Roy Moore’s WTF Argument

Roy Moore’s WTF Argument April 22, 2015

From the annals of WTF, on two different levels. The first level of WTF is that a group of right-wing black ministers gave Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore an award named after Martin Luther King. And if that isn’t enough to make you mutter to yourself, wait to you hear the claim that Moore made in his acceptance speech.

Moore said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson – recognized as one of the worst in American history – could be applied to the same-sex marriage case the court will consider later this month.

However, he argued that federal courts should respect state laws by quoting from the dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, not the justices’ ruling – although he did not make that clear.

“‘There is a dangerous tendency in these latter days to enlarge the function of the courts by means of judicial interference with the will of the people as expressed by the legislature’” Moore said, quoting from the dissent. “‘In my opinion the judgment this day rendered will’ – he’s talking about the judgment in Plessy v. Ferguson, which said they could not sit on the train cars – ‘in my opinion the judgment this day rendered will in time prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott case.’”

He argued that federal courts should respect state laws and leave them in place while simultaneously claiming that a Supreme Court ruling that did exactly that was wrongly decided. Plessy involved a state law in Louisiana that required blacks and whites to ride in separate cars on trains and the majority upheld that law. The court did exactly what Moore demands, refused to overturn a state law that enforced discrimination. Seriously, WTF? And how the hell can a group of black pastors give an award named after Martin Luther King to a guy who is arguing in favor of nullification and interposition, the very concepts King spent his life fighting against?

It’s truly astonishing how the right wing has invented an alternate reality that is the precise opposite of the real world. It’s like they live in bizarro world.


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