Roy Moore's mantra of defying federal courts is being touted by a slate of Alabama Supreme Court candidates led by former Moore aide and current Justice Tom Parker. The challengers are running on a platform that state jurists should not obey rulings by U.S. Supreme Court justices who don't interpret the Constitution the way they do.
"Alabama has always led the change in the tone and character of judicial races," said Jesse Rutledge, spokesman for Justice At Stake, a Washington-based group that monitors judicial elections. "It looks like Alabama is pushing the envelope to a new extreme."
As candidates in the June 6 Republican primary, Parker and his allies - Hank Fowler, Ben Hand and Alan Zeigler - want to avenge Moore's ouster as chief justice in 2003. Their targets, respectively, are Chief Justice Drayton Nabers Jr. and justices Champ Lyons Jr., Tom Woodall and Lyn Stuart.
But the challengers and their supporters also hope the slate's plank will appeal to enough voters to ensure that the Moore-inspired judicial philosophy of literal interpretation of the Constitution will dominate court doctrine.
The June 6 primary has even broader implications, said David Lanoue, chairman of the political science department of the University of Alabama. "It's a battle for the soul of the Alabama Republican Party," he said. "It's a power struggle between the part of the party associated with the religious right and the more traditional, pro-business wing of the party."
In time, the "religious" right wing of the party will choke on its own hatred and intolerance. These people have no concept of the teachings of Jesus or the principles he stood for, such as tolerance, kindness and forgiveness.
Roy Moore -- in case you missed it -- is the injudicious zealot who had to be removed from office after refusing to remove his 2.6 ton monument to the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building, despite a federal court's order to do so.