The New York Times’ motto “All the news that’s fit to print” long ago became “All the news that fits our slant.” Thus is it perhaps shocking that the paper is running an article today painting GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore in a positive light.
Maybe it wasn’t meant that way. From the Times’ piece’s title, “In Sex Crimes and Other Cases, Roy Moore Often Sided With Defendants,” readers may assume the implication is that Judge Moore exhibited the common human tendency to go soft on that of which one is himself guilty. (As with seemingly everyone now, Moore currently faces sexual-misconduct allegations.) Instead, however, the Times paints a picture of a moral, principled judge who often sided with the little guy against the powers that be.
Judge Moore is no stranger to principled stands against the swamp. For example, he has twice chosen to sacrifice his position as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama rather than submit to unconstitutional federal rulings. In 2003, he defied a federal judge who decreed that he must remove a granite carving of the Ten Commandments from in front of the state judicial building; last year, Moore ordered his state’s probate judges not to comply with the federal ruling mandating that same-sex couples be issued marriage licenses.
What may surprise many, however, is that judge Moore’s principles, as true principles will, extended to areas that his passions didn’t. As the Times reports, “‘He consistently was more interested in the arguments of the criminal defendants than many of his colleagues,’ said Matt Lembke, an appellate lawyer in Birmingham who has argued several cases in front of Mr. Moore. ‘And I think that stemmed from a distrust of government power reflected in his judicial philosophy.’”
As for Moore’s empathy, the Times provides some striking examples:
When a man on death row missed a filing deadline with a lower court, and when most of the Alabama Supreme Court opted not to review his case, Mr. Moore was one of two justices who voted the other way and said some of the evidence used to convict him seemed deficient.
In another instance, Mr. Moore wrote that a man’s “sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent, drug-related crime reveals grave flaws in our statutory sentencing scheme.”
And in another case, Mr. Moore dissented and said a man’s unpaid meal at a Waffle House should have led to a theft conviction, not a 35-year sentence for robbery. He called the case, which the majority voted not to review, “a serious miscarriage of justice.”
Two lawyers who worked with Moore told the Times that the judge sought to protect those wronged by the system. “‘He had no love for criminals, but he believed that every defendant was entitled to due process of law,’ one of the lawyers, Matthew Clark, said in an e-mail. ‘He saw many cases where the defendants, especially young black men, would be convicted solely on very weak circumstantial evidence.’”
Unsurprisingly — to those acquainted with the soul of a dutiful judge — Moore’s constitutionalism extended beyond social issues and to all areas of his jurisprudence. A good example was the case of a black 17-year-old named Eric L. Higdon, who received 23 years’ incarceration for sexually assaulting a younger boy at a daycare center. Moore dissented from the majority opinion in Higdon’s appeal, reasoning that “while Mr. Higdon was guilty of one form of sodomy, another sodomy law used to convict him was never meant to apply to abuse ‘of children by other children,’ the Times informs. “Mr. Moore wrote that ‘sodomy is an abhorrent crime and should be strictly punished’ but that ‘I am concerned the court is stepping into the shoes of the legislature in this case.’”
This dissent was used against Moore in the Republican primary by his opponent, Luther Strange, who accused the judge of being soft on child molesters. Yet Moore was merely exhibiting discipline, a quality required for a judge to rule contrary to his own will, feelings, or agenda. And without discipline there is no rule of law.
This is precisely the problem we have today, mind you, with a usurpative, de-facto judicial oligarchy that ignores the Constitution and imposes its own biases on from the bench.
Whatever the validity of the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, [Editor’s Note: There is no evidence of any misconduct by Moore that is even fit to repeat, let alone believe at this point] the Times’ piece underlines his professional record’s impeccable character. As the aforementioned lawyer Matthew Clark put it, Moore “does what he believes is right, both morally and legally, even when he has to pay a price.”
This brings us to the main reason the establishment seeks his destruction. Like the Founding Fathers, who birthed the Constitution, Moore is a rebel with a great cause: standing by it. And, like the Founding Fathers, Moore understands that man’s law has to have a basis in something other than man’s law itself — namely, in God’s law. In a secular time where the Constitution has become an inconvenient document and God an inconvenient reality, this makes him the odd man out.