Alabama Chief Justice Who Refused to Remove Ten Commandments Monument Is Exploring Presidential Bid

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Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Consider the GOP primary goalpost moved once again: even further to the right. Roy Moore, the Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who made headlines in the early aughts for installing — and then refusing to remove — a stone monument to the Ten Commandments in front of his courthouse, has launched an exploratory committee to look into a 2012 presidential run. (Moore was eventually ordered to remove it by a federal judge, but he disobeyed the order. Eventually, his eight fellow Supreme Court jurists voted to remove it, and in 2003 voted to remove Moore from office — but not before he became an icon for the religious right, with the backing of Jerry Falwell.) Moore has run for public office before — in 2006 he lost the Alabama GOP gubernatorial primary to then-sitting governor Bob Riley.

Moore appears, from his website, to be a serious candidate. He's working with Danny Carroll, who worked with Mike Huckabee in Iowa in 2008. He's on the record as being anti-gay (he ruled that Alabama should use its powers to punish the practice of homosexuality) and returning Christianity to schools. And he's already tossing red meat to the social conservatives that Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Huckabee, and Sarah Palin are competing to woo (with varying degrees of seriousness). Here are some quotes from the site:


Today our Country is in a moral, economic, and Constitutional crisis. Our future and that of our children is at risk. Basic institutions of family, faith, and freedom are under assault ...

Kayla and I have been married for over 25 years and are the proud parents of four children and three grandchildren. As a husband, father, and grandfather, I am concerned about the destruction of the family and marriage, which was defined as the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony by the United States Supreme Court in 1885. I support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed by Congress in 1996. I also believe in the right to life for all persons to include the most innocent within the womb, the unborn child ...

I believe that homosexuality is incompatible with the military mission and will only serve to further weaken our defense capability. As President and Commander in Chief, I would be more than able to lead the Armed Forces of our country...

The American people want and deserve jobs and the return of manufacturing to our land, a return to a time when "Made in America" really meant something...

As President, I will make an informed judgment on appointments to the federal courts and the United States Supreme Court, upon which the rights and freedoms we enjoy, such as our freedom of religious worship and the right to keep and bear arms, so often depend ...

Why I am testing the waters. Because I believe in America and in the American people. We can again be ONE NATION UNDER GOD with liberty and justice for all and bring a real, positive change to our government.

Is this a candidacy that more mainstream candidates should worry about? It depends on a lot of things — a lot of dollars, primarily (so probably not). But seeing what traction he gets will tell us a lot about how important social issues are to the vocal base of conservatives who lately, led by the tea party, have largely been speaking out on fiscal issues.

"Ten Commandments" Judge Joins GOP Race [Fox News]