The Jury Talks Back

9/23/2017

Steve Bannon Needles Trump by Agreeing to Headline Rally for Roy Moore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 11:30 am

Axios reports that Steve Bannon will be headlining a rally for Roy Moore, who is opposing Trump’s pick Luther Strange in a runoff election to be held on Tuesday:

Steve Bannon is heading to Alabama Sunday night to rally for Judge Roy Moore on Monday night with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

Why it matters: This rally is three days after President Trump, Bannon’s former boss, was in Alabama rallying for Moore’s opponent — Mitch McConnell’s favored candidate Luther Strange. For Bannon to make a rare public appearance in such close proximity to Trump shows how invested he is in this race specifically, and attacking McConnell more generally. Another former White House adviser, Sebastian Gorka, rallied with Sarah Palin for Moore on Thursday.

From a source close to Bannon: “Steve is coming to Alabama to support President Trump against the Washington establishment and Mitch McConnell. Steve views Judge Moore as a fierce advocate of Trump and the values he campaigned on.”

Bannon’s Breitbart has been slamming Trump for endorsing Strange. There’s a little jostling for Supreme Alpha Male Status going on here. As Susan Wright noted earlier, the Trump folks did not give Breitbart media credentials to Trump’s pro-Strange rally. [UPDATE: According to this post, one Breitbart reporter ended up getting in late with media credentials after initially being denied entry. Another entered without media credentials as a standard rally attendee.] Now Bannon is needling Trump by showily supporting Moore, who is likely to win.

By the way, Moore does not deserve to win. My negative view of Roy Moore was cemented a long time ago, when he defied a court order to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the Alabama state Supreme Court building. Regardless of what I think of the ruling, the Rule of Law requires that court orders be challenged in court — or, failing that, by amending the fundamental documents that govern courts’ interpretation. You can’t just defy the court, unless the court order is so breathtakingly at odds with morality that to follow it would be monstrous to follow it (such as a court order to enslave someone).

I’d like you to read a quote from Judge Bill Pryor, who in 2003 argued for the removal of Moore from the Supreme Court of Alabama. The link to the official transcript is lost to history, so I take this quote from a 2004 post from BeldarBlog:

The stakes here are high, because this case raises a fundamental question. What does it mean to have a government of laws and not of men? ….

….

Every one of these citizens, and thousands more who come before the courts, must know that the final orders of the courts will decide their disputes, even if that citizen disagrees with that order. Someone has to lose, and virtually always, the losing litigant thinks he was right and the court was wrong. This court must provide the answer that no citizen, whether rich or poor, powerful or weak, is above the law.

As I mentioned a moment ago, the judicial branch of our government, both our federal government and our state government, as human institutions, are imperfect. They sometimes make mistakes. Even terrible ones. We correct some of those mistakes on appeal. Sometimes the appeals court, even the Supreme Court gets it wrong, too. Fortunately, our Constitution gives us remedies.

I stand by my remarks from 1997 that we’re called by God to do what is right. But we’re called to exercise our constitutional rights in fulfilling his will.

We can elect lawmakers, legislatures, to change the law. We can elect presidents to appoint judges faithful to the law. We, the people, can even amend the Constitution itself. That is what our nation did when it abolished slavery with the 13th Amendment, which overruled the abominable decision of the Supreme Court in Dred Scott versus Sanford. But the refusal of a party to comply with a court order, whether the court order is right or wrong, is not a remedy provided by the Constitution.

Because Chief Justice Roy Moore, despite his special responsibility as the highest judicial officer of our state, placed himself above the law, by refusing to abide by a final injunction entered against him, and by urging the public through the news media to support him, and because he is totally unrepentant, this court regrettably must remove Roy Moore from the office of Chief Justice of Alabama. The rule of law upon which our freedom depends, whether a judge, a police officer, or a citizen, demands no less.

Most recently, Moore suggested that 9/11 might have been a punishment for the United States rejecting God. He has also said “maybe Putin is right” given Putin’s rejection of gay marriage —
adding this about Putin: “Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.”

He’s actually a perfect Trumper. I’m surprised Trump supported Strange at all.

Actually, it looks like Trump is starting to regret that decision. The polls show Moore winning decisively — and even Trump is starting to recognize that, saying that his support of Moore’s opponent Luther Strange might have been a “mistake” and that he will fully support Moore if he wins the runoff on Tuesday.

