U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Moore Appeal; What's Next For Chief Justice?

November 3, 2003

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Moore Appeal; What's Next For Chief Justice?

The U.S. Supreme Court has answered the biggest question about Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument. Monday, the high court refused to hear Moore's appeal of two federal court rulings saying the monument was unconstitutional.

So, with that settled, many people wonder what's next for Moore. He says he won't resign, and if he's removed from office, only Moore knows what's next.

"It's a sad day for the people of the state of Alabama," Moore said while taking a break from a political conference in Prattville.

It may sound funny, but Moore's legal philosophy about the case boils down to what sounds like a movie title.

"Right now, you see what we'd call a runaway judiciary," the suspended chief justice explained.

And now, with the monument question answered, Moore's mind is now on survival, and vindication.

"I certainly intend to go through the trial in this case. At least, to let people know why I took such action. To say I violated a rule of law is ridiculous," he said.

But what will come after that? Moore's attorneys have warned him he can expect to lose in front of the Court of the Judiciary, and his opponents clearly want him out of office any way possible.

"The only honorable thing for him to do is resign from office. I'm worried, though that he's too much of an egomaniac to do that," said lawyer Richard Cohen of Montgomery's Southern Poverty Law Center.   "He sees this as a defining moment in history. I'm afraid we haven't heard the end of Justice Moore."

Moore says Cohen and others can bet on that, but at the same time, he's also deflecting questions about future political plans if he loses his job.

"I don't know what I'll do in the future," Moore answered to a challenge. "Just like, do you know what you would do if your job was taken away from you? Would you run for public office?"

Moore admitted he's spoken with literary agents about writing a book, but says he isn't looking for a book deal right now. He'll face fifteen members of the court of the judiciary November 12th.

If they find he violated judicial ethics by not obeying the federal court order, he could be removed from office.

Reporter: Chris Holmes

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