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Constitutional Conservatives for Defrocked Judges

Ted Cruz joins Rand Paul and Mike Lee in enthusiastically endorsing lawless jurist Roy Moore.

Who says blogging is dead? Why, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) still has one, and in it today he joins fellow "constitutional conservative" Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in giving full-throated endorsement to Alabama firebrand Roy Moore for U.S. Senate:

[Alabamans] can choose a liberal Democrat, who will stand with Chuck Schumer to raise taxes, weaken our military, open our border, and undermine our constitutional rights. Or, they can choose to elect Judge Roy Moore, a conservative who will proudly defend Alabama values. […]

Judge Moore has a lifelong passion for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and he has the courage of his convictions.

To which Ken White had the appropriately acidic reply:

Unfortunately for Cruz (and despite his blog post's "For Liberty" salutation), the courage of Moore's convictions frequently clash with both the plain language and contemporary interpretation of the Constitution. Such as that time, oh, LAST WEEK when Moore suggested that kneeling during the National Anthem is "against the law" (it's not, and if such a law were passed, it would surely be declared unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds).

Or there was that famous time in 2003 when, after repeatedly defying court orders to remove a 5,000-pound granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments (which courts had ruled was in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause), Moore was removed as Alabama Chief Justice by the state's Court of the Judiciary (COJ). Or the sequel, on April 20 of this year, when the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the COJ's 2016 removal of Moore from the bench (he had won election to chief justice again in 2012), for brazenly disregarding the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage, prohibition of which the high court determined was in violation of the 14th Amendment.

Moore announced his candidacy for the Senate one week later.

Time....to die. ||| PoliticoPoliticoThere is nothing about being in the United States Senate that requires members to endorse candidates from their own party. Indeed, 11 GOP senators, including Mike Lee, either did not endorse or withdrew their initial endorsements of Donald Trump. But now Lee, who among all the Tea Party generation has put the "constitutional" in constitutional conservative, is reportedly co-headlining an upcoming D.C. fundraiser for Moore with his old pal Rand Paul.

Does this all portend, as the wags at The Liberty Conservative would have it, the dawning of something called "Roy Moore libertarianism"? Oh hell no, it doesn't. The main takeaway here is that there is only so much that a libertarian worldview can accomplish within the structure of the decidedly non-libertarian Republican Party, particularly when it holds power. Those who are able to jump through enough GOP hoops to win elections are likely to be a good deal more socially conservative—and therefore less allergic to the overreaches of social conservatism—than your average small-l libertarian.

And if you want to avoid being in the cross-hairs of Donald Trump—ask Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) how much fun that is—then some symbolic concessions might just be an acceptable price for remaining in play enough to influence health policy and introduce rights-restoring reform. I'd much rather have Rand Paul and Mike Lee (and Jeff Flake) be in the Senate than not, hopefully with enough clout to get good things done and stop bad things from happening. But with the desiccated condition of the modern GOP, the price for such access will likely continue to mount.

UPDATE: And now, oh my garden, Jeff Flake has announced he is no longer running for re-election in 2018, saying "The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I'm not willing to take, and that I can't in good conscience take." Stay tuned for more on Flake in this space.

Some related headlines:

* Does Donald Trump Have Anything to Do With Constitutional Conservatism?

* Politicians Will Disappoint You

* Time for Constitutional Conservatives to Start Acting Like it Post-Comey

* Having Co-Opted the Tea Party Nationwide, Trump Tries to Stamp out its Remnants in Congress

Photo Credit: ABC News

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  • Crusty Juggler||

    Does this all portend, as the wags at The Liberty Conservative would have it, the dawning of something called "Roy Moore libertarianism"?

    Madness.

  • Brandybuck||

    It's to the point I just can't call myself "libertarian" anymore.

    But no one is bothering to use the word "liberal" anymore, maybe I'll pick it up and start using it. I'm a liberal like Mises and Hayek, I'm a liberal like Rothbard and Crane, I'm a liberal like and Nock and Taft.

