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The Ten Commandments and the Alabama National Guard

Yesterday, the Mobile Register reported that Alabama Governor Bob Riley claims that former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore asked Governor Riley to call out the Alabama National Guard in order to stop the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building in 2003. Chief Justice Moore had installed the monument in the courthouse and a federal court had ordered him to remove it; he refused and was later removed from office because of state ethics charges that were brought against him on the basis of his refusal to comply with the federal court’s unlawful order.

In 2003, I was involved in a citizen presence on the grounds of the state judicial building (which houses the Alabama Supreme Court). While that event has been called a “protest”, much more than protesting was involved. Yes, we were there to protest the federal judge’s unlawful order; we were also there to pray, to encourage our state and federal officials to do the right thing, and to show that we were concerned about the public acknowledgment of God. We were there to send the message that forcibly removing and prohibiting the acknowledgment of God from society can only result in the destruction of a free society–that those who have their law founded not on the authority of God but on the sinful whims of men’s hearts shall destroy themselves.

I was also present at the state capitol in 1997 when Governor Fob James and others spoke at a rally in support of Judge Roy Moore, who was at that time a circuit judge. Judge Moore had been ordered by a state court to remove a hand-carved Ten Commandments plaque from the wall of his courtroom and to stop allowing prayer before trials. He refused to comply with the order and the order was eventually overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court on a technicality.

During that Ten Commandments struggle, Governor James stated that, if necessary, he would call up Alabama National Guard soldiers to stop the removal of the Ten Commandments plaque from Judge Moore’s courtroom. Governor James proved himself not one to make idle threats, so his statement was considered quite seriously. He went on to explain that, were the Ten Commandments plaque ordered by a federal court to be removed, and were federal marshals sent to remove the plaque, he would place Alabama soldiers at the courthouse to prevent the removal. Governor James stated that this would not have resulted in armed conflict; instead, it would have forced President Bill Clinton to either ignore the order of the federal judge and recall the marshals or to federalize the Alabama Guard soldiers and order them away from the courthouse. In Governor James’ estimation, no U.S. president would ever do such a thing.

Coming back to 2003 events, it seems that former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Terry Butts, who served as a legal adviser for Chief Justice Moore, approached Governor Riley about the Ten Commandments monument. Mr. Butts asked Governor Riley to protect the monument from the unlawful order of the federal judge and to prohibit it from being removed. Apparently, Governor Riley has now stated that Judge Moore asked him to call in the Alabama National Guard. Mr. Butts has stated that he did not ask that the Guard be called in but that they did discuss the possibility that things might play out to that end if Governor Riley were to act to protect the monument. According to radio reports today, Judge Moore has denied asking that the Guard be called out to the judicial building and has stated that he agrees with Mr. Butts’ version of the story.

Why this matter is a big news story in the state today, I am not sure. Use of Alabama soldiers was promised by Governor James back in 1997. Thus, the 2003 discussion was not a new idea.

For some reason, commentators feel the need to make a big issue out of this now and to paint Judge Moore as a man filled with bloodlust–the idea being that, if the Guard soldiers were called out, a shootout with federal marshals would result. This is an absurd interpretation of the facts and seems only to be an attempt to undermine Judge Moore’s credibility. And, if weighing Governor Riley’s credibility against Judge Moore’s, Judge Moore wins every time. After all, Judge Moore has fulfilled every public promise he’s made and Governor Riley has broken so many of his own.

Bill Pryor

The Treachery of Bill Pryor

treachery
n. pl. treach·er·ies
1. Willful betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidy.
2. The act or an instance of such betrayal.
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.)

I’ve written before of the treachery of Bill Pryor, former Attorney General of Alabama and now sitting judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. With the looming vote on Pryor’s nomination to a lifetime appointment to that court, I offer more reflections.

Jeff Sessions served as Alabama Attorney General until his election to the U.S. Senate. Governor Fob James appointed Pryor to the office vacated by Sessions. At the time, Circuit Judge Roy Moore, of Etowah County, was defendant in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because of prayers Judge Moore allowed in his courtroom and a Ten Commandments plaque in the courtroom.

