ADL SAYS ALABAMA GOVERNORS CALL TO DEFY FEDERAL AUTHORITY SUBVERTS
FUNDAMENTAL TENETS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
New York, NY, May 8, 1998
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage at
Alabama Governor Fob James recent assertion in legal papers that government
officials are not obligated to follow Supreme Court rulings that they consider
unconstitutional. The statement was merely the latest incident in which James has shown
his disdain for the American system of justice and our Constitutional tradition.
Following recent controversies involving the separation of church and
state in Alabama, Governor James has threatened to use the Alabama National Guard against
federal authorities. James has also lent considerable support to local school authorities
who have refused to abide by a Federal judges ruling forbidding them from using
public schools for religious indoctrination and coercion.
"Fob James is free to disagree with the Supreme Court on legal
issues," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, "but he is not free to
openly defy the Federal governments authority to enforce the Bill of Rights. To do
so is to subvert the most fundamental tenets of American democracy.
"During a period in which anti-government extremists are calling
for their fellow citizens to violently resist the implementation of laws with which they
disagree, it is all the more important that our elected officials show proper respect for
our democratic institutions." Mr. Foxman called Governor James statements
"reckless and irresponsible."
Noting that May 7 was "National Day of Prayer," Mr. Foxman
said: "Americans of all religious traditions should be thankful that we live in a
country in which the government is forbidden from intruding into religious affairs.
James attempt to enforce his own discredited vision of the Constitution should be
opposed by Americans of every faith."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.