his hope was to return “God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law.”
While nationally known in the earlier years of this century, his name is not as recognized now. If he does throw his hat into the ring of contenders officially I foresee an uphill battle to get his name out there. However, nothing is impossible! I will quote Roy Moore- a quote that you will read in context later in this profile of Roy Moore:
“The impossible had happened! God had given me something that I had not been able to obtain through my own efforts.”
While you may disagree with him on his stand, one thing you can say for certain- Roy Moore is without a doubt a man of principles! He will stand on his beliefs no matter what it cost him! His stand has already cost him dearly! There are many reasons I respect Roy Moore, but if for no other reason, I respect him for standing his ground no matter what he loses or gains. We need more great men like this in leadership!
Blessed are they that do his commandments,
that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14
Roy Stewart Moore was born February 11, 1947 in Gadsden, Alabama to Evelyn and Roy Baxter Moore. He is the oldest of five children, three boys and two girls. He describes his father, a construction worker, as
“a hardworking man who earned barely enough to make ends meet, but he taught me more than money could ever buy. From him I learned about honesty, integrity, perseverance, and never to be ashamed of who you are or what you believe in. Early on my dad shared with me the truth about God’s love and the sacrifice of His own son, Jesus.”
Judge Moore is married to Kayla, and they have four children.
Attended Gadsden High School
1965- Graduated from Etowah County High School
1969- Graduated with a bachelor of science degree from United States Military Academy at West Point, New York
1977- Graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa with a Juris Doctor degree
Military Police Officer in Fort Benning, Georgia and Illesheim, Germany
Company Commander of his MP unit in South Vietnam in the Vietnam War
Private practice lawyer, focusing on personal injury and insurance cases
Cowboy in the Australian Outback on a cattle ranch
2006- Joined WorldNetDaily (WND) as a contributing journalist
Ran for office in 1982 and 1986 as a Democrat
Has ran for all other offices as a Republican
Prosecutor for the Etowah District Attorney
1982- Ran for Etowah County’s circuit- court judge seat as a Democrat
1986- Ran for Etowah County’s district attorney
1992- Appointed as Etowah County Circuit Judge when the sitting Judge Julius Swann died in office
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama
2006- Ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of Alabama but lost with a 2 to 1 margin
2010- Ran for Governor of Alabama but lost, placing 4th in the election with 19% of the vote
2011- Announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries
During the Vietnam War, as company commander, Roy Moore had the reputation of being very strict. Because of his strict discipline, he was given the derogatory nickname of “Captain America”.
He Stands For Something
Chief Justice Roy Moore is without a man of character. Whether or not you agree with his beliefs you will be hard-pressed to say he does not stand up for his beliefs.
As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, he refused to comply with a court order from a federal judge to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse. The matter received national attention, and Judge Roy Moore gained many supporters for taking a stand in defense of judicial rights and the Constitution of Alabama.
While the Ten Commandments monument is what brought him national notoriety, it did not start with the monument. It was around 1986 that Judge Moore changed his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and at that time he added a wooden Ten Commandments plaque that he had personally carved in 1980 to his office. This plaque started what would become years of Judge Roy Moore taking a solid stand for Ten Commandments given to us by God Almighty.
Judge Roy Moore recognizes that divine intervention happens in our lives. When the sitting judge died while in office in 1992, Judge Moore was appointed as Etowah County Circuit Judge- the position he ran for and lost ten years before. Of this appointment he later wrote:
“The impossible had happened! God had given me something that I had not been able to obtain through my own efforts.”
When Judge Moore term as circuit judge began he took his wooden Ten Commandments with him and hung it on the wall of his courtroom behind his bench. In an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser Judge Moore said that his intention in hanging the Ten Commandments was to fill up the bare space on the courtroom walls, as well as to indicate the importance of the Ten Commandments. He stated that it was never his intention to cause controversy. He went on to say in another interview with the Atlantic that while he understood the potential for controversy, he “wanted to establish the moral foundation of our law.”
It was not long after Judge Moore’s appointment that the attorney for the defendants in a murder case objected to the display. This garnered a great deal of attention- not only because of the Ten Commandments and the objection of their presence in Judge Moore’s courtroom, but also because the case involved two male strippers who were known professionally as “Silk” and “Satin”.
It was at this time that there was also a major objection to Judge Moore’s practice of opening court sessions with prayer asking for Divine Guidance for jurors in their deliberations. There was at least one occasion where Judge Moore asked a clergyman to lead the court’s jury pool in prayer. Pre-court session prayers were not uncommon in Alabama, and had been common for many years, having begun by George C. Wallace, Jr. when he was circuit judge. However, the local arm of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter in 1993 threatening a lawsuit if the prayers did not cease.