Gov. James steadfastly defended Judge Moore and showed his solidarity by speaking publicly on the issues involved. When Gov. James was considering Pryor for appointment to the office of Attorney General, he questioned Pryor about his support for Judge Moore and the Ten Commandments display. The governor was assured that Pryor, like him, would stand in defense of Judge Moore.

Judge Moore had stated that he would not obey any court order to remove the Ten Commandments plaque from his courtroom. Pryor had defended this type of “non-acquiescence” in conversation with Gov. James and had even written in favor of such an approach in the Tulane Law Review. Pryor publicly stated that he would defend Judge Moore and that, even if some court ordered that Judge Moore remove the Ten Commandments from the courtroom, he would stand with Judge Moore in refusing to obey the order. On April 12, 1997, I attended a “Ten Commandments Rally” on the lawn of the state capitol in Montgomery. At that rally, Attorney General Pryor vocalized–before thousands of supporters–that he stood firmly in agreement with Judge Moore and Gov. James and even that he had become an attorney so he could fight the ACLU.

Later, when Judge Moore became Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and installed a Ten Commandments monument in the state judicial building, Attorney General Pryor defended him. He appointed two of Chief Justice Moore’s lawyers as deputy attorneys general. The chief justice was sued in his official capacity and the state defended him in that capacity (albeit, at no cost to the state).

When Myron Thompson, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, ordered that Chief Justice Moore remove the Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building, the chief justice refused. Attorney General Pryor then set out on a crusade to portray himself in the best possible light and Judge Moore in the worst; he appeared on television programs and gave several interviews to the press in which he vilified the action of Chief Justice Moore and painted himself as a man who had to do an unfortunate duty because of the wild, unbridled reveling of a hardened criminal. Pryor lobbied the associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court to remove the monument themselves. The associate justices did so.

A complaint of ethical misconduct was filed against Chief Justice Moore before the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) and he was suspended from the bench pending an investigation. The JIC initially acted as a grand jury, considering the evidence against Chief Justice Moore and deciding whether the complaint warranted an ethics trial. The Commission concluded that there was sufficient reason to bring the case to trial; at this point, the JIC became the plaintiff in a case against the chief justice before the Court of the Judiciary (COJ).

When the JIC brought the case to the COJ, Attorney General Pryor became the prosecutor. Chief Justice Moore’s attorneys protested Pryor’s prosecution of the chief justice because Pryor had been privy to Moor’s defense of the Ten Commandments case–if Pryor were to prosecute the chief justice, the attorney-client privilege would be violated. Not only would this have been problematic; the attorney general’s own prior statements were in support of the chief justice and his subsequent prosecution of Moore would have been a betrayal of the chief justice and the state’s position on the display of the Ten Commandments and the public acknowledgement of God.

However, this was not the only conflict of interest at issue. The terms of two members of the COJ had expired. The attorney general issued an advisory opinion to Governor Bob Riley, stating that it was acceptable for the two members to remain on the court even though their terms had expired. In effect, Attorney General Pryor was hand-picking two judges of the very court before which he would prosecute Chief Justice Moore. Every one of the several challenges of the chief justice’s attorneys to the numerous conflicts of interest in the case were denied by the court.

On November 13, 2003, I sat in the courtroom of the Alabama Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Moore was tried for ethical misconduct. I witnessed Attorney General Pryor stand before the COJ, questioning the chief justice about his actions. The attorney general and his deputies played for the court a news video tape of Chief Justice Moore speaking at a rally at the state capitol on August 16, 2003, wherein he stated that he could not and would not obey the order of Judge Thompson to remove the Ten Commandments monument. This was the entirety of the prosecution’s argument. The defense attorneys called Moore to the stand; after the chief justice’s attorneys had completed their questioning, Attorney General Pryor stepped up to cross examine him.

Thrice Pryor asked Moore if he would continue to acknowledge God no matter what any man told him. Thrice Moore answered in the affirmative. Here follows a snippet of the official court transcript:

Pryor: “And if you resume your duties as Chief Justice after this proceeding, you will continue to acknowledge God as you have testified that you would today?”

Moore: “That’s right.”

Pryor: “No matter what any other official says?”

Moore: “Absolutely. Without–let me clarify that–without an acknowledgment of God, I cannot do my duties. I must acknowledge God. It says so in the Constitution of Alabama, it says so in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It says so in everything I’ve read.”

Pryor: “The only point I am trying to clarify, Mr. Chief Justice, is not why, but only that, in fact, if you do resume your duties as Chief Justice, you will continue to do that without regard to what any other official says. Isn’t that right?”

Moore: “I … must.”

Bill Pryor has shown that he is untrustworthy; he is faithless. He violated the promise of his appointment which he made to Gov. James. He violated the statements of his own conscience made publicly, without duress. He violated the Alabama Constitution of 1901, Section 3, by prosecuting Chief Justice Moore for his religious beliefs. He violated the U.S. Constitution, Article 6, by imposing a religious test for qualification of a state judicial officer. Pryor attempted to coerce a state constitutional officer to violate his oath to uphold the Alabama constitution and to defend the rights of the people.

If all those things weren’t enough, Bill Pryor, who is supposedly a devout Roman Catholic, asked Roy Moore, a Christian, to deny God before men. This is the very thing that Satan tried to convince Christ to do (Matthew 4:8-10):

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, ‘Alll these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’ Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.'”

And this is the very thing that Christ said would lead to damnation (Matthew 10:32-33):

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Not only has Pryor tried to entice another to accept man’s authority above God’s authority, he has done much more. He instructed Alabama’s district attorneys not to enforce, in certain cases, the requirements of the Alabama law against partial birth abortion. He testified before Congress in 2003 that, although Roe v. Wade is “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history”, he would not oppose the terms of that decision if he were to be approved for a federal judgeship–because he is able to separate his personal beliefs from his duty to obey “the law”.

Chairman [Orrin] Hatch: “So even though you disagree with Roe v. Wade you would act in accordance with Roe v. Wade on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals?”

Mr. Pryor: “Even though I strongly disagree with Roe v. Wade I have acted in accordance with it as Attorney General and would continue to do so as a Court of Appeals Judge.”

As a currently sitting federal judge, in the state-sanctioned murder of Terri Schiavo, Pryor refused to even register dissent in the federal appeals court’s decision not to allow a new hearing of her case.

For these reasons, and many more like them, Bill Pryor should have never been nominated to a federal judgeship or given a recess appointment by President George Bush. He should certainly not now be approved by the Senate for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. How long will we decry judicial activism yet continue to put in place judicial activists? Can we tolerate as a magistrate–who had a duty before God–a man who persecutes others for acknowledging God? How can we tolerate as a magistrate a man who affirms that the destruction of life is morally wrong and that judges who interpret the Constitution to allow abortion are wrong but would still go along with those judges?

Source Documents

  • Transcript of the ethics trial of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore before the Court of the Judiciary. Attorney General Bill Pryor, prosecutor.
  • Video clip of the cross examination of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore by Attorney General Bill Pryor in the ethics trial of Moore. (High Bandwidth) (Low Bandwidth) (Audio Only) (YouTube)
  • Affidavit submitted by former Alabama Governor Fob James to the Court of the Judiciary. James alleged that Pryor was faithless.
  • Affidavit submitted by Fob James, III (son of the former governor) to the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. James alleges that Pryor was faithless.
  • Motion to disqualify members of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Argued that the terms of two judges had expired.
  • Transcript of the June 11, 2003 U.S. Senate hearing on the nomination of Bill Pryor for federal appeals court judgeship.
  • Federal appeals court for the 11th Circuit en banc order refusing to give a new hearing in the Terri Schindler (Schiavo) case.

Recommended Reading

Tom Parker

Investiture speech of Alabama Associate Justice Tom Parker

Justice Tom Parker delivered the following speech on January 14, 2005 at his investiture to the Alabama Supreme Court.

