From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
[ENS] US judge swears by Ten Commandments, panel suspends him for
"Mika Larson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mon, 25 Aug 2003 17:44:27 -0400
US judge swears by Ten Commandments, panel suspends him for it
by Chris Herlinger
Ecumenical News International
[ENS] New York, 25 August (ENI)--The chief justice of the Alabama
Supreme Court has been suspended for refusing to obey a federal court
order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments in the state's main
The unusual case has pitted the judge, Roy Moore, against both the
federal judiciary and his own colleagues on the state bench, who agreed
with the federal decision and voted to remove the monument.
Moore was suspended on 22 August by a state judicial oversight panel for
his refusal to remove the nearly 5300 pound (2400 kilogram) granite
monument from the rotunda of the state building, located in Montgomery,
He had the monument placed there in 2001 without consulting other
justices or state officials.
Moore, a Baptist, has made championing the display of various Ten
Commandment plaques and monuments a cornerstone of his public career,
which was capped by an overwhelming victory in the 2000 elections as
Alabama's top justice.
The judge and his monument have become symbols of clashing interests,
both in Alabama and the United States, with the judge's critics
assailing the monument's display as a violation of the US constitutional
separation of church and state and accusations that he has a
Moore's passionate Christian defenders - some of whom in rallies last
week burned public copies of the federal order ordering Moore to remove
the monument - say the monument is a symbol of the elemental importance
of religion in the United States.
James Kennedy, a Florida-based religious broadcaster whose ministry has
helped raise money for Moore's legal defence, said federal courts "have
eroded and almost eliminated the right to acknowledge God. They have
progressively removed the principle that is at the foundation of our
Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for the Separation of Church and
State, one of the groups that originally brought legal action in the
case, called the judge's refusal to bow to federal law "shameful" and
praised both the federal court and Moore's colleagues for their action.
Lynn said, "His (Moore's) extreme legal arguments have gotten him
nowhere with the courts, and his stubborn behaviour is alienating his
colleagues." [374 words]
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