Living History Lesson Given as Moore's Wishes Denied Again

If you think the fight over the Ten Commandments monument has been heated lately - just wait.

Chief Justice Roy Moore has until Wednesday to remove the monument. Tuesday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to accept a motion filed by Moore's attorneys asking for a stay of an order to remove the monument by midnight Wednesday.

Also, the Christian Defense Coalition unveiled its agenda for the next few days, which includes daily prayer meetings at the Alabama Supreme Court building, a rally Wednesday night on the courthouse steps, and a plan to have someone near the monument 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night.

Organizers say they will physically block anyone trying to move the monument. "We will peacefully, prayerfully kneel around the doors, around the monument if possible, to prevent its removal," says Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Tuesday, coalition leaders handed out this list of phone numbers for every state Supreme Court member except Chief Justice Moore, the Judicial Inquiry Commission, Judge Myron Thompson, Attorney General Bill Pryor and Governor Riley.

The coalition is hoping supporters will swamp those phone lines with complaints.

And it seems like people everywhere have very strong opinions about what should happen to Chief Justice Roy Moore's monument. Tuesday, a group that's just beginning to understand law and politics suddenly found themselves in the crossfire of a news conference. And that became a learning experience in itself.

It was a real surprise for students from Booker T. Washington Magnet School. Right there in front of TV cameras and the Alabama Supreme Court, a stranger was asking them to take part in a protest in their hometown.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition told listeners, "We are encouraging the citizens of Alabama to express their first amendment rights and call all of the justices."

Tuesday's lesson was a change from their usual Tuesday visits to the court. Normally students crack the books in the court's library. Tuesday, they learned law and politics in the flesh.

Teacher Carol Yeaman says, "We have a little bit of ethics, a little legal philosophy going on, and a lot about the constitution and the background of law."

The students are some of Alabama's future legal scholars - so bright, a national kids education network is following them right now. For more than a year, they've examined the monument itself, researched constitutional law, criminal justice, ethics and philosophy.

They're 15, 16, 17 years old, but they have very informed opinions.

Some of the kids are very passionate in agreement, and some are passionate in non-agreement with the stand that's been taken. It's sort of across the board. One of the students said this morning that personally she's for it, but as a matter of law it should be removed.

One thing that really surprised students here was the rough and tumble of the politics. For instance, when one speaker accused Attorney General Bill Pryor of wanting confirmation to the federal appeals court more than the monument, that brought some pained expressions - especially since Pryor's supported Moore in the past.

Off camera, some of those same students said this is one of the better ways to learn about Alabama politics - far better than just sitting in a classroom.

As for Attorney General Pryor, he's expected to issue an opinion tomorrow at the request of House Minority Leader Jim Carns. Pryor's expected to explain why he must obey a court order to remove the monument.