May it please the Courts.

Governor, Public Officials, friends and family, thank you for being here today.

The defining question for the American people today is this: “By what standard?”

 

By what standard shall we govern ourselves? By what standard shall our courts interpret the Constitution? Who is the ultimate voice of authority? Is it the people? Is it the judges who wear black robes? Are they truly the ultimate voice of authority? Or is there a higher source from which even the legitimacy of constitutions ultimately derive their authority, and to whom the allegiance of every policy maker and judge is due?

Our Founding Fathers answered this question with resounding clarity when they boldly declared that “We are endowed by our CREATOR with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

With these twenty-five simple words, that remarkable delegation of citizen patriots was able to declare with stunning precision what fewer and fewer modern jurists seem able to understand or communicate in their many thousands of pages of decisions rendered during the course of a lifetime.

Namely, this: The very God of Holy Scriptures, the CREATOR, is the source of law, life and liberty. It is to Him, not evolving standards or arbitrary pronouncements of judges, that the leaders of every nation owe their ultimate allegiance.

The most influential jurist on the thinking of our Founding Fathers, Sir William Blackstone, put it this way:

The doctrines thus delivered we call revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in Holy Scriptures. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these.

Blackstone would add a cautious reminder: Judges do not make law; they do but discover it from its true source.

Yesterday, January 13th, 2005, I was administered the oath of office at the United States Supreme Court building by the leading advocate in our land for original intent interpretation of the Constitution, U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Just moments before I placed my hand on the Holy Scripture, Justice Thomas soberly addressed me and all in attendance. He admonished us to remember that the work of a justice should be evaluated by one thing and one thing only–whether or not he is faithful to uphold his oath, an oath which, as Justice Thomas pointed out, is not to the people, not to the state, and not to the constitution, but an oath which is to God Himself.

Today, I once again placed my hand on the Bible, God’s Holy Word. On this day the oath was administered to me by a man who is well known to each of you, a man who sacrificed his very office in the holy cause of liberty. Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Supreme Court of Alabama understood that oaths are sworn to the Creator, that they must be upheld, and that no judge or set of justices may banish from the courtroom the very source of authority which gives legitimacy to law itself.

As I took the oath of office today, I placed my hand on the Biblical charge to judges:

“Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man, but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery. You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.”

(2 Chronicles 19:6-9)

I stand here today, humbled by this charge, but a grateful man who aspires to adhere to that tradition embodied in the sentiments spoken to me yesterday by Justice Clarence Thomas, and the commitment to our Founders’ vision of authority and the rule of law personified by Chief Justice Roy Moore.

As I took the oath of office yesterday at the U.S. Supreme Court, I placed my hand on those Scriptures which represent my defining prayer not only for this Court, but for every court in our great land. This prayer is summarized in the words of the Lord, who spoke through the prophet Isaiah, declaring:

I will restore your judges as in days of old,
and your counselors as at the beginning.

Afterward you shall be called, The City of Righteousness, the Faithful city.

(Isaiah 1:26)

Thank you for the great honor bestowed upon me today. I will always view my oath as solemn, binding and mission-defining.

May God guide us and direct us. May we boldly proclaim that it is God, Jesus Christ who gives us life and liberty. May we, as justices who have taken oaths to our God, never fear to acknowledge Him. And may the Alabama Supreme Court lead this nation in our gratitude, humility and deference, to the only true source of law, our Creator.

Thank you.

Tom Parker

Judicial servants vs. judicial tyrants

Tom Parker promises godly principle and godly action

Christians in Alabama and throughout the nation were frustrated and angered by the lack of godly leadership shown by the eight associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court in August 2003. The eight justices voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building–where the court sits–that Chief Justice Roy Moore had installed two years earlier. The Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama had ordered Moore to remove the monument, claiming that its presence was an establishment of religion. Moore refused to comply and the associate justices took action.

