• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Judge Roy Moore Rides Again

Alabama is back, represented by Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of its Supreme Court and by the W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama.  Roy comes first.

In 2000 Roy was campaigning to become the Chief Justice. That was the year the Vermont legislature passed legislation approving gay unions. Campaigning a few days before the Alabama June primary election was to take place, Judge Moore commented on the Vermont law saying the next logical step was for a law to be passed that would allow unions between “two men and four women” or between “a sheep and a man.” He was, of course, speaking in jest. Musing further he said:  “Let me ask you this.  Are you going to pay your tax money to support a man and a sheep on welfare?  Hmmmm?” Judge Moore won the primary and then the general election and became the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.  As Chief Justice he had other opportunities to express himself on the virtues of heterosexuality.   In a custody battle involving a lesbian mother he said that homosexuality is “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”  Homosexuals, he went on, are  “presumptively unfit to have custody of minor children.”

While serving as Chief Justice, Roy commissioned a 5,280-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments and had it installed in the central rotunda of the State Judicial Building.  The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling ordering removal of the monument and when the Chief Justice refused, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary removed Roy from office and the monument was removed from the rotunda.  The monument is still gone.  Elected again in 2012, Roy Moore is again serving as Chief Justice and is again asserting himself in opposition to a federal court.

In late January 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. Granade ordered Alabama probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, a ruling that the U.S.  Supreme Court declined to postpone.  Accordingly, probate judges were required by the federal court order to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Chief Justice Moore ordered the probate judges to ignore the federal court’s order and to decline to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  As of this writing 51 probate judges have elected to follow the federal court’s order and 17 others have elected to follow Roy’s order.  On February 13, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court, by a 6-2 ruling, acted on an emergency petition filed by the Liberty Counsel and two other groups opposed to same-sex marriage.  It ordered probate judges who were issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples to respond to the Liberty Counsel’s petition that seeks an order telling probate judges to cease and desist their issuance of marriage licenses to same sex couples.  The Alabama Supreme Court’s response suggests that six members of the Alabama Supreme Court believe the state judges have the right to ignore orders from a federal court.  All briefs will have been filed by February 20 and the Alabama Supreme Court should have the opportunity to issue an opinion shortly thereafter.  No one is taking any bets on the outcome.

Meanwhile, out in the country the W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama, is in the news.  W.F. Burns is, for good reason, concerned about the safety of its students.  Unlike many schools that have promoted the idea that teachers should be permitted to carry firearms into the classroom in order to shoot possible assailants, W. F. Burns has decided to implement an idea for school safety already used in some other school districts hoping to enhance student safety.

School officials sent a letter home to all parents asking that they give their children canned goods to bring to school.  The canned goods are not for eating (although they’ll be given to the needy at the end of the school year) but are instead an enhancement to procedures already in place to deal with intruders.  According to the letter sent to parents:  “The procedure will be the same as we have done in the past with the addition of arming our students with a canned food item.  We realize at first this may seem odd, however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off-guard.  The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive.  The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters their classroom.  . . . We hope the canned food items will never be used or needed, but it is best to be prepared.”

There is a certain symmetry to the Alabama Supreme Court’s action and the school’s action.  Throwing a can of peas at an intruder armed with an automatic weapon makes as much sense as the Alabama Supreme Court trying to decide whether a federal court’s orders have to be followed by state judges. The introduction of canned peas into the classroom, however, does no damage to the rule of law in Alabama.  That is more than can be said for the Alabama Supreme Court’s actions.

Christopher Brauchli is an attorney in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail