Roy Moore

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Roy Moore
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Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court
In office
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court
16th Circuit Court Judge
Bachelor'sUnited States Military Academy at West Point
J.D.University of Alabama School of Law
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Army
Roy Stewart Moore (b. February 11, 1947) is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, notable for his refusal in 2003 to remove a sculpture depicting the ten commandments from the court building, resulting in his removal as Chief Justice. Moore ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for the GOP nomination in the 2006 Alabama gubernatorial election, losing to incumbent Bob Riley. On June 2, 2009, Moore announced his bid for Governor of Alabama in 2010, which was also unsuccessful.[1][2]


Military service

Moore was recommended to the United States Military Academy at Wes Point by Democratic Congressman Albert Rains. He was confirmed by incoming Republican Representative James D. Martin. Moore graduated in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree and began his Army career. Moore served at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Illesheim, Germany before being deployed to Vietnam. Moore was company commander of his military police unit.

In 1974, at the rank of captain, Moore left the army to pursue his academic career at the University of Alabama School of Law. He graduated in 1977 and entered private practice as an attorney.

Legal Career

Roy Moore was a practicing attorney from 1977 to 1992. In 1992 Moore was appointed to replace Etowah County Circuit Judge Julius Swann, who died while in office.

Ten Commandments Controversy

Moore had a wooden Ten Commandments plaque hanging on the wall of his courtroom behind the bench. Not long after he was appointed, Moore presided over a case where two male strippers were charged with murder. The attorney for the defendants objected to the plaque, garnering some media attention and ACLU interest. At that time, no action was taken against Moore by the state.

In March 1995, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Moore, claiming that the Ten Commandments display and his practice of pre-session prayers were unconstitutional. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed. Governor Fob James instructed state Attorney General Bill Pryor to file suit in Montgomery County in support of Moore, and eventually the case ended up before state Circuit Judge Charles Price, who declared the prayers unconstitutional but not the Ten Commandments plaque. Price later reversed course and issued a ruling requiring the plaque be removed. Moore appealed and the Alabama Supreme Court issued a temporary stay. Eventually the court threw out the case on technical grounds.

The controversy resurfaced years later, after Moore became Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Shortly after his election, Moore had a stone Ten Commandments monument installed at the Alabama Supreme Court building.

In October of 2001 the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among other groups, filed a lawsuit against Moore in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The groups contended that the monument "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."

The trial, Glassroth v. Moore, began on October 15, 2002. On November 18, 2002 Federal U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the monument violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and was thus unconstitutional. He mandated that Moore remove the monument by January 3, 2003. Moore appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit, and Judge Thompson stayed the removal order. In July 1, 2003 the initial ruling was upheld on the appeal. Subsequently, Judge Thompson lifted his earlier stay, requiring Moore to have the monument removed.[3] Moore made a public announcement that he would not comply with the court's order.

At that time protests and counter-protests were mounted in front of the judicial building. The state was subject to fines of $5,000 a day for each day after the 20th that the monument remained. Consequently, the eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court intervened on August 21, unanimously overruling Moore and ordering the monument removed.[4]

On August 22, 2003, the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed a complaint with the Alabama Court of the Judiciary (COJ), effectively suspending Moore from the Chief Justice position pending a hearing. The panel found that "Chief Justice Moore has violated the Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics as alleged by the JIC in its complaint." Moore was immediately removed from his post. [5]


  • United States Military Academy at West Point
  • University of Alabama School of Law



2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary [6]
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

See also

External links

The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine was used to recall this version of the website from May 27, 2010.