The state's Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who was elected based on his fight to keep the ten commandments hanging in his courtroom, may have another court battle on his hands. Chief Justice Roy Moore on Wednesday unveiled a monument of the Ten Commandments that now sits in the lobby of the judicial complex.
It maybe one of the best kept secrets in state government. While Chief Justice Roy Moore was being criticized for not displaying the ten commandments in a highly visible place in the Judicial Complex, for the past eight months he says he's been quietly preparing for this unveiling. "I am pleased to present this monument depicting the moral foundation of our laws," he announced.
Moore says he made the decision to put a monument in the Judicial Complex right after his election because he says he made a promise to the people of Alabama during his campaign to restore morality to this state. "As late as 1954, the United States congress placed in our Pledge of Allegiance 'Under God' and said the inclusion of God in our pledge therefore would further acknowledge the dependence of our people and our government upon the directions of the Creator," he said at the ceremony.
Moore also says because our laws are based on the Ten Commandments he considers it an historical document. On all sides of the monument are examples in history when the word God was used. There are quotes engraved in granite from former presidents like James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and excerpts from historical pieces like the Pledge of Allegiance, a verse from the national anthem and the national motto "In God we trust."
Justice Moore says they're all appropriate. "Judges and legislators and executive officers around our country have since our nation's birth consistently pledged under oath 'So help me God' to uphold the constitution," he explains.
So, will this monument in a public building be challenged in court? A Montgomery judge ruled the Ten Commandments hanging in Moore's Etowah county courtroom had to be part of a larger display of historical documents. But, the state Supreme Court never addressed that requirement.
The fact the other historical documents on the monument are smaller than the ten commandments, could mean another court battle. A spokesman for Moore says other justices were not aware of Moore's plans to put the monument in the lobby of the judicial complex.
1720 Valley View Drive