  • Mitsima||

    No Jeff Flake? Better not be that wacko Ward. She might have been an acceptable replacement for McCain, but only in the sense that a mostly flat tire is a replacement for a dry-rotted wagon wheel.

  • GaryTheRetard||

    Flake was fairly libertarian as a House rep but not so much now. Not sure why you are saying Ward is a wacko. I would guess it has something to do with that chemtrails smear that she never said or had any connection other than being at an event where someone did say something crazy.

    Ward is far more libertarian than Flake. Her biggest issue is that she probably can't win in Arizona. But as a libertarian I would certainly have voted for her over Flake.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't know much about Ward but the fact she praised Trump for pardoning Arpaio does not give me much hope.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What exactly is Moore going to be able to do that's so horrible? I see him as a guaranteed vote for ACA repeal, and tax cuts. Things like that. He isn't going to get any traction in any socialy conservative issue. So really, who gives a fuck if some of his views aren't libertarian? It won't fucking matter.

    Electing Moore is a functional win. Only an idiot can't see that.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    We will see. His comments are not libertarian, dismantling the federal government is a libertarian ideal, but that does not mean that everyone holds that view for libertarian reasons. I will always judge him based on the actions he does if elected, but his comments are concerning. Luckily, as you said, he likely would not have any luck with his social conservative policy.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Exactly. Anything he might want to do that is really a concern isn't going to happen anyway and he's almost certainly going to vote correctly on a number of issues where he CAN make a difference.

  • Tony||

    My, such pragmatism. Thus, electing a 100-pound ball of snot is a "functional" win as long as it does whatever The Mercers and Kochs tell it to do. I mean votes for conservative principles or whatever the fuck your pickled brain thinks you're getting from these assholes.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    I'm with him. You will get shit for accomplishment out of Roy Moore, and you ought to be disgusted by his potential elevation to the Senate. Don't you think his direct, full-throated, and instrumental support for clear violations of the Establishment Clause, as well as his medieval attitude towards what he considers un-Christian behavior, ought to disqualify him from support from people who care about liberty, about a nation of laws, about human rights?

    Any libertarian who supports that immoral, un-American, utterly un-libertarian person has lost their way. Their judgment is suspect.

  • Tony||

    Well at least they should stop bitching at other people for being pragmatists.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, you support the most evil people in all of time and space. Sof uck off. Your opinion is as valueless as you are.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    If we could only get shit for accomplishments from Congress in general, the less we get from any of these fucktards (other than repealing most laws on the books) the better.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    Better them than the Executive. Congress is supposed to be first among equals. I'd rather it do much less, but it's supposed to be the policy-making body, the most democratic body, and I'd like to see it do its job, rather than letting the Executive get away with murder.

  • Mark22||

    Thus, electing a 100-pound ball of snot is a "functional" win as long as it does whatever

    It's what the Democrats were trying to do with Clinton, although, admittedly, calling her a "100-pound ball of snot" is flattery in her case.

  • Tony||

    Such an insightful comment on modern American politics.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Better than anything you've ever had to say.

  • King Lamoni||

    I wish we could have a senate and house filled with 100-pound balls of snot for at least a full term if not several. That means that nothing would get done, and with nothing getting done, the government would grow less, lobbyists would be out of work, and we could focus on free market solutions for more things, or at least focus more on local and state governments instead of reaching to the federal government to help with every local issue.

    Of course I would prefer to reign in the out of control federal regulations that pass laws without any votes in congress first, but balls of snot would still be far better than half the people we have serving in congress today.

  • Memory Hole||

    Dude, Jeff Flake is giving one hell of speech on the Senate floor (in my opinion). I like the words and order thereof.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So suddenly we're not allowed to full-throatedly support the lesser of two evils?

  • Tony||

    I'm highly annoyed about all the shit I've gotten for years for espousing a non-absolutist take to US politics. Now all of a sudden these people are entertaining the idea of Senator Roy Fucking Moore because he will probably be in lockstep with the Donald Fucking Trump agenda?

    Yet there's no such thing as gray areas, and even talking about them makes me a commie. I don't get this place at all.

  • Eidde||

    No, it's that you still are unable to accurately state an opponent's position, preferring the wackiest straw-man stuff to reality.

  • Tony||

    People who are cool with Roy Moore and Donald Trump are ipso facto morons.

  • Headache||

    People who are cool with Doug Jones and Hillary Clinton are ipso facto morons

  • Tony||

    But they're normal people. They may disagree with you on a few policy matters, but they're not fucking nutfucks. But you wouldn't get the difference, would you?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Really? Hillary is a clinical psychopath. In what way is that 'normal'?

  • Mark22||

    I'm highly annoyed about all the shit I've gotten for years

    Don't let the door hit you.

    for espousing a non-absolutist take to US politics.

    Your inability to articulate a consistent position or make a logical argument is not the same as a "non-absolutist take".

  • EscherEnigma||

    Allowed to? Sure, go for it.

    Expect to not be criticized? Pull the other one, it's got bells.

  • Lester224||

    If you vote for retard because they are the lesser of two evils then you get Donald Trump. Roy Moore is a statist and a theocrat.

  • Eidde||

    The very fact that removing a judge is described as "defrocking" shows that the judges are a legal priesthood with too much power.

  • Eidde||

    (Even if it was tongue in cheek like much of Reason commentary - the fact that the joke resonates so well is because that's how many people regard judges)

  • Teddy Pump||

    There is no Constitutional right to marriage of any kind, thus the 14th Amendment does not apply to homo marriage, or any marriage & the plain fact is that the case never should've even come before SCOTUS!!!!...Moore was right to disobey the Feds!!!

    A statue of the ten commandments outside a courthouse also does not establish a religion!!!...Moore is right again!

  • Calidissident||

    Roy Moore wants his religious beliefs to be the law of the land. He thinks people of religions he doesn't like shouldn't be allowed to serve in Congress. He thinks it's illegal to kneel before the flag. He thinks gay sex should be illegal and has been ambivalent about whether it should be punishable by death.

    But yeah, he's totally devoted to the First Amendment and Constitution, and totally worthy of libertarian support!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Even if all of that were true, he will be in no position to make any bit of it law. He will bet n a position to decide a number of fiscal matters correctly though.

  • BALONEY TONEY MAHONEY||

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mark22||

    There is, however, the equal protection clause, so if government provides marriage to some couples, it arguably needs to provide it to all couples.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Well there's yer problem. The government shouldn't provide marriages to anyone.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    I'm sorry but where in the Constitution is same sex marriage codified or "gay rights" enumerated?

    It was the UN-Constitutional, leftwing activist judges who first started this downward sociological spiral by legislating nonexistent rights and concomitant discrimination from the bench and not from Constitution nor the body of existing Law. Speaking of the Law in this country, the Ten Commandments (albeit, not all of them) for the bedrock of its foundation. There is nothing comparable to the Ten Commandments in Islam or Sharia Law - unless you replace every "Thou shall not" with a "Thou shall" so that prohibitions against lying, stealing, killing, bearing false witness, being envious of others become exhortations to do them against anyone who ascribes to a different religion or to no religion at all.

    We suffered through eight years of the most lawless President in history and we need people like Ray Moore to undo the damage he and his lawmakers have done.

  • Calidissident||

    Obama sucked, but when you're praising "Ray" Moore you've got no room to talk about lawlessness. I'm sure you're also a fan of Trump and Arpaio, those stout devotees of liberty and the Constitution.

  • Tony||

    Do you people have any strong political beliefs that aren't about being insanely butthurt over minorities getting the same rights you have?

  • Pat Hines||

    There is no such thing as "minority rights", there are only rights.

    There is no assertable right to a state recognition of Sodomite marriages.

    There is no assertable right to unlimited access to voting, even the Constitution intentionally left that to state control. All US government usurpations of voting access are WRONG.

    Control of a dangerous (((tribe))) or ethnic group are the correct thing to do.

    Libertarianism has these glaring weaknesses, open borders and unlimited rights for feckless (((tribes))) are among them.

  • Tony||

    What happens if {{{they}}} take power and decide that are the danger that needs to be controlled?

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    You're using this Jew-hating trope: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony hates jews already.

  • Crazy mick||

    I realize you're upset about ww2 but get over it. Been over 70 years now

  • Mark22||

    Do you people have any strong political beliefs that aren't about being insanely butthurt over minorities getting the same rights you have?

    Do you have any strong political beliefs that don't involve violating the life, liberty, and property of your fellow citizens? Because you sure as hell have never articulated any.

  • mondo_cane||

    It's difficult to know where to begin disclaiming your lack of knowledge of "other religions".

    The Ten Commandments are very much a part of Islamic law. Islam uses the same Old Testament as Judaism, particularly the first five books of the Old Testament -- the Torah.

    Sharia Law is taken nearly verbatim and precisely from the book of Leviticus. The same laws were used by the Pilgrims and other early settlers of the Massachusetts colonies of England. Recall the hunting and burning of witches, the intolerance of what we now consider to be "normal". Those are all results of Christians living under the same laws you condemn.

    I don't agree with those beliefs either, but I know what the are and from where they were derived. I'd like to think you might be inspired to read and study this a bit more deeply.

    Also, I'm sure I'm not the only person that would like to know how exhibiting the Ten Commandments is a declaration of one's beliefs. In my opinion, the Ten Commandments are just what their name implies. Commandments of the Old Testament God. Jesus revealed a more enlightened way of understanding God's message to us.

    If we want a much better example of words to live by, I suggest we try exhibiting the Beatitudes on court house lawns.

  • Headache||

    So, you are saying prohibition of displaying the Ten Commandments is a violation of ",or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:"?

  • Myshkin78||

    Moore defied higher courts on both occasions. Regardless of your opinion on the rulings, this was not remotely within his rights. The guy is a lawless crackpot.

    I am ideologically opposed to almost everything the DNC stands for, but IMO the best outcome during this administration is gridlock. Granted, the Republicans are managing that pretty well all by themselves.

  • Tionico||

    those higher courts NEEDED defying, as they were legislating from the bench. What law did CONGRESS make that led to that monument being placed? Why do I ask that question? To find out, READ the First Article of Ammendment. pay particular attention to the first sentence.

    Agaon, what LAW did Congress make that put that monument where it was put, thus making it in violation of that First Article of Ammendment? the so-called "establishment" clause?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No, gridlock will keep Obamacare and prevent tax reform. These things need to happen, and much more. Or the next time a filthy democrat slithers it's way into power, everything just moves further left.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    You already know where are the relevant passages in the Constitution; they are the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th. Your points about the Ten Commandments are irrelevant and display a paranoia regarding what I guess you see as potential encroachment from Sharia Law that is, I must confess, incomprehensible to me. There is no threat. It's the same with gay marriage. There is no threat. You and yours will never incur any charge, your value will never be discounted, from these phenomena. Either you are paranoid or you are being disingenuous and just hate gay people and Muslims.

  • Tony||

    If there is a threat, surely it's in Alabama. The Muslims are practically poised to take over the statehouse.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm sure you dream of such a moment.

  • JFB76||

    I is clear to me that Moore belongs in the legislative branch, not the judicial one.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    Inasmuch as he really belongs in church, pounding in a pulpit, berating his flock for their lack of piety, perhaps tag-teaming with Ian Paisley, sure, he'd make more sense as a legislator than a fucking JUDGE. I can think of few political figures I'd rather have less than Moore, but, if I was to be waterboarded until I had chosen a branch for him, sure, stick the asshole in Congress.

