Republicans in Washington are fiercely lining up behind Sen. Luther Strange in this year’s special election to finish the U.S. Senate term of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the nation’s best known state judge says he is ready to battle big GOP dollars in the primary and defend the Constitution in Washington.
“I think I can take the values of this state and my particular qualifications to the Senate to help us get this country back to what it should be. I have had a lot of study in the Constitution of the United States. I understand it’s meaning and I understand how far away we’ve drifted from that document. Underlying all of this is virtue and morality which comes from God and we’re trying to deny that God upon which our morality is founded,” said Moore.
Moore is most famous for twice being elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and effectively removed twice as well. Moore lost his job the first time in 2003 for refusing to obey a federal court order requiring a Ten Commandments monument to be removed from the court.
In 2015, he was suspended without pay and benefits for telling probate court judges that the Supreme Court decision on marriage did not impact the Alabama Supreme Court’s injunction that preserved marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the state.
Moore says his public stands on those issues tell Alabama voters exactly who they would get as a senator.
“It’s not just what I say. It’s what I have done. I have stood for the principles of this state and the people of this state. I’ve stood against the federal government in a legal manner,” said the 70-year-old Moore.
Moore finds himself in a crowded field for the GOP nomination. With the filing deadline set for Wednesday, six Republicans are officially in the field. In addition to Judge Moore and Sen. Strange, the most recognizable name is Rep. Mo Brooks, best known for his work in combating illegal immigration.
Prior to Brooks officially joining the race on Monday, Moore held a 10-point lead over Strange in a poll conducted by Brooks.
The national GOP is coming out with guns blazing against Moore and Brooks and is promising an initial down payment of $2.6 million in advertising on behalf of Strange.
Moore finds it a bit odd that the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or NRSC, is all-in for a man appointed to the Senate just three months ago.
“He was appointed by the (former) governor and the law provided that an election should be held forthwith, so treating him as an incumbent isn’t exactly what they should be doing,” said Moore, who points out the NRSC’s money plans were announced after Moore got in the race last month.
“They didn’t do it about anybody else but me. They did it after I announced that I was in the race,” said Moore. “They restricted consultants. They imposed large amounts of money for Sen. Strange. They did it because I’m in the race and they know that I will not follow the agenda of anyone else. I’ll do what I believe is right under the Constitution and in the sight of the people of this state,” said Moore.
Moore’s comments on consultants refers to the NRSC warning any political operatives that they will never work with the group again if they offer assistance to any of Strange’s rivals.
However, Moore also thinks the NRSC is wasting its money.
“Trying to control the people of Alabama just doesn’t work and it’s futile to do so. They know better than to be controlled by people in Washington, D.C. They see me as an outsider. I recognize I’m not an insider to Washington, D.C.,” said Moore.
Moore is speaking out most strongly on issues like immigration, health care, education, and the military. However, he says he uses the same approach with everything.
“All the issues that arise in the Senate, whether it be foreign relations, the military, health care, domestic issues, immigration all go back to a basic understanding of what the federal government should do and what it should not do,” said Moore.
“The tenth amendment, as we know, says the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution or prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or the people. Yet we see the federal government, particularly in the judicial branch, stepping into state powers like marriage and divorce and dictating issues they have no jurisdiction over,” said Moore.
He cited the Obama administration’s effort to mandate transgender accommodation at all public schools as another example of the federal government trying to usurp power intended for the states to have.
So what did Moore do in response to the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage decision to get him suspended from the bench?
“I advised the probate judges that they were still under the injunction that was issues by the Alabama Supreme Court and had not been removed. For that, the opposition said I told the probate judges to disobey a federal court order. I never did such a thing,” said Moore.
He says there’s a simple explanation for why the Supreme Court’s decision did not apply to Alabama.
“The United States Supreme Court, in Obergefell, did not rule on the Alabama case, did not rule on anything in the Eleventh Circuit. It rules in the Sixth Circuit, from the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee,” said Moore.
He says until the high court rules on Alabama’s case, the injunction stands, although that injunction is not currently being enforced.
On federal policy, Moore says he would demand a full repeal of Obamacare, ripping out common core, which he considers educational “indoctrination.” The West Point graduate also favors a beefing up of the military and wants to see an end to the nation’s armed forces being used to advance “the homosexual agenda.”
The first Alabama primary is slated for August 15. The primary runoff will take place September 26. The final election will be held December 12.