A person should not be removed from office for professing a belief in God, according to a former Alabama chief justice who refused to remove the Ten Commandments monument from his courthouse. Former Justice Roy Moore is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to reclaim his position.
Moore said Monday he expects to know by early November if the nation’s high court will hear his appeal, reported the Associated Press.
The former judge, who owns the Ten Commandments monument, had 5,280-pound biblical marker installed in the rotunda at the state courthouse in the summer of 2001.
When a federal court ruled that the monument was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion since it violated the separation of church and state clause and ordered it removed, Moore refused. The eight Supreme Court justices locked the monument in a closet last August then ousted Moore last November.
Attorneys for Roy Moore not only argued a judicial ethics panel imposed an
"unconstitutional religious test" on Moore when it expelled him in November, according to the AP, but the panel wrongly refused to consider Moore's contention that the court order was illegal.
Supporter for allowing the monument to be displayed on public property contend that its removal is a violation of first amendment rights.
If the nation’s high court does not rule in favor Moore’s appeal, Moore would have to face reelection in 2006 if he wants to return to the chief justice's office.
The monument is now going on a “God Bless America” national tour which will first stop at the Rhea County Courthouse in Tennessee and will end on October 22 at an “America for Jesus” rally in Washington D.C. Two veterans groups, American Veterans Standing for God and Country and American Veterans in Domestic Defense, are sponsoring the tour.
Organizers are unsure what will happen to the monument after its stop in Washington but are hoping it will find a permanent home there.
Alabama congressmen are proposing what they call the Constitution Restoration Act, which would bar federal courts from judging whether acts or displays violate the constitution’s ban on government promotion of religion.
Keep the Commandments Coalition Boise has announced that the nation's first voter initiative on the public display of the Ten Commandments will held in Boise, Idaho this fall, and are hoping other states will hold similar intiatives.