A lawsuit which concerned the right of an Alabama judge to open court sessions with prayer and display the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was thrown out July 23.
The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Fob James and Attorney General Bill Pryor lacked the legal standing needed to bring the lawsuit, which was actually an effort to endorse Circuit Judge Roy Moore’s practices. The court ruled that there was no legal disagreement between the two sides.
“There exists no controversy, whatever – not even a contrived one,” the court said. “This is not what lawsuits are about.” In dismissing the suit, the court allowed the religious activities to continue, which was actually the state’s goal. In fact, James has threatened to use the National Guard to prevent removal of the Ten Commandments from Moore’s courtroom.
The court noted correctly that the lawsuit was an effort to obtain an advisory ruling on the politically volatile issue. “We will not allow the judiciary of this state to become a political foil or a sounding board for topics of temporary interest,” Justice Ralph Cook wrote.
The court also rejected a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued Chief Justice Perry Hooper, arguing that he had an obligation to force Moore to remove all signs of religion from his courtroom. The Supreme Court said that under state law, the chief justice cannot intervene in the matter.
Circuit Judge Charles had ruled in November that Moore’s religious practices violate the U.S. Constitution. Moore appealed that decision to the Alabama Supreme Court, which has yet to take up the case. The court has, however, allowed Moore to continue displaying the Ten Commandments.
– E.P. News