GOP Nader, RIP

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
June 3 2004 5:13 PM

GOP Nader, RIP

Roy Moore would rather take his Decalogue case to the Supreme Court than become a presidential spoiler. Damn.

Chatterbox is despondent. Former Alabama Justice Roy Moore has decided to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to give him his old job back. (He lost it by refusing to remove a marble monument to the Ten Commandments, which was found to violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.) It's a futile gesture—even if the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, which seems unlikely, there's no chance it will overturn the April 30 decision by the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore is wasting his time. But that's not why Chatterbox is despondent. He's despondent because Moore has said he will not consider a run for president of the United States until after he's done with this lawsuit. Moore won't hear anything from the Supreme Court for months, and in the meantime the Constitution Party, which was the likeliest and best vehicle for a Moore run, chooses its presidential nominee at the end of this month. We've run out of time for Moore to become the Republican Ralph Nader, gladdening the hearts of Democrats by siphoning enough Christian right votes away from President Bush to bring about his defeat in November. (Moore spokeswoman Jessica Atteberry told Chatterbox that Moore is "not saying anything" about what the Supreme Court appeal would mean for a possible presidential run. But the handwriting is on the wall.)

If Moore seeks any political office, the heavy betting now is that it will be governor of Alabama. In Alabama's June 1 primary, three candidates allied with Moore's Decalogue crusade sought Republican nominations to fill two Supreme Court vacancies and oust one court incumbent. The vacancies didn't go to the Moore-ites, but Tom Parker, a former Moore aide, did manage to oust Justice Jean Brown. That's enough to make Moore look like a king-maker. Moore's attorney, Philip Jauregui, whom Chatterbox previously pegged the "canary in the Moore appeal," lost his primary challenge to Rep. Spencer Bachus. That means he'll have plenty of time to work on that Supreme Court petition. It's due on Aug. 5.

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Draft Moore Archive:
May 20, 2004: "Copyrighting the Decalogue"
April 30, 2004: "Draft Moore: Decision Time"
April 8, 2004: "Draft Moore: The Web Site"
April 2, 2004: "Canary in the Moore Appeal?"
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.

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