November 13, 2003

"10 Commandments Judge" kicked off the bench

Roy Moore, the Alabama Chief Justice who defied a federal court order to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from the state Judicial Building, was stripped of his post today.

The decision is a good one. Moore himself would not support a litigant's bald refusal to comply with an order handed down in his courtroom; neither should Moore expect to disobey a federal court order to remove the religious display. If Moore disagrees, he can appeal the order, he can attempt to have the law changed. He can even (as in this case) choose to disobey and to suffer the consequences. Losing his job as Chief Justice is an appropriate consequence.

Judges who willfully disobey judicial orders shouldn't be giving judicial orders themselves.

Posted by Carey at November 13, 2003 03:05 PM

I agree.

Moore's defense in this case is his oath to the Constitution. He seems to want to differentiate that oath from any he may have made to actually obey the law of the courts. He somehow seems to think that his oath to the Constitution allows him to be the sole arbiter of any issue he deems related to that oath.

I think this decision to remove Moore was the only possible one given what I know of this case. Now there's a movement underway to get him disbarred. I'm not sure his actions are legal grounds for yanking him and while I don't have anything personal against Moore, considering his former position of Chief Justice of Alabama, and the grave nature of his refusal to obey a higher judicial order, I wouldn't be entirely opposed to removing him from the field of law. Can any of you law student types clarify whether or not his actions (or inactions) would be acceptable grounds for disbarring him?

Posted by: Brian at November 13, 2003 05:19 PM

Obnoxiously, we are taught nothing about ethics. At least we haven't been so far.

Posted by: Heidi at November 13, 2003 05:28 PM

Who cares what you've been *taught*? You're a lawyer pup...go do some research! :D

Posted by: Brian at November 13, 2003 05:36 PM

We haven't learned how to do research on ethical issues either. If we can't bill the hour, why would we do it? ;)

Posted by: Heidi at November 13, 2003 06:31 PM

But we can't think for ourselves.

(That's a degree requirement, I think: to swallow a servile Biglaw job after graduation for loads of cash, we must demonstrate an incapacity for independent thought and critical judgment.


Posted by: Carey at November 13, 2003 06:34 PM

You may not be able to bill by the hour, but you're certainly being paid. You're being paid with my gratitude and everlasting appreciation for your desire to please me and make my life more enjoyable.

Now get to it! :D

Posted by: Brian at November 13, 2003 07:46 PM