It is more than likely that Judge Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who twice defied federal court orders and was twice removed, will be the next U.S. senator from Alabama. Unfortunately, unlike the Jimmy Stewart character in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Moore apparently isn’t interested in truth and justice. He is more like the 1880s Texas Judge Roy Bean, “The Law West of the Pecos,” except it appears to me that Moore wants to be “The Law West of Washington, D.C.”

When Trump appointed Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the U.S. attorney general, the Alabama governor appointed state AG Luther Strange to fill out the term that ends in December. The Republican primary for the Senate seat resulted in Moore (39 percent) becoming the front runner to Strange (33 percent) in a three-way race. Moore and Strange will compete in a run-off election, though Moore is heavily favored to win despite Strange being endorsed by both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Republican runoff election will be held on Tueday, and the general election will be held on Dec. 12.

So who is Judge Roy Moore, the man the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “The Ayatollah of Alabama,” and why should Mainers be concerned about who becomes the new senator from Alabama?

Those living in Maine should be concerned because Moore has demonstrated twice that he holds his god’s laws above America’s laws and, if elected to the Senate, will help to further erode the rule of law in the entire country.

Back in 2001, Moore, then the state chief justice, had a 5,280-pound granite monument of the “Ten Commandments” erected in the courthouse in Montgomery, the state capital, in the dead of night at taxpayer’s expense. Somehow Moore forgot to tell the other eight justices on Alabama’s Supreme Court but made sure that a Christian television ministry was invited to film the event. When Moore unveiled the statue a federal court quickly ordered him to remove it, but Moore refused to do so.

Moore said he was right to defy the federal court order because, “To restore morality we must first recognize the source from which all morality (and law) springs,” and, “They (the federal courts) have no power, no authority, and no jurisdiction to tell the State of Alabama that we cannot acknowledge God as the source of our law.”

Alabama Supreme Court justices successfully removed Moore from office in 2003.

In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court finally recognized the right of same-sex couples to get married, and soon after a majority of Alabama voters reelected Moore to be chief justice. One of the first actions Moore took was to prohibit same-sex marriage licenses being issued. For this action Moore was again removed from office.

McConnell endorsed Strange because Strange had supported McConnell’s political machinations and McConnell needs to keep his two-vote majority in the Senate. Also, Moore came out against McConnell, telling the Conservative Review that if he gets elected to the Senate he would vote against McConnell to continue as the Senate majority leader. McConnell is prepared to spend $8 million to ensure that Strange remains an Alabama senator.

Will McConnell’s money help Luther Strange win? Maybe yes, maybe no, but consider this: Alabama voters and Steve Bannon support Moore.

More than 70 percent of Alabama voters support Moore because they see him as the one person who can get Trump back on track. Alabama overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 but voters have been disillusioned by his inability to advance the Christian/alt-right agenda.

According to Politico, Bannon, the president’s former strategist, supports Moore and characterizes the election as a point where the Trump administration either swings towards the center or takes a decidedly hard right turn.

Bannon’s support could also help Moore win because billionaire Robert Mercer, who largely funds Breitbart News and Bannon’s other political schemes, will more than likely help fund Moore’s campaign.

For those who believe that prayer works, I advise you to pray to the god of your choice and ask him or her that Roy Moore doesn’t get elected to the Senate. Trump was a bad choice for America, but a Sen. Roy Moore will make Trump’s political machinations look like child’s play.

Tom Waddell is president of the Maine chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.


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