Alabama newspaper editorials have consistently criticized Judge Roy Moore, despite his high poll ratings.
Thursday’s Mobile Register blamed <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Moore for “creating an otherwise avoidable circus.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The editorial said that state’s chief justice “chose a risky course that other officials had no say in, and which they have no duty to support.”
On the same day, the Montgomery Advertiser said, “Moore has painted himself into a corner with his outlandish claims that he is not subject to federal court orders and that his interpretation of what he can do under the state constitution overrides federal judges and the U.S. Constitution.”
“He appears to be enjoying the national spotlight, so he is unlikely to change his position,” said the editorial.
“Moore is the one who is placing himself above the law,” said the Birmingham News on Thursday. “He installed the monument in the dead of night without bothering to consult his judicial associates (but after notifying a film crew from an evangelical network). He was purposefully baiting his critics, inviting a legal challenge. His own testimony attests to his religious agenda.”
“What Moore is doing is no great show of courage,” the editorial said. “To see courage, look to those officials who will do what Moore won’t—follow the law.”
In an earlier editorial, the News said: “Moore should move the monument because the Judicial Building belongs to all Alabamians—Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists alike. Moore should move the monument so that state taxpayers don’t end up paying hefty fines for his defiance. But above all, Moore should move the monument because a court has ordered him to do so.”
One of the state’s sharpest editorials called for Moore’s removal from office. The Tuscaloosa News said last Friday, “If the Alabama Legislature operated on courage and moral conviction, it would lose little time in drawing up articles of impeachment against Chief Justice Roy Moore.”
The Anniston Star said Moore was the George Wallace of 2003. “Here’s your modern man standing in the school house door. Here’s your half-cocked ideologue who wants to fight the war over states’ rights again and again.”
“Please stop this nonsense,” the editorial pleaded.
“Parents don’t want a state religion, or an individual schoolteacher’s views, molding their impressionable youngsters’ theology,” said the Decatur Daily, arguing that most Americans want a firewall between church and state.
Written two weeks ago, the Decatur editorial said that Moore “was wrong to put the monument in the judicial building, wrong to leave it there, and will be wrong if he defies the judge’s order to move it.”
National newspaper editorials have also criticized Moore.
USAToday said that the chief justice was “using the state’s power to push his religion.”
The New York Times said, “Justice Moore’s desire to ignore the Constitution’s mandates on the separation of church and state has an uncomfortable resemblance to the arguments Gov. George Wallace made when he mounted his stand in the ‘schoolhouse door’ to block blacks from enrolling at the University of Alabama.”
The editorial called on Attorney General John Ashcroft to stand up for the federal courts, “as his predecessors did in the civil rights era.”
Referring to Moore as a demagogue, the Washington Post said: “Moore has been riding the Ten Commandments as a campaign issue since he first struck out for judicial office. And left to his own devices, he intends to ride the Decalogue as far as his appeals to emotions and lust for power will take him.”