A martyr for “clarity”

Poor, persecuted Roy Moore. As you may have heard, he’s been suspended (with pay!) pending the outcome of proceedings against him in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. The suspension follows a complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center after Moore’s refusal to comply with the Supreme Court decision upholding the right to gay marriage. But according to the Christian Post, this is all just a big misunderstanding. Moore wasn’t trying to obstruct justice. Not at all! He just was a little confused about a few things.

Travis S. Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council, told The Christian Post that while the Supreme Court decision is clear, Alabama’s high court has not contemplated the full impact of this decision on all pending orders. Chief Justice Moore was simply stating that fact.

“Chief Justice Moore has merely pointed out this lack of clarity, and noted that until the state’s high court rules with finality, the administrative order to probate judges from last March remains in effect,” said Weber.

Now, you might think that the Supreme Court’s decision was pretty unambiguous, and in fact Moore had no problem discerning that this decision had at least the “impact” of legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, since that’s the part he explicitly instructed Alabama judges not to obey. The part he’s unclear about is whether or not there’s a Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network and head of its Pennsylvania chapter, told CP that he believed the whole debate “assumes that the federal government and the Supreme Court have authority to overrule state law.”

“This is another glaring example of the federal government exceeding its authority and disturbing and upsetting the very important balance of power between the federal government and the states,” said Rohrer.

Yes, imagine that pesky Supreme Court thinking it was a higher authority than all those lower courts whose rulings it passes judgment on. The Fourteenth Amendment has only been part of the Constitution since the immediate post-Civil-War era, so I guess Moore can be excused for not having had time to learn about it yet. Or perhaps not, considering its role in the Obergefell case he’s explicitly defying. Certainly, the words “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” seem pretty straightforward to me.

Besides, there’s nothing about “clarity” that requires denying people their rights for as long as you can maintain the pretense of failing to understand what’s required. If Moore is really as stupid and incompetent in legal matters as he is pretending to be, then he ought to be removed on the grounds of being blatantly unqualified. Or if he’s merely being dishonest and is abusing his position in order to deny American citizens their constitutional rights, then he ought to be removed for corruption. Take your pick.


  1. thebookofdave says

    If Roy Moore is unclear about the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, chances are he doesn’t understand the Thirteenth either, and also has to have the previous amendments explained to him. The US Constitution is kind of like the bible: everyone knows what it means, even though nobody actually reads it.

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