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Judge Roy Moore Files Brief Defending Prayer at NY Town Board

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) from Gallant announced that he and the Foundation for Moral Law legal organization in Montgomery, Alabama, have filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.  Former Chief Justice Moore won the Republican Party nomination for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the Republican Party.  Moore defeated former Alabama Attorney General Charlie Graddick and current Chief Justice Chuck Malone.  Moore still has to face Alabama Democratic party opponent, Harry Lyon in the November 6th General Election.

According to his written statement Chief Justice Moore’s brief is defending public prayer at town board meetings in Greece, NY. The Plaintiffs claimed that the prayers “offended” them and demanded that town official censor the content of the prayers given by local clergy and citizens by preventing, for instance, prayers “in the name of Jesus.” In May, a three judge panel of the federal Appeals Court reversed the lower court opinion and ruled that the prayer was unconstitutional.  The Town of Greece is appealing to the full appeals court.

Former Chief Justice Moore said, “In a blatant case of judicial activism, the 3-judge panel in this case has relied on its own opinion as to what the law should be, rather than what the text of the First Amendment actually provides. Our Founding Fathers who wrote the First Amendment frequently prayed at public events and would never expect the Constitution to be used to censor divine invocation.  We will continue to support the Town of Greece, New York, as they fight for the right to freely acknowledge God and to sincerely seek His favor and guidance.”

In the legal brief filed by Judge Moore and the Foundation, Chief Justice Moore argues that judges should abide by the words of the First Amendment as they were originally understood by the Founders who wrote them. According to Chief Justice Moore In that view, the original intent of the First Amendment public prayer is not a “law respecting an establishment of religion,” which is forbidden by the Establishment Clause.  Judge Moore argues that requiring judges and town officials to discern which prayers are “non-sectarian”versus “sectarian,” as plaintiffs want, is outside the jurisdiction and expertise of the government.  Judge Moore says that, “Prayer was not ever and is not now a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

Moore’s statement said that, “Radical secularist groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State continue to challenge these rulings in their attempt to censor all public reminders of Almighty God. But the right to publicly acknowledge God is not forbidden by the Constitution–it is protected by it.   As long as judges abide by the words of the Constitution and not their own personal opinions, this freedom will not be taken away.”

Judge Moore was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2002.  Chief Justice Moore was removed from his position by an unelected panel of Alabama jurists, because he refused the order of a federal judge to remove a ten commandment monument from the Alabama Supreme Court building.  Moore ran for the Republican nomination for Alabama Governor in 2006 and 2010.

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To learn more about the Foundation For Moral Law visit their website:

http://www.morallaw.org

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,697 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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