02/97 Fighting Judicial Activism
Fighting Judicial Tyranny
— Urge Your Governor to Support Fob James
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151 703-321-8585
February 18, 1997
Alabama Governor Fob James is taking a courageous stand to restore the balance of power and restrain the tyranny of the federal judiciary.
Whatever you may think of the Ten Commandments, the Governor has chosen them as the grounds on which to resist the usurpation of federal power. If Gov. James is successful, unconstitutional federal gun laws could be among the next to go.
Governor James has invoked the doctrine of two of our founders, Madison and Jefferson. The doctrine, interposition, calls for one in authority to stand between the people and some other authority. Interposition is called for when, for example, the federal government goes beyond its constitutional limits and a state or local official proclaims the illegitimacy of the federal action. Madison and Jefferson actually wrote the resolutions for Virginia and Kentucky, respectively, when the federal government made it a crime in 1798 to criticize a federal official (the Alien and Sedition Acts). The two states’ resolutions of nullification declared the Acts to be null and void within their borders.
Judge Roy Moore of the Etowah County Court in Gadsden, Alabama is accustomed to opening his court with prayer and also displays a copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall behind where he presides. The ACLU has gotten another state judge to gag the judge’s prayer and pull the Ten Commandments down. The matter is headed to the state Supreme Court. The Governor has pledged to use the National Guard and state troopers to defend Judge Moore’s courtroom.
All public officials take the same oath to uphold the Constitution. They do not take an oath to do any fool thing some court tells them to do. Certainly Abraham Lincoln, and many local juries, rightly refused to kowtow to the Dred Scot decision. Lincoln derided those who claimed that the Supreme Court had “settled” the slavery issue in the Dred Scott decision. To do so, Lincoln argued, would mean that “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”
Gov. James should be supported in his willingness to interpose himself in opposition to judicial tyranny. Contact your governor and your federal congressmen and urge them to publicly support Gov. James. (Already, some have begun to.) If you live in Alabama, you might ask both your federal and your state legislators to come out publicly along side of Gov. James.
On March 5, 1997, the House of Representatives threw its support behind Governor Fob James. The resolution of support was introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and passed by a 295-125 margin.
The day following the vote, The Washington Times stated,
The House yesterday threw its support behind the governor of Alabama in his pledge to defend the right of a county courthouse to display the Ten Commandments, even if a federal order demands that they be taken down by force. . . .
A spokesman for Alabama Gov. Fob James Jr., a Republican, yesterday said the governor was gratified by the symbolic resolution, but that the state is holding fast on two legal principles.
“The governor’s position is based on the First Amendment and the belief that when the judiciary exceeds its authority, it is time for the legislature to draw a line in the sand,” said spokesman Alfred Sawyer. . . .
The debate in Congress arose after Mr. James, in comments to a Baptist fellowship, said he would use the National Guard and state troopers to ensure Judge Moore’s right to display the Ten Commandments and pray in his courtroom. State legislators also have introduced bills supporting the judge.