Tom Parker served as Deputy Administrative Director of Courts in the Alabama judicial system, a position to which Moore appointed him in 2001. In this office, he worked as general counsel for the court system and director of the Alabama Judicial College. He advised trial court judges and provided new judges with training and continuing education for trial judges in the state. He also served as legal advisor and spokesman for Moore, giving statements and arranging press briefings for Moore during the standoff at the judicial building. When Moore was removed from office for refusing to take away the monument, Parker also had his employment in the court system terminated because of his support of the chief justice.

Parker is campaigning in the Republican Primary for Alabama Supreme Court, Place 1. His opponent in this race is one of the associate justices who ordered the Ten Commandments monument removed. Parker points out that the Alabama judicial building is leased from the Alabama Building Authority and that the chief justice is the leaseholder of the building–and, therefore, can control the interior furnishings and decorations. When Moore was suspended from office, this authority passed to acting chief justice Gorman Houston who, according to Parker, could have ordered removal of the monument by himself. “The other justices did not have to get involved. They made a mistake by doing so,” Parker said.

A Montgomery native, Parker has been married for 22 years to Dottie. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire and received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He presently serves as Special Projects Manager for the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery. The Foundation had provided legal funds for Moore and continues to work to combat judicial tyranny.

Prior to his work with the judicial system, Parker worked under Jeff Sessions in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, he handled criminal appeals and death penalty cases with experience presenting oral arguments before the Court of Criminal Appeals and the state Supreme Court.

Parker was a partner in the law firm of Parker & Kotouc. That firm was involved in two high-profile cases: the Mobile school prayer case Wallace v. Jaffree and the humanism textbook case Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County. Parker also defended churches, ministries, Christian schools, and home schooling. He was founding executive director of the Alabama Family Alliance and the Alabama Family Advocates. Both organizations are associated with Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson. Parker also drafted pro-life legislation for Alabama and lobbied for the pro-life issue in the Alabama legislature. The Alabama Pro-Life Coalition was run out of his law office.

Parker believes the justices of the Alabama Supreme Court could have acted as buffers to the usurpation of the rights of the people and the state by thwarting efforts by the federal district court in the Ten Commandments case. “Instead, they voluntarily chose to get involved and vote to remove the Ten Commandments monument,” he said. Parker wants to serve the state with the interest of protecting the rights of the people–particularly the right to publicly acknowledge God. He says that, had he been a member of the Supreme Court during the standoff, he would have spoken out in opposition to attempts by the federal court to interfere with the state’s liberties.

Parker sees the courts as a body tasked with protecting liberty. Courts should not act as legislative bodies in order to create new laws or a pseudo-constitution. “Unfortunately, we are seeing the forces of political correctness at work in our nation and even coming here to Alabama to try to force their ways on us. We’ve seen the travesty of gay “marriage” being found to be a constitutional right by the state supreme court in Massachusetts. [And] the U.S. Supreme Court totally abandoned its means of judicial analysis in order to reach its desired goal of legitimizing homosexual activity.”

Parker knows from whence comes the authority to govern. He recognizes the same source of authority that the state constitution names: “Our constitution sets out God as the foundation for our judicial system. I cannot be faithful to our constitution [without recognizing] God as the One whose favor and guidance was invoked in the establishment of the state judicial system, as expressly set forth in the preamble of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.”

He says that the acknowledgement of God is necessary to the constitutional government of Alabama. “Our state founding fathers, in every one of our constitutions throughout the history of Alabama, have included that important principle and cornerstone for our state government. Judicial systems have to have some moral or philosophical basis. Our system of justice is based on the Judeo-Christian belief system.”

“The Old Testament admonished judges not to make a distinction between the Jew and a stranger but to treat all equally. What that meant was that your national origins or your beliefs were not supposed to matter to the administrator of justice–it was only one–actions for which one could be held accountable. The whole concept of liberty of conscience was recognized in the judicial system of the Old Testament and protected by the first table of the Law, the Commandments I through IV. Your relationship as an individual with God is something that you were accountable to God for. And, government had no authority to try to–in any way–affect one’s belief in God or the manner of discharging the duties to God.”

