Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was suspended from that position last May after ordering the state’s probate judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and instead continue to enforce Alabama’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, last month was named the recipient of the 2016 Bill of Rights Award.
Carris Kocher, chair of the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee of Concordville, Penn., the organization that sponsors the annual Bill of Rights Award, made the announcement last month at the 25th annual Bill of Rights Commemorative Banquet in New Holland, Penn.
Kocher said that Moore won the award for his “courageous standing on the 10th Amendment,” and the press release announcing the award points out that — to no one’s surprise — “Like Judge Roy Moore, Mrs. Kocher believes criminal law and marriage law fall entirely under the jurisdiction of state law.”
(The 10th Amendment, for those who may not remember, is the one that says any powers not expressly given to the federal government or expressly prohibited to the states by the U.S. Constitution is “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
Kocher added, “This is the constitutional ground on which Judge Roy Moore has standing in his actions as the chief justice of Alabama. It would be well for all of us to have a look at what rights ‘of the states’ and what other rights ‘of the people’ this amendment has reference to.”
Mat Staver, the “founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel” — that is the right-wing organization that provides pro bono legal representation to haters who don’t want to have to treat LGBT people as equal citizens — said that he “cannot think of anyone who deserves the 2016 Bill of Rights Award more than Chief Justice Roy Moore. This award is an honorable recognition of his courage to faithfully defend the Constitution. The Liberty Counsel stands proudly with Chief Justice Moore on the front lines of battle to uphold justice in the courts and to preserve the America our founders gave us.”
(What he really means is: “We agree with FORMER Chief Justice Roy Moore that since we don’t like gay people or anybody else that disagrees with us, we should be able to discriminate against them however we want, and we should be able to act like it is 1776 instead of 2017.”)
According to the press release, The Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee was founded in 1990 to “promote observance of the Bill of Rights Bicentennial,” which was on Dec. 15, 1991. The first “commemorative banquet” was in 1992, and is now held each year on Dec. 15. “It includes musical entertainment and special speakers along with the announcement of the award recipients.” (Photos from this year’s event show about 40-50 people sitting at two long tables.)
And just in case you have some ideas on who deserves the 2017 Bill of Rights Award, nominations will be accepted through Dec. 1. Mail your nominations to P.O. Box 912, Concordville, Penn. 19331.