Roy Moore does not deserve to be in the U.S. Senate. But he is almost certainly going to be. Hey, if Donald Trump is going to be in the White House, what the hell, right? Just let anybody in anywhere. Something something tear it all down something something.

And when it happens, Alpha Male Steve Bannon will be there grinning. Your move, Trump.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

9 Comments »

  1. [UPDATE: According to this post, one Breitbart reporter ended up getting in late with media credentials after initially being denied entry. Another entered without media credentials as a standard rally attendee.]

    Comment by Patterico — 9/23/2017 @ 2:13 pm

  2. I don’t know much about the Moore situation with regard to the Ten Commandments thing. But generally speaking I don’t agree with Patterico that “You can’t just defy the court, unless the court order is so breathtakingly at odds with morality that to follow it would be monstrous to follow it (such as a court order to enslave someone).” There are also times when a court order is perfectly moral, but should be disobeyed nevertheless. For example, suppose SCOTUS says that paying different salaries to different people in a company violates the Equal Protection Clause in combination with the Communist Manifesto and orders equal salaries for everyone in the company. Must the executive branch enforce it? I think not, because it’s such a ridiculous decision, and the judges failed to offer even an assertion that the decision is clearly compelled by the meaning of the Constitution’s words. Sure, SCOTUS has the power of judicial review, but an independent executive branch also can review whether a judicial decision is plausible. That’s why the U.S. Marshalls’ Service is in the executive rather than judicial branch. Enforcement of judicial decisions is an executive function. Were it otherwise, the executive branch would have to bow and scrape and do just about anything the judicial branch says. If SCOTUS says to Trump, “We think it violates due process of law for you to tweet” then SCOTUS would be right that Trump’s tweeting ought to stop, but wrong to think that the Constitution bars it. Trump (like Lincoln did occasionally during the Civil War) can constitutionally tell the judges to bug off, even without convincing Congress to impeach the judges. This is good. A primary purpose of separation of powers is to get the branches arguing amongst themselves, instead of making the least accountable branch supreme.

    Comment by Andrew — 9/23/2017 @ 4:55 pm

  3. He was also suspended for the remainder of his term, in effect removed, after Hodges v. Obergefell for ordering lower court judges to refuse to perform same sex marriages.

    Comment by nk — 9/23/2017 @ 6:54 pm

  4. There’s a complication in the idea that judges have the last word on what’s Constitutional and that if we don’t like it we should amend the Constitution. On the state level, judges have ruled that later state constitutional amendments conflict with earlier ones and thus have overturned the later ones, which defies the logic of “amendment”. And if judges are willing to do that, then they cannot be trusted with that sort of power.

    I am not sure what the solution is, perhaps judicial review should be confined to special courts set up for that purpose, perhaps with special rules on standing.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/23/2017 @ 7:25 pm

  5. Meh. Legislatures love passing the buck. The entire lower federal courts’ jurisdiction is by statute. The Supreme Court’s entire appellate jurisdiction is by statute. Constitutionally, it only has trial jurisdiction in “cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls [diplomats], and those in which a State shall be Party”. Marbury v. Madison’s dicta can be made meaningless by Congress at any time. But that would be like Don Corleone taking away Luca Brasi’s gun. They’re all in cahoots together, and their primary concern is the collection of next year’s taxes.

    Comment by nk — 9/23/2017 @ 8:09 pm

  6. As for Roy Moore, he wanted to eat his cake and have it, too. To violate his oath of office while keeping his salary and power. If he could not do something as Chief Justice of Alabama that was against his principles, he should have resigned.

    Comment by nk — 9/23/2017 @ 8:12 pm

  7. @nk: Marbury v. Madison’s dicta can be made meaningless by Congress at any time.

    Unless they interpret that act of Congress as being unconstitutional… when they overreach enough we’ll just have to start ignoring them.

    “…the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate”.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/23/2017 @ 8:33 pm

  8. @nk:They’re all in cahoots together, and their primary concern is the collection of next year’s taxes.

    If he could not do something as Chief Justice of Alabama that was against his principles, he should have resigned.

    To these excellent comments I feel that I can add nothing of value.

    Comment by Frederick — 9/23/2017 @ 8:35 pm

  9. That a peculiar formulation, so one is supposed to allow evil, paraphrasing Burke, what is the point of that

    Comment by narciso — 9/24/2017 @ 12:27 pm

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