A good man has been suspended. Again. Ultimately he’s a victim of judicial activism—of judges making things up from the bench and saying it’s what our Constitution requires.
The so-called “Ten Commandments judge,” Roy Moore won election as the chief justice of Alabama for the second time in 2012. Here’s a timeline of his suspension:
- November 7, 2006. 81 percent of Alabama voters vote on a state constitutional amendment that marriage in that state is one man, one woman.
- January 11, 2013. Roy S. Moore is sworn in again as Chief Justice.
- February 3, 2015. Chief Justice Moore wrote a memo to the Alabama Probate Judges, stating, “the rulings in the marriage cases do not require you to issue marriage licenses that are illegal under Alabama law.”
- March 3, 2015. By a 6-1 decision (Chief Justice Moore not participating), the Alabama Supreme Court ruled the state’s constitutional amendment was valid, and no marriage licenses were to be issued for same-sex couples in what is known as the Alabama Policy Institute (API) decision.
- June 26, 2015. By a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.
- January 6, 2016. Chief Justice Moore wrote a memo to probate judges, referring to the API decision, stating: “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.” Law professor John Eidsmoe comments: “Note that Chief Justice Moore did not tell the probate judges what to do. He simply noted that the API ruling was still in effect.”
- May 6, 2016. The Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama issued a complaint against the Chief Justice for the January 6 memo.
- September 30, 2016. The Alabama Court of the Judiciary found him guilty. He was suspended without pay for the rest of his term and denied the ability to practice law or even seek another job to provide for his family!
- April 19, 2017. His appeal against that court’s decision failed, affirming the suspension.
Roy Moore held a press conference (4/19/17), stating, “This was a politically motivated prosecution from the very beginning by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Judicial Inquiry Commission with certain transgender and homosexual groups to remove me from public office because of my stand on same-sex marriage….I’ve done my duty under the laws of this state to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. Mere human judges have no authority to say otherwise.”
Through the years, I’ve interviewed Roy Moore and have heard him recite a poem (“A Sad But Holy God”) that he wrote (at least before 1998) based on “America the Beautiful”—underscoring our national need to return to God. He gave me permission to quote it for this column.
Roy S. Moore writes:
America the beautiful
Or so you used to be
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride
I’m glad they’re not here to see
Babies piled in dumpsters
Abortion on demand
O, sweet land of liberty
Your house is on the sand.
When your children wander aimlessly
Poisoned by cocaine
Choosing to indulge their lust
When God has said, “abstain.”
From sea to shining sea
This nation has turned away
From the teaching of God’s law
And a need to always pray.
So many worldly pastors
Telling lies about our rock
Saying that God is going broke
So that they can fleece the flock.
And we’ve kept God in our temples
How foolish have we grown
When all the earth is but His footstool
And heaven is His throne.
We’ve voted in governments
That are rotten to the core
Choosing godless judges
Who’ve thrown reason out the door.
Too soft to put a killer
In a well-deserved tomb
But brave enough to kill that child
Before it leaves the womb.
And you think that God’s not angry
That this land’s a moral slum?
(And) how much longer will it be
Before His judgment comes?
And how can we face our God
From whom we cannot hide?
What is left for us to do
But to stem this evil tide?
For if we who are His children
Will humbly turn and pray
If we seek His holy face
And mend our evil way
Then God will hear from heaven
And will forgive us of our sin
He’ll heal this sickly land
And all that live within.
But America the beautiful
If you don’t, then you will see
A sad but holy God
Withdraw His hand from thee.