By Glynn Wilson –
Sounding more and more like former Alabama Governor George Wallace, the fiery little judge known as the Ten Commandments judge, who has now been removed from office and permanently suspended as state Chief Justice twice, proved he is as much of a political animal as Wallace. He just can’t help himself. He has to run for political office, and now he has set his sights on the U.S. Senate seat of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Former state Attorney General Luther Strange now occupies the seat, appointed to that position by former Governor Robert Bentley in a thinly veiled attempt to prevent an investigation into his financial shenanigans to cover up an affair with a top staffer.
Of course Bentley has now been charged and pleaded guilty to two misdemeaners and been removed from office, so Strange will run to try to hold that seat.
But the word has reached down into the depths of Alabama’s political pit even to the less informed mass public that Strange made a deal with the devil to get himself promoted to Washington. So Judge Roy Moore will now seek the help of true believers to replace him. There are about a million Southern Baptists in Alabama in a state with 4.7 million people, and they all seem to vote.
In Moore’s announcement from the main steps on the historic capitol building in Montgomery, a stage once occupied by Jeff Davis as president of the Confederate States of America and later George Wallace and Martin Luther King Jr., Moore tried to tag his political star to that of President Donald Trump and his campaign slogan to “make America great again.”
But in an attempt to revise that campaign pledge, the 70-year-old Moore said, “before we can make America great again, we have got to make America good again.”
More was suspended from the bench this last time for defying federal court orders to allow gay marriage as the law of the land. He resigned to run for the Senate. A decade ago, he was stripped from office for defying a federal court order to remove a hand-carved granite monument to the Ten Commandments from the state Supreme Court rotunda he snuck into the building in the middle of the night.
In his address to a few loyal followers and a few reporters in a place long known as the Heart of Dixie and the buckle of the Bible Belt, Moore seemed to take words right out of Wallace’s speeches.
“The foundations of the fabric of our country are being shaken tremendously,” Moore said. “Our families are being crippled by divorce and abortion. Our sacred institution of marriage has been destroyed by the Supreme Court.”
Wallace too campaigned not only on the race issue, but on the need for prayer in schools and against other perceived ills of society, including divorce and abortion.
Moore and Strange will have other competition in the special election called for August 15 by the new governor, Kay Ivey. A runoff, if necessary, will be Sept. 26. The general election will be Dec. 12. Christian Coalition Chairman Randy Brinson and state Rep. Ed Henry, who spearheaded an impeachment push against Bentley, have also announced their intentions to run as Republicans.
Shelby County Democrat Ron Crumpton, who ran and lost in a challenge for the Senate seat of Richard Shelby in 2016, has also announced he will jump into the race.
Eva Kendrick, state director of the Human Rights Campaign Alabama, a gay rights organization, said Moore is seeking “to capitalize on the name recognition he gained for harming LGBTQ people in our state,” according to the AP.
“Roy Moore was removed – twice – from the Alabama Supreme Court for unethical behavior; rarely does an elected official become more ethical when they are elevated to a higher office,” Kendrick said.
“Alabama will become ‘Ground Zero’ in the political and cultural war,” said Dean Young, a longtime Moore supporter, as if it wasn’t already.
Other than the state Supreme Court, Moore ran for governor in the Republican primary in 2010, but finished fourth.
A one-time kickboxer, West Point graduate and military police officer who earned the unflattering nickname “Captain America” from his troops because of his strict adherence to military code, taking on fights has become largely entwined with Moore’s political identity. He later earned the nickname the “Ayatollah of Alabama” for his strict, fundamentalist religious positions he carried over into politics.
But standing on those steps steeped in history, Moore claimed he had no regrets.
“What I did, I did for the people of Alabama,” Moore said. “I stood up for the Constitution. I stood up for god.”
But Mr. Moore has a limited understanding of the Constitution. I was once kicked out of a press conference after he was removed from office the first time for asking him a question about the difference in his stance on the separation of church and state and that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Senator Hugo Black, another Sunday school teacher and lawyer from Alabama who went on to great fame and national esteem, compared to Moore’s simple infamy.
In writing for the high court in Everson v. Board of Education in 1947, Hugo Black said something that Moore has lived his entire life not understanding.
“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state,” Black said. “That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
If the people elect Moore to any office now, they will be in defiance of the very Constitution Judge Roy Moore seems to claim he is trying to protect.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.