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Why Roy Moore is Right and the Federal Courts are Wrong

Updated on February 3, 2013
Roy Moore put his career on the line because of what he believed about America and the Constitution, beliefs that you and I need to embrace today.
Roy Moore put his career on the line because of what he believed about America and the Constitution, beliefs that you and I need to embrace today.

Judge Moore Calls On Americans To Help Restore The Acknowledgment Of God

On November 13, 2003, the Chief Justice of the State of Alabama, Roy Moore, stood before the Court of the Judiciary of the State of Alabama to hear the charge that he had violated the canons of judicial ethics of his state and therefore was to be removed from his elected position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore ran aground of Alabama's star chamber when he defied a court order to remove a two-and-a-half-ton Ten Commandments monument from the Rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court Building which had been placed there shortly after Moore became Chief Justice in 2001.

Moore maintained that the purpose of the monument was the state’s acknowledgment of God, an acknowledgment which Moore said the state was under obligation to obey. As a basis for this, Moore said that law must be predicated upon a moral foundation. For the original framers of the American republic, that foundation was Christian.

Still, what would compel Moore at the height of his legal career to risk that career to keep this monument in the state judicial building in defiance of a federal judge that told him to remove it?

In my last essay, I gave an overview of the events surrounding Moore’s controversial Ten Commandments monument, the firestorm that ensued, resulting in his dismissal from office. In this essay, I will review those things that Roy Moore knew, things that were worth standing for, and, yes, worth losing a career over.

First, Roy Moore knew that he was under oath to support the Constitution, not judicial precedent. When a judge takes the oath of office, he takes that oath to support the Constitution “so help [him] God.” The judge’s allegiance is to a real document, a document from history that still binds us today. In another article, I highlighted the role of the judge to support the Constitution, and not to the opinions rendered by judges. A court opinion is not a law, but rather a statement about the law.

Moore understood as much when he refused to obey a court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument. He knew that at the end of the day he would have to ask himself whether or not he had upheld the Constitution as best he understood it.

In contrast, federal judge Myron Thompson, the judge that presided in Moore’s federal court trial, exalted the opinions of judges over the rule of law. In his opinion...

the court is strictly bound by Supreme Court precedent; only that Court has the ability to overturn its previous decisions. [1]

Apparently, Thompson thinks that the precedents of the Court and the United States Constitution are the same. If Thompson is right, if the Constitution is nothing more than the scribbling of legal scholars, then we are no longer under the rule of law. Judge Moore understood as much.

Let the truth be told: both Judge Moore and Judge Thompson did not take an oath to uphold the opinions of legal scholars. They both took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States as written.

Second, Roy Moore knew that the judiciary had overstepped its bounds. Much has been written about judicial activism, the tendency of American courts to go beyond merely interpreting law to making law from the bench, via court orders and court opinions. In the case against Roy Moore, judicial activism manifested itself in the court’s rejection of the sovereignty of God over our government and the court’s casual dismissal of the framer’s Constitution.

Roy Moore knew what most Americans know: that America is a nation under God. Our national motto is “In God We Trust” but you wouldn’t know it from listening to the pronouncements of magistrates like Judge Thompson. Contrary to the claims of groups like the ACLU, the idea that America is a nation under God is not prohibited by the Constitution: rather it is one that is the foundation of law. In the federal court trial against Roy Moore (Glassroth v. Moore [2002]) both Moore and Thompson agreed that the principal issue in Moore’s case was not the monument itself, but rather whether or not the state had an obligation to acknowledge God. Moore said that it did; however, Thompson disagreed:

By adopting, as a matter of law, the view that the Judeo-Christian God is the authority behind the First Amendment, the state would also be embracing a particular religion, again in complete violation of the Establishment Clause. [2]

Thompson’s view, and the view that is held by some liberal elites, is that acknowledging the Judeo-Christian God is tantamount to “establishing a religion.” If this is true, then,

  • George Washington was “establishing a religion” when he implored Americans to pray to God during his Thanksgiving Address
  • the men that framed the Bill of Rights were “establishing a religion” when they asked Washington to call for a day of thanksgiving and prayer
  • Thomas Jefferson was complicit in “establishing a religion” when he attended Christian religious services in government buildings.
  • religion is being established every time a chaplain prays in a legislature. This means that there are literally thousands of violations of the Constitution every day as chaplains pray over Congress, state legislative sessions along with the sessions of county commissioner and city council meetings.
  • presidents are “establishing a religion” when he asks us to pray to the Deity for Americans that have suffered some tragedy.
  • every display of the Declaration of Independence should be removed from every school and public building. It’s four positive mentions of the Deity are an affront to constitutionalism. It is an “establishment of religion.”
  • Lincoln was a religious fundamentalist when he said in the Gettysburg Address “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” He was trying to ram his narrow religious views down the nation’s throat. Children should be protected from reading this sectarian sermonette.
  • then every statue of every Greek god or goddess on government property is an establishment of religion—they are idols.
  • every piece of U.S. money in your pocket is a government “establishment of religion.”

The acknowledgement that God is the ruler of the nations is the most important belief to curtailing the power of the state. It is no coincidence that the most abusive regimes in recent memory have been those that have tried to remove God’s sovereignty over the nations. When God is gone, you are left with government officials who are only constrained by their collective will. In the words of Robert Winthrop, man must be ruled “either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.”

Finally, in the end, Moore knew that he was right. Today, we need men that know what is right and will stand on it. Moore is such a man. He has proven that he is willing to take on an entire court system and say what is wrong and what needs to be changed. Moore stands in the great tradition of our founders that knew that if a rule is immoral, you don’t obey it. I believe that Moore would have sat in an Alabama jail rather than break his oath. We need more judges and lawyers to oppose judicial tyranny while liberty is still our portion.


[1] 229 F. Supp. 2d 1067 (M.D. Ala. 2002).

[2] 229 F. Supp. 2d 1067 (M.D. Ala. 2002).


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    • Bibowen profile imageAUTHOR

      William R Bowen Jr 

      9 years ago

      Ron, well-stated. He certainly makes the gubernatorial races coming up in November interesting.

    • profile image

      Ron Sorrells 

      9 years ago

      Roy Moore is a Christian, Patriot and Man of Conviction (which is highly unusual today). He "Knows" the law and is willing to "stand" for that which is "right".

      In the next few years, I believe our 50 states will have a number of "U.S. Constitutional Crises". We need "strong" governors like Brian Schweitzer, Montana; Rick Perry, Texas and Roy Moore, Alabama.

      So Help Us God,

      Ron Sorrells

    • Bibowen profile imageAUTHOR

      William R Bowen Jr 

      9 years ago

      Thanks, and I agree Q&T. Moore has a real backbone. He has paid the price to be heard. Given the capitulate, surrender, retreat, fall back, give-up rhetoric that is coming from the White House and Congress, we'll probably have to look to the states (for a time) for national leadership.

    • quietnessandtrust profile image


      9 years ago

      Good job here brother.

      Seems like a person who has a spine these days is quickly put into boiling water in order to make said spine a wet noodle.

      But the thing about a real spine is that it is made from iron. =D


    • Bibowen profile imageAUTHOR

      William R Bowen Jr 

      9 years ago

      Thanks Jiberish. I think the attempt to ram socialized medicine down the throat of the American people is going to backfire on the Dems and is going to give rise to the success of candidates like Moore. Thanks again.

    • jiberish profile image


      9 years ago from florida

      I have spent the day watching C-Span and this health debate, If we had more people like Moore on the hill, we wouldn't be having these debates. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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