Parker reminds Alabamians of their ability to counteract judicial tyranny: “We in Alabama are fortunate in having an elected judiciary. The check that the public has over judges at the polls saves us from what we have seen at the national level or in states with appointed supreme courts where those courts grabbed power and tend toward a totally new constitutional theory of judicial supremacy.”

One of the justices who sold out the rights of the state and of the people by bowing to the tyrannical will of a federal judge is campaigning for re-election. Alabama voters have a perfect opportunity to replace her with a man who is committed to acknowledging God and protecting citizens from the interference of despots. “Just like faith without works is dead, so too are principles without action. For too long, we’ve had judges telling us that they were opposed to judicial activism. But when the challenge came, they didn’t stand against it. We need state judges who have the moral courage to act on their principles and resist judicial tyranny.”

Phillip Jauregui

Constitution for Congress

Phillip Jauregui wants to restore our governing document

There’s a congressional candidate from Alabama who’s a little out of the ordinary. His oddity comes not from the fact that he’s an attorney or a well-known figure in recent national events. It’s his commitment to the Constitution that makes him a rarity among congressional candidates and current members. That and his commitment to action: “The courts have literally betrayed their oaths to the Constitution and, … [members of] Congress are not keeping their oaths if they simply stand around and watch the Constitution being destroyed.”

Phillip Jauregui, 34, is campaigning in the Republican Primary for the 6th District of the U.S. House of Representatives. He hails from Birmingham, has two children and is married to Jennifer. Jauregui has been in private practice since 1998. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Attorney General for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Assistant Legal Advisor to former Governor Fob James, attorney for former Chief Justice Perry Hooper, and was a clerk with the Alabama Supreme Court. He graduated from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.

Familiarity with Jauregui in Alabama and across the United States stems from his involvement with the legal cases of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the well-known Montgomery Ten Commandments monument. Jauregui first began working with Moore in 1995, when he was a legal advisor to James in the earlier Ten Commandments case when Moore was a circuit judge. He also served as Moore’s campaign manager in the 2000 chief justice race in which Moore was elected. In the recent cases, Jauregui served as Moore’s lead counsel, arguing the appeal of Moore’s removal from office before a specially-selected Alabama Supreme Court.

Jauregui serves on the Prison Fellowship of Alabama Council, part of a national ministry headed by Chuck Colson. He also serves on the Sav-A-Life board, a pro-life ministry that provides counselling and other assistance to women who might otherwise undergo abortions. Jauregui is a member of the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, where he also serves as a trustee.

The campaign Jauregui runs is focused on constitutional restoration. He wants Congress to take responsibility for its role as the legislative body–and to fiercely protect that authority from federal judges. He says that, if Congress is acting only as “an ad hoc body that makes policy recommendations to the Supreme Court, then Congress is not being Congress.” The Constitution must be restored to its place as the primary governing instrument of our nation. He fears that existence of Americans as a free people is threatened by judicial tyranny.

Congress must be true to the Constitution. Jauregui points out that congressmen don’t take oaths to get themselves re-elected or to keep their majority party status in Congress; instead, their oaths are to protect and defend the Constitution. In order for congressmen to uphold their oaths to the Constitution by limiting judicial abuse, Jauregui advocates four steps.

The first thing he says Congress must do is to simply “limit the court to its constitutional jurisdiction.” Instead of taking direction from the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, Congress should act as a separate body, making its own decisions about law. When the courts overstep their authority, Congress can also further limit their jurisdiction.

The second thing Congress can do to restrict abuse by the courts is to restrict funding. Jauregui suggests that the resolution the House of Representatives passed in the Montgomery Ten Commandments monument case is a good method of blocking enforcement of unconstitutional rulings by courts. In that case, the House said that it would not allocate any funds to the enforcement of the federal judge’s order to remove the monument. Similar restriction of funds in other cases could render out of control judges powerless to enforce their rulings. Jauregui said, “Congress has the authority–and, as a matter of fact, has the duty–to restrict funding” in cases where the courts try to tell Congress how to do its job.

