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In Contempt

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is defying the US Supreme Court:

Alabama's top judge refused to back down in his fight to keep a Ten Commandments monument... [in] the rotunda of the state judicial building.

"I will never deny the God upon whom our laws and country depend," Chief Justice Roy Moore said in a fiery defense of the 5,300-pound granite marker, as supporters cheered and prayed on the building's steps.

The monument was still in the building's rotunda early Thursday evening, and court officials did not say when or where it would be moved.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who had ruled the monument's placement violated the Constitution's ban on government promotion of a religious doctrine, has said it could be moved to a private place still within the building. He had threatened $5,000-a-day fines if Moore left the monument in the public rotunda.

Moore installed the monument two years ago and contends it represents the moral foundation of American law.

"Not only did Judge Thompson put himself above the law, but above God as well," Moore told his supporters Thursday.

The chief justice had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the removal order, but the court rejected it Wednesday. Moore said Thursday he would file a formal appeal with the high court soon "to defend our constitutional right to acknowledge God."

"I cannot forsake my conscience," he said.

Presuming that Chief Justice Moore still has his job when all is said and done, how could he ever again hold someone in contempt of court, when he himself, the highest legal figure in his state, is refusing to obey the highest legal authority in the land?

While I disagree strongly with Chief Justice Moore, I'm all for following one's conscience and for peaceful civil disobedience. Having said that, there are usually consequences for such actions (or they would have no meaning). To my mind, the obvious consequence for the Chief Justice is that, in undermining the legal system, he is forfeiting his ability to continue serving within that system.

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Comments

I have a feeling that Chief Justice Moore is trading in his judicial credibility for a bid at some local political seat... I wouldn't be too surprised to find that he has his eye on some local senatorial or even gubnatorial election. This type of publicity would be priceless and go far to impress the right wing christians that are prevalent in that part of the country...just a prediction...We will see.

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