Charles Dean, a columnist for an Alabama newspaper, makes the obvious and accurate comparison of current Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who attempted to defy the federal courts to prevent black people from getting an education:
Almost 52 years ago Gov. George Wallace made his infamous stand in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama to block two black students from registering for classes.
It was really all for show. Wallace knew he had no authority to stop the students. The federal courts had ruled that the time had come to integrate UA and to back up that order President John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard to make sure the law was enforced and the peace maintained.
Still Wallace continued. He got his moment. Cameras captured it for front pages across the nation. TV broadcast it around the world painting Alabama as an intolerant place.
It is still an image we fight…
But last night Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered all probate judges not to follow the federal order and instead continue to enforce the state’s ban against same sex marriage. Moore threatened that any probate judge carrying out the federal court order could be impeached by Gov. Robert Bentley. That’s something Bentley has never threatened to do nor is he threatening to do it now despite what Moore has said.
Before Moore’s Sunday night attempt to highjack the federal court order, only a handful of probate judges said they would refuse to follow it, moving the state to the cusp of historic change.
Then Moore stepped in to block the courthouse door, much the same in my view as Wallace did at UA in 1963.
Yep. And like Wallace, he will lose. Hopefully he will be removed from office again, as happened the first time he tried to defy the federal courts a decade ago, though the clueless voters of that state then returned him to his position a couple years ago. Moore, like Wallace, is doing everything he can to prevent equality from being a reality in Alabama. He can’t win, ultimately, but he can and has created a hell of a mess in the meantime.