  • Bra Ket||

    Really? You can only think of few?

  • Pat Hines||

    Roy Moore was "defrocked" (using your rather silly term), by leftists in Alabama, that is, the borderline communist activists there.

    While I don't think there is such a thing as the perfect candidate, Roy Moore is much closer to that than the ultra leftist Jeff Flake.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Good god , man, you are as incoherent and stupid as Tony and that's some kwazy tewitowy.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Constitutional Conservatives for Defrocked Judges

    I guess Jesus wasn't available.
    Darn...and I was so looking forward to Him being nominated.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jesus is busy mowing my neighbors lawn right now.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Park your bigotry!

  • Tionico||

    5,000-pound granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments (which courts had ruled was in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause

    Got a simple question for the author of this piece: WHAT law did the congress of the United States make that directly affected the building, placement, or funding, of that granite sculpture? This is a serious question.
    Because until you can cite a law the Congress of the US made that led in any way to that monument being placed where it was, then there WAS no "violation" of the "establishment" clause. READ it.. the First article of ammendment. Read the first sentence in that Article of Ammendment.

    Now, prove that monument was put there in result of the US CONGRESS making a law.

    Fact is, those "courts" that declared that monument "unconstitutional" are the unconstitutional ones.... they were busy about making law from their benches. For that they should be tried for perjury, the swearing an oath then failing/refusing to keep it. IF they were upholding the COnstitutioni they swore to uphold, they'd have had to declare since CONGRESS made no such law, that display does NOT violate any part of the Constitution.

  • Mark22||

    Now, prove that monument was put there in result of the US CONGRESS making a law.

    SCOTUS decided in the 19th century that, under the incorporation doctrine, most of the same limits on federal power apply to the states. Furthermore, administrative actions and spending (like buying monuments) are authorized by laws and hence also constrained by "shall make no law". Put those two together, and it logically follows that states can't erect monuments to the beliefs of a particular religion. Sorry, but it's been the law of the land for a long time, and I think it has generally been beneficial for liberty.

  • retiredfire||

    Only the liberty of a scant majority of nine, unelected, black-robed, glorified lawyers.
    What such rulings do is remove the liberty that the Framers of the Constitution intended.
    They, very clearly delineated what was to be within the power of Congress - Article 1, Section 8 - and that anything else, with some prohibitions, was to be the purview of the states - 10th Amendment.
    The best thing that could happen, to return liberty, would be to repeal the odious 14th amendment and return to what the country's founders intended - a nation of States, united by a document that restricted what could be done on a national level.

  • Lajaw||

    Exactly.

  • shane_c||

    except when the scotus enforces the 2nd Amendment on the states, then you celebrate. Amirite?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Are you *really* arguing against incorporation?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Jeff Flake has announced he is no longer running for re-election in 2018, saying "The path that I would have to travel to get the Republican nomination is a path I'm not willing to take, and that I can't in good conscience take."

    Cucks gonna cuck
    Flakes gonna flake

    Rinosaurs gonna go extinct!

  • Lajaw||

    Courts don't "rule". They hand down "opinions". The federal courts have no authority to enforce their opinions. And the U.S. Constitution does not give the Supreme Court the authority to judge what is or isn't "constitutional". That right is given to the states.

  • shane_c||

    I can't believe you oppose McDonald v Chicago and think Illinois (and other states) should be able to ban handguns, then call yourself a libertarian. SAD.

  • Paint Thinner||

    I'd much rather have Rand Paul and Mike Lee (and Jeff Flake) be in the Senate than not, hopefully with enough clout to get good things done and stop bad things from happening.
    You're a moron.

  • Mark P||

    Is constitutional conservatives supporting Moore supposed to be worse than Democrats supporting the Clintons? Moore's molehill doesn't even compare to the Clintons mountain of corruption, and Reason isn't even discussing their latest constitutional abuses.

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