The third thing Jauregui wants Congress to do is to “discipline members of the court who are refusing to confine themselves to their constitutional role as judges.” The Constitution provides for the impeachment and removal from office of judges who do not serve under good behavior. Jauregui said, “Judges are not behaving well when they defy their oaths and anoint themselves as legislators over Congress.” “… If they don’t … respect congressional action which is gentle, then maybe the only thing they’re going to respect is removal from office.” He said that impeachment is a discipline of last–but real–resort that should be used judiciously and strategically.

Jauregui’s fourth idea for accountability is the passage of laws by Congress to deal with particular court cases. Such a law would identify Congress as the lawmaking body, state that the court’s purpose is to decide controversy–not to make law–and identify rulings in specific cases as void. Jauregui said, “According to Chief Justice Marshall in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison, if a ruling is repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. The same way with a statute. If Congress does something that’s repugnant to the Constitution, it’s void. If a federal judge issues an order that is repugnant to the Constitution, that order is void. Judges, too, … take an oath to the Constitution and they are bound to it. … Accordingly, other officers … who have taken oaths to the Constitution … are bound to the Constitution, not to federal judges who have unbound themselves from their oaths to the Constitution and are now declaring war against it.”

Jauregui sees the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 as one means of reigning in runaway federal judges. If the act doesn’t pass in the current class of Congress, Jauregui would make it his first priority, if elected. He said, “I feel so strongly about it that I would have to talk with the leadership in Washington–congressional leadership–and I would tell them, ‘This must be our number one priority.’ And I would say that very respectfully and I would want them to make it the number one priority but if they did not, then I would have to say, ‘Then you’re not leading.’ And, I would then look for other leaders in Congress who would then make this their number one priority.”

On other issues, Jauregui is similarly conservative. He opposes the continuation of “most favored nation” trading status for China: “The main reason is that they’re persecuting the Church…” Jauregui also opposes abortion: “Life begins at conception and the taking of that life is wrong.” He is against stem cell research on materials from aborted babies because the children haven’t given their consent and also because using fetal tissues creates an incentive to kill children. “There are plenty of other ways we can do medical research without desecrating the bodies of innocent babies,” Jauregui said.

One issue on which Jauregui differs from many other conservative leaders is his position on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment would define marriage as solely between a man and woman. Jauregui doesn’t believe this is enough. He says all the blood, sweat, and tears needed to pass such an amendment wouldn’t be well spent if it simply allows homosexual marriage to go forward under the name of civil unions.

He is even more adamant that this issue doesn’t require such an amendment at all. “The whole reason we’re dealing with this crisis in marriage today is because of what the US Supreme Court did last summer in Lawrence v. Texas. And what the court did in Lawrence v. Texas was absolutely unlawful and unconstitutional.” Jauregui believes what the Supreme Court did was illegitimate and that, because it was illegitimate, it should be ignored. Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of a constitutional amendment, Congress should “…stand up and be Congress and say, ‘No, we won’t allow you to do that.'” He also said, “I think it’s ridiculous if we allow the courts to do something illegitimate and then we treat it as legitimate and force ourselves to correct it through this long process, it’s the wrong way to go. The best way to handle it is to recognize what they’ve done is illegitimate, period.”

While others have been talking, Jauregui has been doing. We know very well that talk is cheap these days. But, Jauregui has actively worked to assist justice in Alabama and the nation. Many a congressman can introduce or co-sponsor a good bill, but making sure the right thing is done by fighting for the passage of that bill is quite another. We’ve long suffered the games of politicians who promise the moon and deliver nothing more than muck. Jauregui’s a man who is committed to doing the right thing whether he loses re-election, is expelled from Congress, or is vilified by the unsavory elements of the American Civil Liberties Union or Southern Poverty Law Center and their lot. He’s counted the cost and he’s willing to pay the price. He’s not interested in a political legacy–a godly one will do just fine.

He’s a leader committed to submission to the Supreme Ruler of the world. Jauregui understands that no judge, no president, no legislator can make right what God has declared wrong.