Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Alabama Judges and Ten Commandments 

Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan didn't let the removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore dissuade him from exhibiting the latest in judicial displays of the Ten Commandments.

Judge McKathan yesterday presided over his Covington County courtroom sporting a robe embroidered with the Ten Commandments. There is disagreement in reports of the size and impact of the lettering. Some describe it as being large enough for anyone near the judge to read, while Judge McKathan insists he specifically chose the font size so as "not to be in anybody's face," and he doesn't believe the robe will have an impact on jurors.
McKathan told The Associated Press that he believes the Ten Commandments represent the truth "and you can't divorce the law from the truth. ... The Ten Commandments can help a judge know the difference between right and wrong."
The attorney whose DUI client was in court at the time objected to the robe and requested a continuance. Both motions were denied. Attorney Riley Powell expects to include the robe issue to be part of an appeal should his client not prevail.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore supports Judge McKathan in his choice of attire:
"I applaud Judge McKathan. It is time for our judiciary to recognize the moral basis of our law," Moore said.

He probably just wishes he thought of it first. Would have cost a lot less than installing that hefty monument.


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