June 20, 1994– A representative from the ACLU attended Judge Moore’s courtroom to observe and record the pre-session prayer. Though a lawsuit was not filed immediately, Judge Moore went on record stating that it was an “act of intimidation”. This brought him additional attention during his campaign to hold onto his circuit court seat, which he had been appointed to. Judge Moore won the seat in a landslide victory.
March 1995– The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Judge Moore, claiming that the pre-session prayer and the Ten Commandments display were both unconstitutional. The original lawsuit was later dismissed on technicalities, but Governor Fob James instructed the state Attorney General to file suite in Montgomery County in support of Judge Moore.
1996- The case in support of Judge Moore was heard before an Alabama Circuit Judge who declared the prayers unconstitutional. However, he initially allowed the Ten Commandments plaque to remain on Judge Moore’s courtroom wall.
Judge Moore held a press conference immediately after the ruling vowing to defy the ruling against pre-session prayers and re-affirming religious intent in displaying the Ten Commandments plaque.
In response to Judge Moore’s press conference, critics responded by asking the Alabama Circuit Judge to reconsider his previous ruling, and the judge issued a new ruling requiring the Ten Commandments plaque to be removed in ten days. Judge Moore appealed the decision and kept the plaque up. Ten days later the Alabama Supreme Court issued a temporary stay against the ruling. Once again due to technicalities, the Court never ruled in the case and threw it out in 1998.
A poll released soon after the ruling showed that 88% of Alabamians supported Judge Moore’s solid stand.
Some time later, Judge Moore was investigated by the Alabama Judicial Ethics Committee regarding the use of money raised by Coral Ridge Ministries for his defense, but the investigation ended with no charges being brought against Judge Moore.
The practice of opening court sessions with prayer continues today in Alabama court rooms, however it is not required and not done by all Alabama judges.
Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
1999- The Christian Family Association began talking with Judge Roy Moore in an effort to convince him to run for the office of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. This effort to draft Judge Moore was due to the fact that the incumbent Republican judge announced that he would not seek reelection. Judge Moore was hesitant to enter a statewide race, stating that he had “absolutely no funds” while the other candidates were well-financed. Judge Moore finally made the decision to enter the race, and on December 7, 1999 he announced his decision from his Etowah County courtroom. Judge Moore stated that he was entering the race
with hope of returning “God to our public life and restore the moral foundation of our law.”
Judge Moore ran his campaign on the religious issues, arguing that Christianity’s declining influence “corresponded directly with school violence, homosexuality, and crime.”
Judge Moore won the election and was sworn in as Chief Justice on January 15, 2001.
In taking the position, Moore stated that he had
“come to realize the real meaning of the First Amendment and its relationship to the God on whom the oath was based. My mind had been opened to the spiritual war occurring in our state and our nation that was slowly removing the knowledge of that relationship between God and law.
I pledged to support not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Alabama Constitution as well, which provided in its preamble that the state ‘established justice’ by ‘invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God.’ The connection between God and our law could not be more clear …”
Ten Commandments Monument
Just one month after the election as Chief Justice, Judge Moore began planning for a larger monument to display the Ten Commandments. His reason for the larger monument was that the Alabama Supreme Court building required something larger than just his homemade wooden plaque. The final design was a 5,280 pound high-grade granite block which would come from Vermont that measured 3 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 4 feet tall. It would be covered with quotes from the Declaration of Independence, the National Anthem, and various founding fathers. Sitting atop the granite monument would sit two large carved tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. The granite was ordered ans shipped and Judge Moore found supporters and a sculptor to bring his vision to fruition.
The final creation was put in place on July 31, 2001. There were some initial installation difficulties involving the structural support for the monument’s weight, but these difficulties were overcome and it was placed in the central rotunda of the Alabama judicial building. The process of installing the monument was filmed, and the videotapes of the event were sold by an evangelical media outlet in Florida owned by a staunch supporter of Judge Moore’s, the late Reverend D. James Kennedy. The proceeds made from the video were eventually used to pay for Judge Moore’s ensuing legal expenses.
The next morning Judge Moore held a press conference in the central rotunda for the official unveiling of the sacred monument. In a speech following the unveiling, Moore declared,
“Today a cry has gone out across our land for the acknowledgment 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.”
It did not take long for the controversy over the monument to heat up. Just three months after the monument was unveiled- on October 30, 2001, the ACLU of Alabama, along with the Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center to file a lawsuit asking that the monument to be removed, because, in their words:
“[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 Judeo-Christianity in particular.”
Almost a year later, on October 15, 2002, the trial, titled Glassroth v. Moore, began. Presented as evidence for the plaintiffs included testimony that lawyers of different religious beliefs had changed their work practices, including frequently avoiding the court house to avoid passing by the monument. The testimony was that the monument created a religious atmosphere, with many people using the area for prayer.
