Nadler: Alabama Chief Justice Shows Callous Disregard For Constitution

Aug 13, 2003

Ranking Democrat of the Judiciary Subcommittee
on the Constitution Calls Chief Justice's
Decision "Arrogant, Distasteful"

NEW YORK, NY -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today chided the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for his complete lack of respect for the United States Constitution. Justice Roy Moore stated today that he will ignore a federal court order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Alabama state judicial building.

"I wonder if Roy Moore expects those affected by his own court rulings to ignore them, just as he has done to the federal court. Evidently, he believes that religious freedom applies only to him. Moore should spend more time doing his job instead of tying up the federal courts claiming that his personal desires are the basis of values for all Americans," said Nadler.

Moore's decision to ignore the federal court order comes six days before the August 20 deadline for the removal of the 5,300 pound monument from the rotunda of the Alabama state judicial building. Currently, the monument stands at the main entrance of the building.

As Chief Justice, Moore had the monument moved into the judicial building in the middle of the night in 2001, without announcing the event to the public. The only news media he alerted was a Christian television ministry, which filmed and aired the movement of the monument. At the time, Moore said that he had the monument placed in the state judicial building because he believes that the Ten Commandments are the moral foundation of American law and cited a decline of moral values in America.

"Moore's complete lack of concern for the law is not only arrogant and distasteful, but it is also emblematic of a decline in respect for the United States Constitution and the separation of church and state," said Nadler.