|Judge Roy Moore|
Based on the Alabama Supreme Court's recent order to force Macon County Circuit Judge Thomas Young off the VictoryLand forfeiture matter, the reasonable person would be wrong on both counts. Roy Moore apparently believes Biblical strictures are for others to follow, but they do not apply to him.
How else to explain Moore signing off on an order that not only is contrary to legal precedent, but also includes a blatant misstatement of fact. To put it bluntly, the order includes an outright lie, which calls to mind Commandment No. 9--"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." This commonly is understood to mean that Christians are not to lie. Proverbs 6:16-19 builds on this idea:
There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
That makes it mighty clear that the Lord isn't too keen on liars. So why did Roy Moore sign his name to a document that includes a bold-faced lie?
Well, let's consider the proof against "His Honor." From page 2 of the order removing Judge Young:
The game of "bingo" can constitute a lottery or gift enterprise under Art. I, Sec. 65. Barber v. Cornerstone Cmty. Outreach, Inc., 42 So. 3d 65 (Ala., 2009). There are, however, certain local amendments to the constitution that authorize "bingo" games and act as "exceptions to the lottery prohibition" of Sec. 65. In the Cornerstone decision, released on November 13, 2009 this court set forth a six-part test to determine whether certain gaming activity constituted legal "bingo" for the purposes of those local amendments.
Whoever wrote those sentences, especially the part highlighted in yellow, is a liar. And he is lying to the Alabama citizens who fund his job and his court with their taxpayer dollars. We don't know that Roy Moore wrote those words, but he signed off on them. So what does that say about Roy Moore. It says, to me, that he's a liar--that he does not take the Ten Commandments seriously. At the very least, it says he countenances liars and supports their work.
How do we know that Roy Moore and his colleagues on the high court are liars? We can start by looking at the Cornerstone decision ourselves. The "whole shootin' match" can be read at the following link:
Barber v. Cornerstone, 42 So. 3d 65 (Ala., 2009)
The Cornerstone ruling came after former Governor Bob Riley's anti-gambling task force seized property at an electronic-bingo facility in Lowndes County, and a trial court granted a preliminary injunction and ordered the task force to return all property. The Riley defendants appealed, and the Supreme Court's ultimate ruling describes the issues it considered:
On May 26, 2009, the Riley defendants filed their appellants' brief on the merits of their appeals of the trial court's preliminary injunction. On May 29, 2009, Cornerstone and FTV filed in both appeals a motion asking this Court to dissolve the preliminary injunction and to dismiss the appeals.
The highlighted words make it clear the Supreme Court was considering a narrow issue: Was the preliminary injunction in the Lowndes County court proper?
We invite readers to click on the link above and read the entire Cornerstone ruling. Taken as a whole, it states that the court was focusing narrowly on: (1) The electronic-bingo facility in Lowndes County; and (2) The lawfulness of the preliminary injunction against the Riley defendants.
That's it--nothing about any other bingo facility in Alabama, nothing beyond a right or wrong ruling on a preliminary injunction. For those who don't want to read the entire ruling, I've presented the key section below, which encompasses roughly the last six paragraphs of the ruling. That's where the rubber meets the road, and the section can be read at the end of this post.
What do we learn? The two highlighted sections below tell us exactly what the case was about. First, we have this:
Based on the foregoing, we must conclude that the term "bingo" as used in Amendment No. 674 was intended . . .
We see nothing unclear about that. The case is about Amendment No. 674, which governs bingo in Lowndes County.
Then, we have this:
On the basis of the foregoing, we cannot conclude that Cornerstone and FTV introduced sufficient evidence from which the trial court could have determined that Cornerstone and FTV had a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. The trial court's order issuing a preliminary injunction therefore is reversed, and the cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
This, again, is clear: The case is about two entities in Lowndes County (Cornerstone and FTV) and it's about a preliminary injunction they had obtained--nothing more, nothing less.
That brings us back to Roy Moore. Why did a judge who touts the Ten Commandments sign his name to a ruling that includes a clear lie?
As for Judge Moore's inability to see "the log in his own eye," we will address that in an upcoming post.