The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

November 2, 2012

Moore, Vance face off in chief justice race

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The race for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is between two men with high name recognition, but not for traditional reasons.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore is seeking his old job. His run comes nine years after being removed from office for disobeying a federal judge's order to move a monument to the "Ten Commandments" from the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building.

Vance may be best known because of his father, former federal appeals court Judge Robert Vance, who was assassinated by a mail bomb in December 1989.

Vance got a late start, not joining the race until August, when the original Democratic candidate, Pelham attorney Harry Lyon, was disqualified. In that time, Vance has out-fundraised Moore by about a 2-to-1 margin.

The 65-year-old Moore said he believes the public will judge him based on the scope of his career.

"I've done everything in the law from being in the military police to being a circuit judge to being Supreme Court chief justice," Moore said.

He said he kept gaining experience after leaving the chief justice's office in 2003 as the president of the Montgomery-based Foundation For Moral Law that defends what it sees as threats to religious liberty.

Moore recently sent a letter to the Autauga County school system offering to help after a group complained about the system allowing cheerleaders at Marbury High School to display religious themed signs when they perform.

He says he believes "a person should stand up for God" and that's why he says he defied the order from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to remove the granite Ten Commandments monument. It was later removed by order of the court's associate justices. Moore said he will not try to move the monument back into the Judicial Building.

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