Roy Moore: For Segregation Before He Was Against It

In an interview with Sandy Rios, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made a truly bizarre and hypocritical statement about segregation. Discussing federal judges overturning state laws banning same-sex marriage, he tried to make an analogy to pro-segregation rulings from the court:

I think we’ve got to look back. Courts are not always perfect, Sandy. The United States Supreme Court is not always perfect. What would you have done in 1857 when they came out and said slaves were property. If you were a judge, would you have followed that opinion? Or in 1896, I think it is, in Plessy v. Ferguson, when they said that separate but equal was the policy that we had to adhere to, would you have followed it?

We’ve got to realize that courts, whether they’re federal, state, Supreme Court are not always perfect. And sometimes their rulings will contradict the Constitution, as did the United States Supreme Court opinion in Dred Scott, as it did in Plessy v. Ferguson, as it did in Roe v. Wade. Everybody recognizes Roe v. Wade is not in accordance with the Constitution, but you know, there it is as law. So I submit to you that we’ve got to look at these things very carefully.

Well gee, Judge Moore, what would you have done in response to Plessy v Ferguson in 1896 when the Supreme Court upheld segregationist policies? After all, a mere 11 years ago you led the fight against removing pro-segregation language from the Alabama state constitution decades after that language became unenforceable due to federal court rulings.

The measure was opposed by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from the bench for defying a court order to remove a stone tablet of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building.

Moore and the Christian Coalition argued that repealing the segregationist 1956 amendment would open the door to court-ordered tax increases for education.

I don’t think there’s any doubt where Moore would have stood in 1896. This is part of a much larger problem conservatives have on such issues. Conservatives in the past opposed every one of these social advances, nearly always using identical arguments, but today’s conservatives want to pretend that they would not have used those arguments in the past in situations where the public overwhelmingly has accepted the change they would undoubtedly have opposed. It’s like every battle for equality exists in a vacuum for them and the past does not exist. The patterns are undeniable.

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  • eric

    Everybody recognizes Roe v. Wade is not in accordance with the Constitution

    I wonder if he actually believes this because he’s in a conservative social bubble, or lying for effect.

  • Sastra

    What would you have done in 1857 when they came out and said slaves were property.

    They would probably have noted that human beings are all the property of God, the Master to whom we belong. Our most important duty is to give Him our obedience, servitude, and selfless devotion. This is the humbling task which has been set before every one of us, to fit into our divinely ordained status. Within that hierarchical context of authority and peon, then, the concept of “slavery” is not an abomination. It is our natural role — and some have been given a head start on it.

  • ed440

    People like Judge Moore truly believe in God and the bible. They truly believe anything God decreed trumps anything man might decide.

    What they cannot understand is not everyone believes what they do or that there is any possibility they might be wrong.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so frightening. The only difference between these people and Islamic extremists is the Christians aren’t blowing stuff up or killing people … yet. Oh wait, I forgot. They ARE blowing up abortion clinics and killing doctors.

    Those that feel God is on their side are the most dangerous people of all.

  • D. C. Sessions

    The only difference between these people and Islamic extremists is the Christians aren’t blowing stuff up or killing people … yet. Oh wait, I forgot. They ARE blowing up abortion clinics and killing doctors.

    Plus the occasional Federal building and suchlike.

  • thebookofdave

    human beings are all the property of God

    Quoted for emphasis. Human beings are incapable of self-ownership: the core doctrine of every regressive act and argument.

  • John Pieret

    He’s babbling again about the Constitution in his fevered imagination, not the one that has been written down. Dred Scott was not against the Constitution at the time it was decided, before the 14th Amendment was passed, Plessy v. Ferguson was arguably against the Constitution but I have never heard of any great opposition to it either until after WW II. And contrary to his “Everybody recognizes Roe v. Wade is not in accordance with the Constitution.” most legal scholars would say it was on firm legal grounds as to the Constitutional right to be free in one’s person but that the three trimester structure was not and was rather arbitrary.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Moore and the Christian Coalition argued that repealing the segregationist 1956 amendment would open the door to court-ordered tax increases for education.

    What!? Am I missing something? That excuse makes about as much sense as opposing abortion because you think that would increase water pollution.

    Bigots of the past had more of a spine, they would at least have admitted that they just hated blacks.

  • http://angrybychoice.fieldofscience.com Lorax

    @ #7 I believe the argument would be that repealing segregatist language would require schools to be more equitably funded, therefore increasing taxes to fund schools for black students. This does not preclude the argument that they just hated blacks.

  • Trebuchet

    @3:

    People like Judge Moore truly believe in God and the bible. They truly believe anything they think God decreed trumps anything man might decide.

    FTFY