ACLU Press Release - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

ACLU Press Release

MONTGOMERY, AL – The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama today condemned Chief Justice Roy Moore’s announcement that he will defy a court order to remove a two-ton Ten Commandments display from the grounds of the state court building.

“If Chief Justice Moore can decide which federal court opinions he wants to comply with, then nobody's rights are safe from any state officials who disagree with the law,” said Olivia Turner, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama, which filed a successful challenge on behalf of local attorneys who said they were concerned that their clients would not get a fair hearing if they did not agree with Justice Moore’s religious beliefs.

“In defying this court order, Justice Moore is repeating the shameful legacy of Alabama Governor George Wallace, who stood in the schoolhouse door in opposition to a federal court order to desegregate all-white schools,” Turner said.

Two federal courts have agreed that the Judicial Building -- which houses Alabama’s three highest courts of appeal -- should be a place where profession of religious faith is not a prerequisite to seeking justice. Last week, U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson ordered the monument removed and said that he is prepared to hold the state in contempt if his order is not honored by next Wednesday, August 20.

Turner noted that at his trial Justice Moore made clear that his display was specifically meant as a monument to the Judeo-Christian God and not directed at a God of any other religion.

“The role of government is to ensure that individuals have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to adhere to a particular religious faith. However, when government promotes religion, that right to religious freedom is jeopardized,” Turner said.

“It is a dangerous thing when politicians attempt to co-opt religion for their own selfish agenda,” she added. As Judge Thompson noted in his opinion, Moore was elected in part because of his championing of a Ten Commandments display in his own courtroom and his practice of inviting clergy to lead prayer before trials.

In today’s case, two separate lawsuits, Glassroth v. Moore and Maddox et al. v. Moore, were filed on behalf of local attorneys by the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Robert Varley of the Montgomery law firm Varley and Messer participated in the case as a volunteer attorney on behalf of the ACLU.

ACLU PRESS RELEASE

  • NewsMore>>

  • Italy hunts for blame in bridge collapse that killed 39

    Italy hunts for blame in bridge collapse that killed 39

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 3:26 AM EDT2018-08-15 07:26:11 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 5:04 PM EDT2018-08-15 21:04:35 GMT
    (Vigili Del Fuoco via AP). In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with Fr...(Vigili Del Fuoco via AP). In this photo released by the Italian firefighters, rescue teams work among the rubble of the collapsed Morando highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with Fr...

    Rescue and recovery efforts continued through the night into the morning in Italy following the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa, while authorities raised the death toll to 35 with three missing.

    More >>

    Rescue and recovery efforts continued through the night into the morning in Italy following the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa, while authorities raised the death toll to 35 with three missing.

    More >>
  • Andalusia's tallest building gets storm damage repairs

    Andalusia's tallest building gets storm damage repairs

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 4:59 PM EDT2018-08-15 20:59:43 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)

    Repairs are being made right now to Andalusia's tallest building in town.

    More >>

    Repairs are being made right now to Andalusia's tallest building in town.

    More >>
  • Dems pick 'firsts,' GOP goes for Trump fave in primaries

    Dems pick 'firsts,' GOP goes for Trump fave in primaries

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:21 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:21:11 GMT
    Wednesday, August 15 2018 4:56 PM EDT2018-08-15 20:56:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, center, a transgender woman and former utility executive, is greeted by her supporters during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, center, a transgender woman and former utility executive, is greeted by her supporters during her election night party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

    Democrats in Vermont have nominated the nation's first transgender candidate for governor, one of many firsts from Tuesday's primaries.

    More >>

    Democrats in Vermont have nominated the nation's first transgender candidate for governor, one of many firsts from Tuesday's primaries.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly