New York, NY, June 7, 2004 … The invitation to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to testify as a witness this week in a Senate subcommittee hearing on religious expression in the public square is "inappropriate," said the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), citing his conduct in the recent Ten Commandments controversy in Alabama and his outright defiance of a federal appeals court order.
In a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, ADL pointed out that the embattled former chief justice was a poor choice for the June 8 hearing on "Beyond the Pledge of Allegiance: Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square."
"Reasonable people on both sides of the issue of whether the Ten Commandments should be posted in federal courthouses were troubled by former Chief Justice Moore's conduct in this case," said Daniel S. Alter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that placing the Ten Commandments monument in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building had violated the U.S. Constitution, Chief Justice Moore was duty-bound to comply with that order. Instead, he elevated his own views over the rule of law."
In a letter to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, ADL said the choice was "inappropriate" given the former chief justice's defiance of a federal appeals court ruling. "Embracing the rule of law is perhaps the most fundamental principle of our nation – and the duty of every citizen," said Mr. Alter. "Without it, our democracy would cease to function. By defying the appeals court order, Chief Justice Moore failed in his obligations as a chief judicial officer and as a citizen. We do not believe the subcommittee should lend its prestige and credibility to an individual who has flouted the rule of law proudly and without regret."