Judge Roy Moore, who previously served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court until he defied a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's judicial building, reclaimed his seat Tuesday in a tight election race.
The Republican judge defeated his Democratic opponent, Bob Vance, in a narrow victory by obtaining 52 percent of the vote.
"Go home with the knowledge that we are going to stand for the acknowledgment of God," Moore said at his victory party, according to AL.com. His comment elicited an "amen" from several supporters in the room.
Moore previously served as the state's chief justice from 2000 to 2003, when he was removed from office for refusing to obey federal judge Myron Thompson's order to remove the monument. After his refusal, his fellow state Supreme Court justices voted to comply with the federal order to avoid being fined, and three months later Moore was ousted.
Through the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala., an organization Moore founded in 2002 that he currently serves as president over, Moore has worked to educate others on the "right to acknowledge God," as the organization's website puts it, and provide legal support for individuals fighting religious liberty cases.
The foundation's website also maintains that Moore never broke the law in disobeying Thompson's order to remove the commandments. It claims Thompson's orders violated the First and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and as such Moore should not have been forced to follow them.
"So who violated the law? Clearly the federal judge did, not Judge Moore," an article on the website states. "No person, to include a federal court judge, has the authority to place himself above the Constitution he is sworn to uphold, and no man can put himself above the God upon Whom he has taken his oath."
In October 2004, after filing an appeal in order to keep his job, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Moore's case and his appeal came to an end.
"I have no regrets," he said following the decision. "I have no regrets. I have kept my oath and my promise to the people of the State of Alabama."
Vance, who is the son of slain Judge Robert Vance, told his supporters in his concession speech Tuesday night that he was "proud" of his campaign and congratulated Moore on his victory, reports AL.com.
"As one of Alabama's many judges across this state, I want to work with him, and he will have my wholehearted support in that endeavor, so I look forward the opportunity to working with him and to working with all those who are part of the judicial system to ensure that Alabama's courts remain for the people of this state," said Vance.
Moore has stated he has no intentions of trying to replace the controversial Ten Commandments monument.