Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
NOW Home Page
Home
Politics & Economy
Science & Health
Arts & Culture
Society & Community
Discussion
TV Schedule
Newsletter
For Educators
Archive
Topic Index
Search:
SO HELP ME GOD, by Roy Moore
6.10.05
Politics and Economy:
Roy Moore
More on This Story:
The 10 Commandments Judge

It's not about a monument. It's not about religion. It's about the acknowledgment of almighty God. -- Roy Moore
Roy Moore became known as the 10 Commandment judge soon after he placed a wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall in Gadsden, Alabama in 1992. The public placement of what seemed to many to be an overtly religious symbol immediately caused controversy — and contentions of violation of the separation of church and state and the "establishment clause" of the Constitution. In 1997, a federal judge ordered him to remove it. Moore refused to obey. Alabama's governor intervened and the plaque stayed in place.

Soon after, Moore began his bid to become chief justice of the Alabama Supreme court. He campaigned as the "Ten Commandments Judge." Moore then had a over two-ton granite monument made of the 10 Commandments which he placed in the Supreme Court building in 2001. Moore was again ordered to remove the 10 Commandments by a federal judge, and again he refused. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson had ruled the granite carving was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Moore's appeal of Thompson's ruling.

Alabama's judicial ethics panel removed the Chief Justice Roy Moore from office in late 2003. The nine-member Court of the Judiciary issued its unanimous decision after a one-day trial. The ethics panel said Moore put himself above the law by "willfully and publicly" flouting the order. Moore has become a sought-after guest in the media battle over the meaning of separation of church and state in 21st-century America.

Biography

Roy S. Moore is a native of Etowah County, Alabama. He graduated from Etowah High School in 1965 and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1969 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. After military service, Judge Moore returned to Alabama, where he completed his Juris Doctorate Degree in 1977 from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Chief Justice Moore served our Country as a Captain in the Military Police Corps of the United States Army. He also served as Battalion Staff Officer at Ft. Riley, Kansas, and Illesheim, Germany, and as a Company Commander in Vietnam. During his professional career, Chief Justice Moore became the first full-time Deputy District Attorney in Etowah County and served in this position from 1977 until 1982. In 1984, Chief Justice Moore undertook private practice of law in Gadsden, until he became Circuit Judge, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in 1992. Chief Justice Moore served in this capacity until his election as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama in November, 2000. More by and about Roy Moore and the 10 Commandments Battle


Related Stories:


about feedback pledge © JumpStart Productions. All rights reserved.
go to the full archive