On Tuesday, former Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is best known for being removed from office due to his defense of a monument to the Ten Commandments in the state courthouse, announced that he was running for his old job -- and not running for the presidency in 2012.
Speaking at a media event in Montgomery, Moore promised to continue to defend religion in the public square but said that returning the Ten Commandments monument -- which is now in Gadsden -- was out of the question. He will face at least two other Republicans -- incumbent ChiefJustice Chuck Malone and former state Attorney General Charlie Graddick, who is currently a judge, in the primary come March.
With Moore jumping into the judicial race, he closes the door on running for the presidency in 2012. Moore launched an exploratory committee for the Republican presidential nomination and he made appearances in Iowa in 2010 and 2011. Despite these efforts, Moores bid for the Republican nomination gained little traction, especially as he was injured when he fell from a horse, and experienced family problems.
During the 2010 campaign cycle, Moore campaigned in Iowa to remove three members of that states Supreme Court who backed giving marriage rights to same-sex couples. Iowa conservative activist Danny Carroll, who had been active in Mike Huckabees triumph in the Hawkeye State in 2008, had been leading Moores efforts in the state, though he later jumped over to back Michele Bachmann.
Scheduling events at party meetings, Moore also flirted with the Constitution Party, leading to some speculation that he would be the presidential candidate of that conservative third party. Moore also accepted an award from the Institute on the Constitution --a group affiliated with attorney Michael Peroutka who had been the Constitution Partys presidential nominee in 2004 --earlier this year.
Moore, a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran, was elected as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama in 2000, taking 55 percent over the Democratic candidate. Moore served until 2003 when he was removed after disobeying a federal judges ruling that the Ten Commandments monument violated the establishment cause.
While the controversy over the monument made Moore a favorite of religious conservative activists, his two campaigns for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Alabama were not successful. Moore challenged then-Gov. Bob Riley for the Republican nomination in 2006 but took 35 percent against the incumbents 65 percent. In 2010, Moore came in fourth place in the gubernatorial primary.
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