Roy Moore, the 'Ten Commandments Judge'
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Roy Moore, aka the "Ten Commandments Judge" who declared his Presidential exploratory committee for a 2012 run, is mostly infamous for a heartfelt political stunt.
He's the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who secretly installed a five-ton granite rock carved with the Ten Commandments into the state courthouse one night. He refused to get rid of it even when ordered to by a federal judge, which ultimately got him fired. Moore then traveled the country with his rock, billing himself as a hero to the Christian right. He truly, fervently believes in the power of the Rock. He also calls himself a "Constitutionalist." (In case you were wondering, the exact phrase "Separation of Church and State" is not in the Constitution).
Moore is a fascinating guy. Joshua Green at the Atlantic had fun writing this profile of him (and his rock) in 2005. His run-in with the federal government angered him enough that he developed serious political ambitions. After getting sacked, Moore made an unsuccessful bid for the governorship of Alabama in 2006 and again 2010, neither time making it very far.
In 2005, Moore published an autobiographical book, titled So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom. You can guess what it's about.
If he makes it to the GOP primary, he'll going after the evangelical vote, clearly. But the Republican field is already crowded with candidates trying to appeal to the religious Right this time around: Huckabee, Bachmann, Paul, Cain, Pawlenty and Santorum - and it's only April 2011.
He might not care, but Moore will have a tough time winning over the two thirds of the American population who believe in the separation of Church and State, a number published in a 2010 poll by the First Amendment Center.
Moore didn't spend the cash he's raised on making a video to go along with his announcement of an exploratory committee, but you can watch him on YouTube explaining his choice to run on WHO Radio. This segment starts out with doomsday score playing underneath a recording of Moore losing his job as Chief Judge.