U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's ruling Monday temporarily blocking a White House ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military prompted right-wing Republican candidate Roy Moore to provide fresh evidence why sensible Alabamians should not allow him to set foot in the U.S. Senate.
Moore, a rabid homophobe and champion of the anti-Obama "birther" movement, has called for Kollar-Kotelly's impeachment by the House of Representatives because, in making her ruling, she has "placed herself above the Constitution" with a display of "judicial activism." A more insanely ignorant reading of the judge's decision would be hard to find.
If Moore had bothered to digest the 76-page memo that accompanied the judge's ruling instead of regurgitating his own radical understanding of the law and the role of judges, he might have learned why Kollar-Kotelly came down the way she did on the lawsuit filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders .
Kollar-Kotelly, nominated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan to the D.C. Superior Court and appointed to the federal bench in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, took direct aim at President Trump's out-of-nowhere tweets and subsequent directive declaring that transgender individuals cannot serve "in any capacity" in the U.S. military.
"The Court finds," she wrote, "that a number of factors — including the sheer breadth of the exclusion ordered by the directives, the unusual circumstances surrounding the President's announcement of them, the fact that the reasons given for them do not appear to be supported by any facts, and that the recent rejection of those reasons by the military itself — strongly suggest that Plaintiffs' Fifth Amendment claim" that Trump's ban violated the right to due process "is meritorious."
The judge noted that Trump’s reasons for excluding transgender people “were not merely unsupported, but were actually contradicted by the studies, conclusions and judgment of the military itself.”
Ah, but what's the Constitution to someone such as Moore, who contended in 2005 — and repeated in 2015 — that "homosexual conduct should be illegal"; who was suspended from Alabama's Supreme Court for failing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide; and who, in 2014, urged all state governors to support a constitutional convention to ban gay marriage?
However, as of this moment, Moore stands a good chance of winning December's Alabama Senate special election. According to a poll commissioned by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, Moore is leading his Democratic opponent, former prosecutor Doug Jones, by 17 points.
That spells good news for a president who will feel right at home with the divisive, mean-spirited and fact-challenged Moore. A Moore victory, however, would spell bad news for the country.
Moore’s penchant for off-the-wall assertions is jaw-dropping.
A Moore interview with Vox's Jeff Stein this year conveys the flavor of what passes for Moore's thinking. Stein asked Moore whether he believed "Sharia law is a danger to America." Here's how the discussion went:
Moore: “There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities. But Sharia law is a little different from American law. It is founded on religious concepts.”
Stein: “Which American communities are under Sharia law? When did they fall under Sharia law?”
Moore: “Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don’t know.”
Stein: “That seems like an amazing claim for a Senate candidate to make.”
Moore: “Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not.”
You follow? Imagine a steady diet of that stuff should Moore land in Washington.
Imagine, too, how Moore will write legislation that addresses human problems and needs.
It mattered not to him that Trump’s arbitrary and ignorance-infused anti-transgender directives, because of their inherent inequality, would cause injury.
It matters not to Moore that Trump’s directives were clearly driven by a desire to express personal disapproval of transgender people generally, and not based on concerns about military effectiveness or budget constraints. The Defense Department had already placed those concerns to rest.
It mattered most to Moore — and to Trump — to keep people with the ability and willingness to serve their country out of uniform because of who they are.
And because Judge Kollar-Kotelly found Trump’s justification for banning transgender people from military service to be likely unconstitutional, Moore wants her impeached and removed from the bench.
Good people of the Yellowhammer State, please keep Roy Moore down home, way down home, in Alabama.
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