Friday, 11 August 2017

In Senate Race, Alabama Judge Moore Takes on D.C. Establishment

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Despite a fierce assault by the establishment and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the latest polls show former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore with a significant lead in the high-profile race to become Alabama's next U.S. senator. As the establishment attacks escalate, a coalition of conservative heavyweights across Alabama and America are throwing their weight behind Moore, who became a hero to many Christians and constitutionalists over his years in public service. In an interview, the judge explained why the D.C. establishment wants to stop him — and why the people of Alabama support him. Moore also outlined his views on the U.S. Constitution, and how Congress can force the federal courts to obey it using powerful constitutional tools.

Judge Moore is best known nationally for his defense of marriage, the U.S. Constitution, and his insistence on keeping the Ten Commandments at Alabama's high court. The popular judge first gained national notoriety some 15 years ago, when the feds unconstitutionally ordered him to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments. He refused. And so, in 2003, he was removed from his elected position on the State Supreme Court. Voters, though, still loved him, so they sent him back in 2012. After the U.S. Supreme Court's brazenly unconstitutional ruling purporting to create a “right” to a “homosexual marriage,” Moore again stood firm. And once again, even though more than eight in 10 Alabama voters decided to enshrine marriage in the state Constitution, Moore was suspended from his post by rogue judicial officials at the behest of fringe left-wing extremists.

The judge's principled stand for the U.S. Constitution earned him widespread support across Alabama and the entire country, especially among the grassroots. But it also led to the establishment putting a bulls-eye on his back. And now, as he runs for Senate, Moore is facing an onslaught of dishonest attacks from the establishment. Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) and other leading figures in the establishment wing of the GOP have poured big money into ads attacking Moore and even his wife. “McConnell wants somebody he can manage,” Moore told The New American, citing previous sentiments expressed by the Majority Leader. “He knows from my past and my history that they can't manage me — I'm not controlled by special interests, I don't receive PAC money, and my reputation is based on what I've done rather than what I say I'll do.”    

Instead of Moore, the establishment wing of the party has thrown its weight behind U.S. Senator Luther Strange, the former attorney general of Alabama. Strange was appointed in February to fill Jeff Sessions' vacant Senate seat when Sessions became U.S. Attorney General. Since then, former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who appointed Strange, was forced to resign amid a sex scandal involving his aide. The other major contender in the Senate race is Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who despite some high-profile endorsements is stuck at just 20 percent in the latest polls. By contrast, Moore is holding firm at about 35 percent, with Strange in second place at 23 percent. Moore, who said he wants to help “drain the swamp,” also has the highest favorability ratings of any candidate by far, surveys show.

That popularity is in large part due to Moore's firm adherence to the Constitution and moral principles. “I know a little bit about the Constitution, and I know that the federal government is not following the Constitution,” said the judge, a devoted Christian who graduated from the prestigious West Point Military Academy and served in Vietnam. “People don't even regard it, generally, in Washington, D.C., but I think it needs to be brought back. So I've taken a stand on the principles upon which this nation was founded.”

Asked about specific examples of constitutional abuses, he pointed to the erroneous belief that the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings constitute the “supreme Law of the Land.” In reality, Judge Moore said, “a court opinion can never be law, it's just the law applied to a case, to a specific set of circumstances.” When the Supreme Court invented a “right” to a “homosexual marriage” in Obergefell v. Hodges “and automatically people said it was the supreme law of the land, they neglect what the definition of the supreme Law of the Land is,” Moore continued. Specifically, he recited from memory Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, which states in part: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”  

Judges who do not understand that “don't understand their own job,” Moore said.

But there are constitutional remedies for the escalating problem. “We've got to bring back an understanding of the Constitution. Judges who put themselves above the Constitution are putting themselves above the law and should be impeached by the Congress and removed by the Senate,” he said. In addition to impeachment, Congress has the power to rein in the courts under Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution, which allows lawmakers to change the jurisdiction of the federal courts, Moore explained. Finally, every federal district and appellate court “serves at the pleasure of Congress,” he added, again citing the plain language of the U.S. Constitution.

Among the most egregious court decisions that must be addressed, he said, is the ruling in Obergefell that purported to strike down state protections for marriage across America. “That was completely unconstitutional,” said Justice Moore, who took a stand on the issue while serving as the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court. “And that's not me saying it, that's Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Scalia, who is now deceased, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito — they all said the Constitution had nothing to do with the decision. That decision was based on pure feeling.”

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which purported to strike down state laws against murdering unborn children, was not a constitutional decision either, he said.  

Moore also quoted flawlessly from Supreme Court justices who dissented in the unconstitutional Dred Scott decision: “When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men.” That is “exactly what is happening today,” the judge said. “They're making up the Constitution as they go, not under Article V, which is the power of the people to amend the Constitution taking three quarters of the states, but simply by the decision of five lawyers. That is a severe warping of our form of government.”  

