Roy Moore

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Roy Moore
Court Information:
Alabama Supreme Court
Title:   Chief Justice
Salary:  $161-201k
Selection:   Elected
Active:   2001-2003; 2013-2018
Chief:   2001-2003; 2013-2018
Past post:   Judge, Alabama Circuit 16
Past term:   1992-2000
Past post 2:   Attorney in private practice
Past term 2:   1984-1992
Personal History
Born:   February 11, 1947
Home state:   Alabama
Party:   Republican
Undergraduate:   U.S. Military Academy at West Point, 1969
Law School:   University of Alabama, 1977
Military service:   U.S. Army
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Alabama
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  No
Primary date:  March 13, 2012
Primary vote:  49.9%ApprovedA
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Election vote:  51.76%ApprovedA

Roy Stewart Moore is the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He was re-elected in 2012 to the position he held from 2001 to 2003. He replaced Chief Justice Charles Malone. His current term expires in 2018.[1]

In 2003, Moore gained national attention for refusing, as the elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse--despite contrary orders from a federal judge. On November 13, 2003, Alabama's Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from his post as chief justice. In the years preceding his election to the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore had successfully resisted previous attempts to have a display of the Ten Commandments removed from his courtroom.


Moore received his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1969. He earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama in 1977.[2]

Military service

Following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Moore served in the United States Army at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Illesheim, Germany before being deployed to Vietnam. Moore was company commander of his military police unit.




Moore was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court on November 6, winning 51.76% of the vote over Robert S. Vance. He previously won the Republican primary on March 13, receiving 49.97% of the vote.[3][4][5]

See also: Alabama judicial elections, 2012


  • Tim James, two time gubernatorial candidate[6]
  • James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family[7]

Campaign finance

To access Moore's campaign finance reports, visit: Alabama Secretary of State, Government Records, Roy Stewart Moore.

Campaign ad

Campaign ad for Roy Moore.


Moore sought the Republican nomination for governor of Alabama for the second time in his career, and was defeated after receiving only 19.3% of the vote in the primary election.[8]

2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary[9]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Robert J. Bentley (R) 25.2%
Green check mark.jpgBradley Byrne (R) 27.9%
Tim James (R) 25.1%
Bill Johnson (R) 1.7%
Roy Moore (R) 19.3%
James Potts (R) 0.3%
Charles Taylor (R) 0.5%
Total votes 492,480


Moore unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the governorship of Alabama, and was defeated by a 2-1 margin by incumbent Bob Riley in the June primary.[10]

See below: Ten commandments monument controversy and removal from office

Judicial philosophy

Christianity and the Constitution

Roy Moore talks about religion and the Constitution

Moore, speaking at a Pastors-for-Life conference in January 2014, explained his view of what the founders meant by the word "religion" in the First Amendment. He referenced a phrase from the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason and James Madison, explaining that it defined religion as "the duties we owe to the Creator and the manner of discharging it."[11] He then stated, "Buddha didn't create us. Muhammad didn't create us. It's the God of the Holy Scriptures."[11]

This earned him a rebuke by the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose executive director stated:

Chief Justice Roy Moore is sorely misguided in his belief that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution only applies to Christians. It applies to everyone, regardless of his or her religious belief or non-belief.[12]

—Susan Watson[13]

Moore then elaborated on his viewpoint to the Montgomery Advertiser, explaining:

[The First Amendment] applies to the rights God gave us to be free in our modes of thinking, and as far as religious liberty to all people, regardless of what they believe.[13][12]

—Chief Justice Roy Moore

In the news

Moore does not comply with federal court order allowing same-sex marriages (2015)

Alabama Justice Roy Moore warns: Gay marriage means 'men and their daughters' are next - Good Morning America

Though a decision by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore continued to instruct the state's judges that they should not issue marriage licenses. Moore argued that Alabama courts are not required to abide by the federal court ruling, stating, "The federal courts and the state courts have equal authority to interpret the constitution, under our rules today in the United States."[14]

After the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to weigh in on the case, the United States Supreme Court decided not to stay Judge Granade's ruling, which would have put a temporary halt on same-sex marriages until the Supreme Court ruled. Moore believes the state has the authority to decide whether or not to allow same-sex marriages in Alabama. He awaits a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.[15][16][17]

Moore seeks constitutional convention to pass a federal ban on gay marriage

On February 5, 2014, Roy Moore sent letters to the governors of all 50 states, asking them to participate in a constitutional convention to pass a federal ban on gay marriage. A convention like this is allowed under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. According to the Constitution, such an amendment could be made if "ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof."[18]

Moore stated,

The moral foundation of our country is under attack...Government has become oppressive and judges are warping the law."[19][12]
He further explained that he didn't think Congress would pass such a ban on gay marriage, so it was up to a convention to do it.

