Other Pratt Articles:
JUDGE ROY MOORE IS RIGHT
First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me." - Pastor Martin Niemöller
Niemöller's warning from Nazi Germany is relevant to us today.
Christians and constitutionalists should understand that Alabama Supreme Court Chief Judge Roy Moore is their proxy. It does not matter if they like the Ten Commandments. But if they want to see the Constitution upheld, Judge Moore is fighting their fight. All of us - "socialists, trade unionists, Jews, pastors" are facing the same danger.
What is the danger? Public officials who think that they are the Constitution rather than the rule of law itself.
Judge Roy Moore has become a national figure by installing a monument with the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of Alabama's Supreme Court building.
Judge Moore has refused a court order from Justice Myron Thompson, a federal district judge in Alabama, to remove the monument.
Many people, Christians included, believe that it would be nice if the Ten Commandments could stay, but if a federal court issues an order, that is the law.
Before we agree with that proposition, we must ask, by what authority (under what law) was the court order issued? As Judge Moore has correctly asserted, courts can only articulate what already is law, they may not make law.
Justice Thompson found Judge Moore in violation of the First Amendment doctrine of Separation of Church and State. The only problem with such a finding is that there is no such language in the First Amendment - or elsewhere in the Constitution. Many judges and lawyers may believe it so, but this is often because their study of the Constitution did not include a study of the Constitution itself - only what other people said about the Constitution in various court decisions. To make a religious analogy, they have read commentaries about the Bible without having read the Bible.
Judge Moore has correctly labeled Judge Thompson an outlaw. His ruling is outside the law. His ruling is by ancient usage an order that is null and void.
Many of the northern states prior to the War between the States passed laws declaring the fugitive slave law null and void. If a slave made it to one of these states, the authorities would not cooperate with the federal marshals in returning the slave to his owner.
Moore quotes founding father James Madison in Federalist 43 saying that the U.S. Constitution is based upon the laws of nature and of nature's God. The Alabama Constitution requires Judge Moore (and all state officials) to acknowledge God. Judge Thompson, appointed by Jimmy Carter, has not found the Alabama Constitution unconstitutional under the terms of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, under the First and Tenth Amendments, Judge Thompson has no authority to issue his order.
The Tenth Amendment, of course, allows the federal government to exercise only those powers specifically delegated to it in the Constitution. Since the First Amendment should not apply to this case (a religion is not being established by the federal government - or by the state of Alabama), the Tenth Amendment should prohibit Thompson from ruling against Moore. Thompson has ignored the law. Therefore he is the outlaw.
All Americans should be eager to see a resolution of impeachment filed against Judge Thompson. And while the impeachers are at it, they should file four more - against Justices Ruth Ginsberg, Steven Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra O'Connor. All four have recently averred that America must be more open to comparative and international law perspectives when interpreting the U.S. Constitution. This is on its face a violation of their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.
The Supreme Court may have a Second Amendment case before too long and could find that the U.S. needs to "harmonize" its laws with the bans and restrictions of other countries. The Constitution the founders gave us means nothing to these outlaws. Now is the time to stop them. Judge Roy Moore has, in effect, correctly refused to bow to the lawless order of Judge Myron Thompson, and by extension, to the lawless antics of several Supreme Court judges as well.
Christians should celebrate what Judge Moore has done and constitutionalists should affirm his stand. If not, all of us will see the last of our liberties disappear under the violent assault of dictatorial judges honoring the Constitution in the breach. The judges need to be reminded that they are under law. It is time for impeachments to begin.
All Americans must close ranks behind Judge Moore. Not to is to fail to heed the lesson of history that Pastor Niemöller taught us from jail in Nazi Germany.
© 2003 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved
Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.
GOA lobbies for the pro-gun position in Washington and is involved in firearm issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in lawsuits with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal firearms law enforcement agency.
Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC's Today Show, CBS' Good Morning America, CNN's Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Phil Donahue show and many others. He has debated Congressmen James Traficant, Jr. (D-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Vice President Al Gore, among others. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country.
He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.
Pratt has held elective office in the state legislature of Virginia, serving in the House of Delegates. Pratt directs a number of other public interest organizations and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.
"Christians should celebrate what Judge Moore has done and constitutionalists should affirm his stand. If not, all of us will see the last of our liberties disappear under the violent assault of dictatorial judges honoring the Constitution in the breach. The judges need to be reminded that they are under law. It is time for impeachments to begin."