Beyond unconstitutional rulings by federal courts, Moore took aim at Congress, too. Specifically, the failure of Republican lawmakers to repeal ObamaCare, despite all the promises, shows that Congress is currently “stagnant, can't move, stuck in the sand, they can't get anything done,” Moore said. “They don't stand for anything, they just want to get by. Here you have the Democrats imposed the ObamaCare, and then when the voters give Congress a mandate to repeal it, if they don't repeal it, they do nothing. There is no power in the Constitution for the federal government to take over healthcare — not under Article 1, Section 8 or any other part.”        

Indeed, the ignoring and sidelining of the Constitution in Washington is out of control. When asked for some examples of unconstitutional actions by the federal government, Moore responded by asking instead, “What are they doing consistent with the Constitution?” “You have the Supreme Court making laws, and you have Congress not making laws, but instead letting the regulatory agencies run wild with no regard for what they do,” Moore said. “You also have presidents making executive orders that they try to apply to all branches. It's just ridiculous.” Quoting George Washington's Farewell Address, Moore said: “A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.”

On wars, Moore noted that there were too many people in Washington wanting to start wars with people they merely do not like without going through the required constitutional procedures. “Congress needs to face the music,” he said. “If they need to declare war, they should declare war. If they don't, they should stay out.” Beyond foreign policy and war, Moore said he believes that all government policy must be consistent with the Constitution, which every official at every level of government must uphold. And if elected, he is committed to bringing back respect for constitutional limits on federal power, all across the board.      

During his brief time in the Senate, Senator Strange has earned a measly 57 percent on The New American's Freedom Index, which ranks lawmakers based on the constitutionality of their voting records. Over that period, senators who take their oath of office to the Constitution seriously did far better. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for instance, earned a perfect 100 percent, while Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) received a 90 percent. For perspective, Strange scored worse than even neoconservative Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) and only slightly better than ObamaCare savior John McCain of Arizona, both of whom are widely criticized by grassroots conservatives as Republicans in Name Only (RINOs). Representative Brooks of Alabama has a 74 percent over his congressional career and a 78 in the most recent period.

Moore's proven track record of fidelity to the Constitution and moral principles during his time in public service — even at great personal cost — has earned him some prominent endorsements even beyond Alabama. Acting superstar and martial arts champion Chuck Norris, for instance, offered profuse praise for Moore in his widely reported endorsement. “Alabama needs Judge Moore there doing what he’s always done; fighting to protect our constitutional rights to life, religious liberty, and the freedom to protect ourselves and our families,” Norris said, noting that the establishment was spending millions trying to stop Moore. “The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can.” Moore will never let politics come before principle, Norris added.

Phil Robertson of the popular Duck Dynasty TV show also praised Moore. “I have been an admirer for some time of Judge Roy Moore,” the Duck Commander founder said in a statement. “He judged with a good understanding of the Constitution and the law, but he also understands natural law and who gave us our rights to begin with, Almighty God. Roy Moore will stand up for truth and what's right, no matter who opposes him, and that is sorely needed in Washington DC. I fully endorse his run for the Senate and pray for he and his family.”

This is a crucial time in American history. “Our country is in crisis right now,” said Moore, who has four children and five grandchildren. “In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote these are the times that try men's souls. I believe these are not only times that try men's souls, but the soul of our nation as well. The people know what I stand for, they know what I'll do, and they know that I'll stand on the principles upon which our nation was founded. All the money, power, and prestige in Washington, and the folks there, can't change the facts of how my opponent got appointed to the job, nor can they change the fact that the people of the great state of Alabama will elect the next senator for the United States Congress.”     

Moore also slammed the dishonest attacks against him by the establishment — described as McConnell's “D.C. Slime Machine” in a Moore campaign ad. The judge criticized the attacks on his wife, too, as well as efforts to insinuate that there was something wrong with his being paid less than $68,000 annually on average by a foundation he founded to promote moral law. An ad released by the Moore campaign argued that McConnell's “Slime Machine” was spending millions of dollars spreading lies and bearing false witness. “We all know why,” the ad says, citing Moore's honesty, his fear of God, his stand for the Constitution, his defense of what is right, and his independence. “Drain the Swamp,” the ad concludes.

Moore suggested that the dishonest attacks showed unethical conduct by Senate leadership. “They've attacked my family, my wife, my foundation, it's ridiculous,” he said. “All they know how to do is negative campaigning — they can't run on their credentials.” But despite all of that, he sounded very upbeat. “We're well ahead in the polls,” Moore said. And indeed, all of the polls are consistently showing a significant lead for Moore at this point.

Unless a candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote, though, the race will go to a runoff between the two best-performing candidates in the primary, likely to be Strange and Moore. If favorability surveys are anything to go by, Moore should be well positioned to win it — at least if Alabama voters continue to stand behind him. While a number of Democrats are campaigning for the job, Alabama is a solid GOP state. And so, analysts expect that whoever wins the Republican primary will be the next U.S. Senator from Alabama. The election is on August 15. If this is a run-off election, it will be on September 26.

Photo of Judge Roy Moore: AP Images 

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook.

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