Roy Moore's Ten Commandments battle gets personal and ugly
Regular Weblog and Christianity Today readers will be familiar with the case of Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore is probably best known for his postings of the Ten Commandments around his workplaces, and one display — a 5,300-pound granite version in the Judicial Building — is the subject of a trial in U.S. District Court.
Moore's lawyers are understandably upset about a letter by the justice's opponents that they mistakenly received. "You might remember that, from the start, I was laying our trial theme, i.e., how this was the act of a lone religious nut in partnership with a fanatical church," Morris Dees, a lawyer challenging the monument, wrote to Ayesha Khan, a lawyer with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "This is the story that will make this case so dirty that no appeals court will reverse [the district court judge] to make new law."
Moore's lawyers first filed the letter with the court in opposing Dees's motion to order removal the monument without a trial. The letter, Moore's lawyers say, shows the plaintiffs are playing "hard, loose and dirty with the facts in this case to fit their contrived theme."
Now Moore's lawyers are going further, using the letter in their own motion to have the district court judge removed from the case. They say the letter suggests that Dees knows how Judge Myron Thompson is going to rule.
"I am convinced that Judge Thompson has a pervasive and personal bias and prejudice against me in favor of plaintiffs, that Judge Thompson's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, and that there exists an appearance of impropriety in these cases warranting Judge Thompson's recusal," Moore wrote ...1