Moore touted for Supreme Court
WASHINGTON -- At a time when a number of court watchers are urging President Bush to nominate a Supreme Court candidate who can quickly win Senate confirmation, one group is pushing a man who could be the biggest judicial lightning rod in the country.
The Conservative Caucus on Wednesday raised former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s name as a potential jurist to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Caucus members called Moore the perfect candidate for the Supreme Court.
“Judge Roy Moore is precisely the kind of jurist that President Bush says he wants on the high court," said the Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council and a member of the Conservative Caucus, speaking Wednesday at a news conference. “Judge Moore will never surrender his principles in favor of politics, prestige or personal gain."
Moore was essentially unknown outside of Alabama until he sparked controversy two years ago for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Judicial Building. An ethics panel ousted Moore from his job in 2003.
Caucus members defended Moore’s refusal to remove the monument, saying that he was in fact upholding the law against an unconstitutional order. Chairman Howard Phillips said Moore took an oath to the Constitution, and he said that pledge transcends any court decisions.
Bryan Fair, a constitutional law professor at the University of Alabama, called the idea far-fetched. He said Bush likely would nominate a less controversial figure to the bench.
“[Moore’s] vision of the Constitution is far out of the mainstream, and it’s been recommended to Bush that he find someone with a mainstream view," Fair said.
Moore is expected to decide this fall whether he will run for governor next year. Moore’s supporters are confident that he will do what he thinks is his duty to God and his country, conservative politician and former presidential hopeful Alan Keyes said during the news conference.
The caucus has gathered about 122,000 signatures from caucus members who support Moore, Keyes said.
Moore declined to comment through a spokesman at his organization, Foundation for Moral Law Inc.
Elliot Mincberg, vice president of People for the American Way, said he has not seen any indication that the Bush administration is considering Moore for the job and that the chances of his name being seriously considered are slim. Instead, the caucus may be backing Moore to show the president what kind of judge it wants to see on the bench, Mincberg said.
“It’s part of an overall campaign by the right to oppose the idea of consensus nominees," he said.
Posted by Editor at July 15, 2005 09:30 AM