A federal judge has again rebuffed Roy Moore, the Alabama judge who had a massive granite Ten Commandments monument installed in the state's judicial building (and whose best-known defender is Bush judicial nominee William Pryor). But this could get ugly: A defiant Moore is invoking (surprise!) states' rights:
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's Judicial Building within 15 days.
The federal judge, who has ruled the 5,300-pound monument violates the constitutional ban on government promotion of religion, lifted a stay he had previously issued while Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore appealed.
Moore, whose stand was rejected by an appeals court, has said he will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling by Judge Myron Thompson came a day after Moore filed a brief claiming Thompson did not have the authority to make him remove the black granite monument from the building's rotunda. Moore contends Alabama's constitution permits the acknowledgment of God by the state and that the federal court has no jurisdiction to order the state to act otherwise.
--AP (emphsasis mine)
This won't play out until the Supreme Court rules (or declines to rule and lets this decision stand) -- but sooner or later there could be hell to pay:
Several religious groups have called on Christians across the country to come to Montgomery and kneel around the monument to prevent its removal.
John Giles, president of the Alabama Christian Coalition, said there would be a showdown if Thompson attempts to have the monument removed.
"The encroachment of the federal court on this matter will be met with considerable peaceful intervention," Giles said.
Peaceful? Well, maybe. In any case, I'm not looking forward to it.