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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Moore religion
According to Eugene Volokh, Hindus are gay! Well, it makes sense if you read the whole post.

And on the subject of the intersection of religion and government, this excerpt of aletter published in the New York Times about the Roy Moore ten commandments controversy:
The duty of a judge is not to obey God but to follow the law, which he took an oath to uphold. If Chief Justice Moore finds that his duties as a judge conflict with his religious beliefs, he can resolve the conflict in favor of his higher calling by resigning from his secular responsibilities.

But he has no business being a judge if he is willing to subjugate the law to his own personal convictions, regardless of how deeply those convictions are held.
In other words, Moore can believe what he wants, but he can't act on those beliefs as a judge; he has to follow the law. That, indeed, seems to be the conventional wisdom amongst liberals about Moore.

Which is fine, except that I recall someone not on the left saying the exact same thing about judges like Moore, and taking flak for it. Last year, Justice Scalia gave a speech, and then published an article, saying that judges, whatever their personal moral or religious views, had to follow the law with regard to capital punishment:
I pause here to emphasize the point that in my view the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases. He has, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and has been given no power to supplant them with rules of his own. Of course if he feels strongly enough he can go beyond mere resignation and lead a political campaign to abolish the death penalty—and if that fails, lead a revolution. But rewrite the laws he cannot do.
Scalia was accused of injecting religious views into jurisprudence, and there was great uproar on the left. But all he was saying is what people are saying now about Moore: if he can't obey the law, he's not fit to be a judge, and he should step down.

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