Canary in the Roy Moore appeal?

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
April 2 2004 7:04 PM

Canary in the Moore Appeal?

Does the House candidacy of Roy Moore's lawyer presage a presidential run by the Republican Nader?

Phillip Jauregui, attorney to Roy Moore—the Alabama Supreme Court chief justice fired for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from his courtroom—has decided to challenge U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., in the June 1 primary. When Chatterbox learned this, his first thought was, "No, no, no, no, no! Jauregui isn't supposed to seek elective office; Moore is. Can't these people get anything straight?"

There's been talk in recent months that Moore will launch a third-party presidential candidacy for 2004. Moore has coyly declined to state his intentions, and Chatterbox is getting impatient. The idea—Chatterbox's, not Moore's—is that Moore will become the Republican Ralph Nader, which is to say that he will take enough Christian Right votes away from President Bush to put John Kerry in the White House. (Nader, it should be noted, thinks this time out that he's the Republican Ralph Nader—i.e., that he will take votes away from Republicans and independents but not Democrats. But Chatterbox doesn't know anyone else who believes this, and anyway Kerry will need every independent he can get.)

Time is running short. The U.S. Constitution Party, Moore's likeliest vehicle, will formally select its presidential nominee on June 25, and there's a presumptive nominee to dispose of. How about it, Mr. Chief Justice?

Moore is waiting for the Alabama Supreme Court to rule on his appeal; the decision could come any time. Indeed, it was supposed to arrive weeks ago. Moore will surely lose. Should that occur, Moore told Chatterbox last month, he will consider an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. But Moore would surely lose that, too. Better to get the Decalogue dialogue before the American public by running for president, no?

But, wait. Jauregui is handling the appeal. If this case were headed for the Rehnquist Court, would an ambitious young lawyer bail now? Of course not! If Jauregui's making other plans, might not that be a sign that Moore is making other plans, too? And just doesn't want to make it official until the Alabama Supreme Court hands down its decision?

Draft Moore Archive:
March 11, 2004: "Judge Roy Moore Speaks!"
March 9, 2004: "Moore Gets Coy"
Feb. 22, 2004: "Forget Nader. Draft Moore"

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 29 2014 10:00 PM “Everything Must Change in Italy” An interview with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 29 2014 1:52 PM Do Not Fear California’s New Affirmative Consent Law
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 29 2014 12:01 PM This Is Your MOM’s Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.