Roy Moore: Next Alabama Governor?


Roy Moore is running for governor again. The former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice who was thrown off the bench for refusing to remove a giant Ten Commandments sculpture from his Alabama courthouse has long been a darling of the Christian Right. But he still lost the GOP primary in 2006 to Bob Riley by a 2 to 1 margin. This time around, his prospects look a whole lot better as he has been embraced by the burgeoning Tea Party movement and those who want to return to a strict states’ rights reading of the Constitution. They’ve championed Moore not just for his religious displays but because he basically told the federal government to go stick it when he was ordered by a federal judge to get the Ten Commandments out of his courtroom. And according to Moore, even though his Republican opponents are outspending him by millions of dollars, recent polls show he’s got a double-digit lead over the next closest candidate in the primary.

Moore spoke Friday at a Tenth Amendment Summit in Atlanta sponsored by Ray McBerry, another “Constitutionalist” candidate running for governor of Georgia, and was greeted with many standing ovations and cheers of “Amen” by the many state legislators, aspiring candidates and various Tea Party and John Birch types assembled for the event. (There was even a guy carrying an actual pitchfork.) He fired up the crowd with rants against federal education spending, federal bailouts and the cap and trade bill, noting that the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government authority “over the weather.” Moore mixed his campaign platform with long quotes from Patrick Henry and other early patriots, and infused his take on the Constitution with a healthy dose of religion. “From God, all our rights proceed,” he intoned.

But the best part of his presentation came when he showed the illicit video footage, “what the federal government didn’t want you to see,” of his 2002 trial testimony from the lawsuit filed by the ACLU over the Ten Commandments statue. In court, Moore emphatically stated that to uphold the Constitution he had to “invoke the favor and guidance of almighty God” and that regardless of the outcome of the trial, he would never take the Ten Commandments out of his courthouse. Commenting on his testimony Friday, Moore exclaimed, “For once we told the federal government we will not bow down!” He had the Tenth Amendment crowd leaping from their seats. Apparently Moore sees the testimony as so compelling that he’s using it in his gubernatorial campaign ads, and you can watch some of it here.

He wrapped up with fighting words: “The war’s inevitable. Let it come. This is the war for our Constitution.”

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.