Moore argued that he would not remove the monument, as doing so would violate his oath of office. His statement:
[The monument] serves to remind the Appellate Courts and judges of the Circuit and District Court of this State and members of the bar who appear before them, as well as the people of Alabama who visit the Alabama Judicial Building, of the truth stated in the Preamble to the Alabama Constitution that in order to establish justice we must invoke ‘the favor and guidance of almighty God.’
Judge Moore stated that the Ten Commandments are the “moral foundation” of U.S. law, saying that in order to restore this foundation,
“we must first recognize the source from which all morality springs…[by] recogniz[ing] the sovereignty of God.”
He added that by adding 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.”
Judge Moore acknowledged a distinct 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.”
Judge Moore’s belief was that this did not violate the doctrine of separation of church and state. The judge presiding over the case later summarized it, saying that Judge Moore’s argument was that
“the Judeo-Christian God reigned over both the church and the state in this country, and that both owed allegiance to that God”, although they must keep their affairs separate.
November 18, 2002, brought the ruling of a federal U.S. District Judge declaring that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, thereby making the monument unconstitutional. In his ruling the U.S. District Judge judge stated:
“If all Chief Justice Moore had done were to emphasize the Ten Commandments’ historical and educational importance… or their importance as a model code for good citizenship… this court would have a much different case before it. But the Chief Justice did not limit himself to this; he went far, far beyond. He installed a two-and-a-half ton monument in the most prominent place in a government building, managed with dollars from all state taxpayers, with the specific purpose and effect of establishing a permanent recognition of the ‘sovereignty of God,’ the Judeo-Christian God, over all citizens in this country, regardless of each taxpaying citizen’s individual personal beliefs or lack thereof. To this, the Establishment Clause says no.
The ruling mandated that Judge Moore remove the monument from the state judicial building by January 3, 2003. However, the order was stayed on December 23, 2002 when Judge Moore appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling was upheld in the Court of Appeals on July 1, 2003. The earlier stay was lifted, and Judge Moore was now given the date of August 20, 2003 as the deadline to have the monument removed from public areas of the state judicial building.
Judge Moore announced on August 14 that he intended to ignore the order to have the monument removed. Judge Moore’s supporters responded in kind and rallied behind me. Two days later large crowds rallied together in support of Judge Moore and the Ten Commandments monument. As the crowds began to form in front of the of the judicial building it became a forefront in the national media. Among the crowd of supporters were featured speakers such as Alan Keyes, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, and Judge Moore himself. It is estimated that the crowd grew to 4,000 strong more on the day of August 16, and in the remaining days of August the crowd ranged from several hundred to over a thousand each day.
When August 20 came- the deadline for the removal of the Ten Commandments monument, nothing had changed. Judge Moore stood by his statement that he would not remove them from the court house rotunda.
August 22, 2003- Just two days after the deadline had passed, forcing the removal of the Ten Commandments monument, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint with the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ), which effectively suspended Judge Moore from the Chief Justice position pending a hearing by the COJ.
In the judgement from the U.S. District Judge, the state of Alabama faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. To prevent this from happening, the other eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened on August 21, unanimously overruled Judge Moore, and ordered the monument removed.
In regards to this, Judge more said that the U.S. District Judge
“fearing that I would not obey his order, decided to threaten other state officials and force them to remove the monument if I did not do so. A threat of heavy fines was his way of coercing obedience to that order,” an action that Moore sees as a violation of the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The fateful day came when the monument that had become such a national controversy was moved from the rotunda of the court house building. On August 27, the monument was moved to a non-public side room in the court house. It was not immediately removed from the building. Pending legal hearings, the monument’s weight, worries that the monument could break through the floor if it was taken outside intact, and a desire to avoid confrontation with protesters massed outside the structure were among the many reasons that it was not removed immediately.
November 12, 2003- The COJ ethics hearing was held and Judge Moore repeated his earlier stance that
“to acknowledge God cannot be a violation of the Canon of Ethics. Without God there can be no ethics.”
He made it clear that he would continue to stand on his principles, in defiance of the court order , and said that if he returned to office
“I certainly wouldn’t leave [the monument] in a closet, shrouded from the public.”
Judge Moore said that it is his belief that the court order was unlawful, and that complying with the order was not an enforceable mandate.
The Assistant Attorney General said Judge Moore’s defiance of the court order
“undercuts the entire workings of the judicial system…. What message does that send to the public, to other litigants? The message it sends is: If you don’t like a court order, you don’t have to follow it.”
The COJ gave their unanimous opinion the next day, ruling that “Chief Justice Moore has violated the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics as alleged by the JIC in its complaint.” Though the COJ had several disciplinary options available to address the matter, because of the fact that Judge Moore made it very clear he would defy any similar court orders in the future, they concluded that “under these circumstances, there is no penalty short of removal from office that would resolve this issue.” Judge Moore was immediately removed from his position.
