Mr. Moore Goes to Washington? Alabama Gov. May Appoint 'Ten Commandments Judge' as Senator

(Photo: Reuters/Bob Ealum)Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks outside the state Judicial building in Montgomery, August 25, 2003.

Controversial Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore may get appointed to the vacant seat of United States Senator Jeff Sessions.

Moore has garnered national headlines first in 2003 for his refusal to remove a Ten Commandments display from the rotunda of an Alabama courthouse and then recently for his refusal to enforce a ruling legalizing gay marriage in the state.

Moore was among several potential replacements for Senator Jeff Sessions, who is expected to become the next Attorney General of the United States.

"Gov. Robert Bentley's office said Wednesday the governor interviewed eight candidates this week to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, including suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore," reported The Montgomery Advertiser on Wednesday.

"In addition to Moore, Bentley interviewed U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville; Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston and Republican Sens. Arthur Orr of Decatur and Cam Ward of Alabaster. Sens. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile and Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, were also interviewed, along with House Ways and Means Education chairman Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa."

The possibility that Moore could be appointed to the vacant seat comes as the outspoken judge battles a suspension he received for issuing an order in January telling probate judges to not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

In September, state Court of the Judiciary rendered a 50-page ruling that suspended Moore without pay for his "disregard for binding federal law."

"The chief justice made national headlines in 2003 when he defied a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a public judicial building on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion," reported CNN.

"Both times, Moore's actions made him a hero to evangelicals, enraged liberals and caught the attention of the state judicial commission."

The possibility of Moore being appointed to the Senate has led groups like the politically progressive publication Slate to express concern.

"Appointing a brash culture warrior like Moore to replace Sessions — rather than some blandly conservative apparatchik — would seem to pose great risk with minimal payoff," wrote one Slate columnist.

"But then again, Bentley understands Alabama voters quite well. And perhaps there is no one they'd rather see replace the racist Sessions than an outright bigot like Moore."

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