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Noah Feldman

Roy Moore Isn't Just Defiant. He's Dangerous.

He twice lost his job for denying the supremacy of the Constitution. Is that a message the people of Alabama support?


Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Roy Moore is more extreme than you think -- and his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat is not a joke, but a serious threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. The shenanigans that got Moore thrown out of office as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court -- twice! -- were more than just acts of civil disobedience on behalf of evangelical religion. Both times, Moore intentionally defied and denied the authority of the U.S. courts to have the final say on the Constitution. That’s the core principle on which our legal system rests.

I first wrote about Moore some 12 years ago, after his first act of defiance. In the summer of 2003, Moore, then Alabama’s elected chief justice, refused to remove a 5,280-pound granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments. He had installed the monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, home of his court, just down the hill from the state capital in Montgomery.