News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2005


Taxpayers end up footing Judge Moore's legal bills

Ousted Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore apparently has taken his battle about the division of religion and the state a step closer to closing that gap.

Although he still hasn't solved the problem of placing his Ten Commandments monument in the Supreme Court building, he apparently has no problem accepting the state's money to pay his attorney fees.

Remember, these are costs he ran up when he disobeyed a U.S. Supreme Court order to remove the marble Ten Commandments display. Apparently, he has no problem accepting money for breaking the law of the land as seen by the U.S. Supreme Court.

With Alabama counting nickels and dimes trying to pay for needed services and education, everyone should be offended that Mr. Moore doesn't have to pay legal fees in the Commandments case.

Instead, more than $500,000 that could have gone to hire state troopers, repair roads, buy school supplies and much, much more, will go to pay his attorneys fees for his unsuccessful legal battles.

As those who pay the bills, each Alabama citizen should also be outraged at the Alabama Supreme Court for its Friday ruling that said Mr. Moore didn't have to pay those bills. The court turned down, by a unanimous vote, taxpayers who had filed suit asking that Mr. Moore be ordered to reimburse the state.

The justices agreed with a circuit judge that the taxpayers did not have proper legal standing.

It's sad that those paying the bills, including the salaries of the justices, don't have some kind of standing in this case.

Apparently, Mr. Moore's propensity for what's right and wrong ends at his pocketbook.

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