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Roy Moore: Too Liberal for Alabama, Judicial System

  |   By: Steven Boydstun     |   Opinion

Alabama is a conservative state, one of the most conservative in the United States. Any candidate for office that wants to win in Alabama touts his or her support of less government and lower taxes. Those are two foundational positions of conservative ideology. Unfortunately, when it comes to being conservative, Roy Moore falls short.

Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, sent out letters to all 50 governors last week asking them to join the fight for a state-led constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between one man and one woman. We’ll ignore the fact that you only have to open the Bible or a history book to see that marriage has not always been between one man and one woman and stick to the politics.

Chief Justice Moore told the Associated Press regarding his letter, “The moral foundation of our country is under attack.” He went on to say, “Government has become oppressive, and judges are warping the law.”

The problem is, when Roy Moore wants to use the government to regulate consensual adult behavior, he is not being conservative. Real conservatives believe less government interference in people’s lives means just that. Moore seems to think the government should only stay out of the affairs of those who want to erect 10 Commandment monuments in government buildings.

Using his position as Chief Justice, Roy Moore has engaged in a very liberal endeavor by leading a movement to make more laws regulating people’s lives. He believes liberal judges are ruining our country by acting as legislators in robes, but that is exactly what he is doing.

Last year, leading up to the Defense of Marriage Act hearings, Moore filed an amicus brief with the First Circuit Court of Appeals regarding DOMA. An amicus brief is a brief by a person who is not a party to the case, but, as a “friend of the court,” would like to offer their thoughts if they find the case to affect their interests or that of the public. Here is an excerpt from his brief:

“Marriage was defined by God at creation as between a man and a woman and no rhetoric or judicial gymnastics can alter that. Congress simply recognized that immutable, self-evident truth when it passed the Defense of Marriage Act. When judges start attacking traditional marriage and the laws of nature, one wonders whether they ever learned the difference between boys and girls. Activist judges have been rewriting the Constitution for decades and now are attempting to destroy one of the most foundational principles of our society.”

By adding his amicus brief urging the courts to uphold DOMA, he joined the ranks of organizations such as the Family Research Council, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for using bogus science and exaggerated statistics to slander LGBT persons.

Leading up to, and for a while after, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down last year by the Supreme Court of the United States, a lot of public figures were saying that the “liberal” Supreme Court was redefining marriage by overturning DOMA. On the contrary, they were doing just the opposite. The Court was saying it was not up to them to define marriage.

Conservative columnist George Will hit the proverbial nail on the head when, in his 2013 article, he said DOMA was an abuse of federalism and that “Liberals praise diversity but generally urge courts to permissively construe the Constitution in order to validate federal power to impose continental uniformities. DOMA is such an imposition. Liberals may be rescued from it by jurisprudence true to conservative principles, properly understood.” (Emphasis added.)

If Roy Moore wants to use public policy to continue to marginalize Americans and Alabamians simply because he has religious objections to their personal lives that is his prerogative, but he should not do so under the banner of conservatism.

We broke off our ties with England because itsgovernment wanted everyone in the colonies to conform to the Church of England’s beliefs. Our Founding Fathers understood that genuine freedom includes religious freedom, and Roy Moore using his religious views to usurp the rights of others is anything but American.

But, if a judge were to uphold that essential truth and protect personal freedom, Moore would surely call that judge a “liberal activist” who is a “legislator in robes.” And he should know, as that is in many ways exactly what Roy Moore is, properly understood.

Follow Steven on Twitter at @skboydstun

Steven Boydstun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Troy University (Troy) and a Master of Public Administration degree from The University of Alabama. Views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of his employer or any other affiliate.