Name: Roy S. Moore
Born: 1947, in Gallant, Alabama
Current Claim to Fame: Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
Little is readily avaiable online about the early life of Judge Moore, but he has attained several degrees and distinctions. He earned a B.S. from Westpoint in 1969, and a Jurist Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1977. His military record contains several relatively high-ranking positions, notably Captain in the U.S. Army Military Police, Batallion Staff Officer at Fort Riley, Kansas, and company commander during Vietnam. After his military career ended, Moore returned to his home in Etowah County and became the first full time Deputy D.A. in county history, serving from 1977 until 1982. He then returned to private practice until successfully running for Circuit Court Judge, Place One of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, in 1992. He maintained this position until running for, and winning, the seat of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000.
Roy Moore has made himself famous through the personal debacles of his courtroom, though his decisions are starting to draw attention as well. In 1993, while still a Circuit Court judge, Moore was embattled in a court dispute over his posting of the Christian Ten Commandments in his courtroom, as well as the prayer he insisted upon. Since taking office as the Chief Justice, Moore has been further criticized for his decision to place a "washing machine sized" monument bearing the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Albama Judicial Building. Not suprisingly, such Christian Right luminaries as Pat Robertson have supported this move. Even then-governor Fob James was cheering him on, culminating in a rally/protest in 1997, which is briefly described here:
Attendees chanted "Tear down the wall! Tear down the wall," while James thundered: "Behind this judicial wall of separation there is a tyranny of lies that will fall... I say to you, my friends, let it fall!" -American Atheists, "Roy Moore's War on Alabama" (www.atheists.org/flash.line/alabam14.htm)
Most recently, in a verdict handed down last week, Moore and the Alabama Supreme Court ruled unanimously to deny parenting rights to a homosexual
mother, who was suing for patial custody against her husband, who had maintained total custody since 1996. As cited by CNN
, Moore apparantly is maintaining his anti-homosexual policies, justifying his position that "the mother's relationship made her an unfit parent and that homosexuality is 'abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature.'"
Is he a crusader for truth, or a closed-minded, fundamentalist bigot? I leave it to you to decide.