The monument was physically removed from the court house on July 19, 2004.
2005- In his 2005 autobiography So Help Me God, Judge Moore said he has
“…absolutely no regrets. I have done what I was sworn to do. It’s about whether or not you can acknowledge God as a source of our law and our liberty. That’s all I’ve done…I had threatened the philosophy of judicial supremacy. Those who sat behind benches wearing black robes and wielding gavels did not want to be reminded that there is a God, or for that matter, a Constitution that they were sworn to uphold. Judicial restraint gave way to judicial tyranny, and a new law reigned—the rule of man.”
Other Political Activities
2004– Joined with Herb Titus to draft the Constitution Restoration Action which sought to remove federal courts’ jurisdiction over a government official or entity’s “acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty or government”. It also gave a provision to impeach any judge who failed to do so. The bill was introduced in both houses of Congressed the year it was written, and reintroduced in 2005, but failed in both committees.
This same year he was an outspoken opponent of a proposed amendment to the Alabama constitution. The proposed legislation, known as Amendment 2, would have removed wording from the state constitution that referred to poll taxes and required separate schools for “white and colored children”. During the civil rights- era, this legislation outlawed this practice. Judge Moore’s argument, along with other opponents of the bill argued that the wording of the amendment would have allowed federal judges to force the state to fund public school improvements by increasing taxes. Alabama voters defeated the proposed amendment with a margin of 1,850 votes out for 1.38 million votes.
In the 2010 election for Governor of Alabama, Judge Moore was endorsed by NASCAR driver Bobby Allison
On The Issues
Has spoken out for the repeal of the federal income tax at rallies sponsored by We The People Foundation
2006- Wrote a column for WND stating that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, should not be allowed to serve due to his religious views. He stated that Mr. Ellison could not “honestly take the oath of office” since the Koran does not allow for religions other than Islam to exist. Here is a quote from that article:
“common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine”.
A 2004 play written by Tom Wofford, entitled, “Judge Roy Moore is Coming to Dinner” is based on Judge Roy Moores opinion in the D.H. vs. H.H. child custody dispute in which a lesbian petitioned the court for custody of her children, alleging her ex-husband was abusive. He play has man quotes from the opinion issued by Judge Roy Moore. The play portrays two gay men who marry in California and return home to Alabama to tell their families. The play was condemned by Judge Moore, though he had not seen the play, saying it was the “result of federal activism in our court system”. He also added that same-sex marriage has corrupted American society.
The actual case of D.H. vs. H.H. ruled in favor of the father, but the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals overturned the verdict 4-1, stating that substantial evidence existed proving that there was abusive behavior by the father. The Alabama Supreme Court overruled the appeals court on technicalities. In response, Chief Justice Roy Moore issued a coinciding opinion in February of 2002 stating that a parent’s sexuality should be a deciding factor in determining custody. His statement is as follows:
To disfavor practicing homosexuals in custody matters is not invidious discrimination, nor is it legislating personal morality. On the contrary, disfavoring practicing homosexuals in custody matters promotes the general welfare of the people of our State in accordance with our law, which is the duty of its public servants… The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle… Homosexual behavior is a ground for divorce, an act of sexual misconduct punishable as a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it. That is enough under the law to allow a court to consider such activity harmful to a child. To declare that homosexuality is harmful is not to make new law but to reaffirm the old; to say that it is not harmful is to experiment with people’s lives, particularly the lives of children.
Judge Moore’s comments led to protests in front of the state court house and attracted national criticism from civil rights groups such as GLAAD, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Human Rights Campaign. Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund filed an official complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission.
2005- So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle For Religious Freedom
2005– Judicial Tyranny: The New Kings of America?
1995- George Washington Honor Medal from National Freedom Foundation Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
1996- Christian Citizenship Award Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
1997- Bill of Rights Award
1997- Christian Statesman of the year Award by D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship, Washington DC.
1997- God and Country Award by American Family Association
1997- Spirit of America Founders Award
1998- Andrew Jackson Champion of Liberty by United States Taxpayers Party
1998- “Kentucky Colonel” by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels presented by Governor Paul Patto
1998- Liberty & Union Award by New Hampshire Center for Constitutional Studies
1999- Family, Faith, and Freedom Citation presented by Family Research Council Washington, D.C.
1999- National Spirit of Life Award from African American Family Association
1999- Special Tribute, State of Michigan. Governor John Engler “to a great American and Honorable Judge”
1999- American Heritage of Faith Award from Freedom Flyer Ministries. Chicago, Illinois.
2002- National Hero of Faith Award presented by Vision America Houston, Texas
2003- Doctor of Divinity Ecclesiastical Degree conferred by Methodist Episcopal Church USA. Washington, DC
On The Web
Due to the fact that Roy Moore has not officially put his hat into the ring for president, there is no official campaign website found at this time.
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