Susan Watson, executive director of the Alabama American Civil Liberties Union, argued that Moore was "chronically imposing his beliefs on others."[19]

Ten commandments monument controversy and removal from office

Soon after Moore took the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2006, he ordered the construction and installation of a granite rock featuring the Ten Commandments on the state courthouse lawn.[20]

Federal lawsuit

On October 30, 2001 the ACLU, along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center were among groups which filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, asking that the monument be removed because it "sends a message to all who enter the State Judicial Building that the government encourages and endorses the practice of religion in general and Judeo-Christianity in particular."[21]

During the unveiling of the monument following its erection, Moore said:

This monument will serve to remind the appellate courts and judges of

the circuit and district courts of this state, the members of the bar who appear before them, as well as the people who visit the Alabama Judicial Building, of the truth stated in the preamble of the Alabama Constitution, that in order to establish justice, we must invoke the

favor and guidance of Almighty God.[21]

Moore argued that he would not remove the monument, as doing so would violate his oath of office.[22]

Judgment and appeal

On November 18, 2002, Federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued a ruling declaring that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and was thus unconstitutional.[23]

Judge Thompson's decision mandated that Moore remove the monument from the state judicial building by January 3, 2003 but stayed this order on December 23, 2002 after Moore appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal was argued on June 4, 2003, before a three-judge panel in Atlanta, Georgia. On July 1, 2003, the panel issued a ruling upholding the lower court's decision.

In response to the appeals court's decision, Judge Thompson lifted his earlier stay on August 5, 2003 requiring Moore to have the monument removed from public areas of the state judicial building by August 20.[22]

Protests and monument removal

On August 20, the monument was still in place within the building's rotunda. As specified in Judge Thompson's order, the state of Alabama faced fines of $5,000 a day until the monument was removed. In response, the eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened on August 21, unanimously overruled Moore, and ordered the removal of the monument.[22]

Removal from office

In August 2003, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission brought six charges against Moore. They were:

  • violation of Canon 1 of Judicial Ethics, failing to comply with a court order directed at him;
  • failure to uphold the integrity of the judiciary;
  • failure to avoid impropriety;
  • failure to respect and comply with the law;
  • did not conduct himself to promote public confidence; and
  • failure to avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.[24]

On November 13, 2003, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary voted unanimously to remove Moore from office.[25]


  • Moore, Roy (2005). So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle For Religious Freedom. Nashville: Broadman & Holman. ISBN 0-8054-3263-9.
  • Moore, Roy (2005). The Rule of Law. In Mark Sutherland (Ed.), Judicial Tyranny: The New Kings of America? St. Louis: Amerisearch. ISBN 0-9753455-6-7.

See also

External links


  1. Montgomery Advertiser, "Moore to run for chief justice," November 23, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Judge Roy Moore campaign website: About
  3. Alabama Secretary of State, Certified 2012 General Election Results
  4. Alabama Secretary of State, 2012 Primary Election Results - Unofficial
  5. The Washington Post, "‘10 Commandments judge’ Roy Moore wins his old job back," November 8, 2012
  6. The Montgomery Advertiser, "James endorses Moore in race for chief justice," February 3, 2012
  7. Tuscaloosa News, "Dobson backs Moore in state chief justice race," October 30, 2012
  8. Alabama Secretary of State, Election Results Republican Primary, June 1, 2010
  9. Politico 2010 Election Map - Governor - Alabama
  10. "Exclusive Interview: Judge Roy Moore, 2010 Alabama Republican gubernatorial candidate" Our Prattville September 1, 2009
  11. 11.0 11.1, "Roy Moore's twisted history: Islam and Buddhism don't have First Amendment protection, chief justice says (commentary and live chat)," May 5, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Raw Story, "Alabama chief justice: Constitution does, in fact, apply to non-Christians," May 6, 2014
  14. Bloomberg, "A Defiant Roy Moore Says U.S. Supreme Court Should Respect Alabama Voters on Gay Marriage," February 10, 2015
  15. The Christian Science Monitor, "Eleventh Circuit says it will wait for Supreme Court on same sex marriage," February 4, 2015
  16. NPR, "Supreme Court Won't Stop Gay Marriages In Alabama ," February 9, 2015
  17. WND, "Judge Roy Moore Defies Feds: 'Law Is Very Clear'," February 9, 2015
  18. Article V, United States Constitution
  19. 19.0 19.1 Courthouse News Service, "Call to Federally Ban Gay Marriage by Ala. Judge," February 10, 2014
  20. The Atlantic, "Roy and His Rock," 2005
  21. 21.0 21.1 United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Opinion: Glassroth v. Moore
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 FindLaw, Alabama Supreme Court Order No. 03-01
  23. FindLaw, Glassroth v. Moore
  24. [ FindLaw, Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission - Charges against Roy Moore]
  25. Associated Baptist Press, "Alabama court votes unanimously to remove Roy Moore from office," November 13, 2003