Alabama Revisits Ten Commandments, Hoping for Help From Kavanaugh

Sep 26, 2018

By Jeremy W. Peters

McINTOSH, Ala. — At a Saturday night music festival about an hour north of Alabama’s gulf shore, the twangy refrain of a bluegrass song captured how seriously many religious conservatives are taking the battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

“Without a firm foundation, a house will fall apart,” the band sang, “but they can’t take the Ten Commandments out of the Bible or my heart.”

For many in the crowd of about 100, the commandments and Judge Kavanaugh are paramount concerns this election season. More than a decade after Roy S. Moore was ousted as Alabama’s chief justice for defying federal court orders to remove a 5,280-pound stone slab of the commandments from the state judicial building, voters will consider a constitutional amendment in November that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools and other public property across Alabama.

The amendment’s supporters hope it passes not just on principle but because of the almost-guaranteed response: a legal challenge that ends up in federal courts. Those campaigning for it now say their goal is to get a case before Supreme Court, where they hope — if a Justice Kavanaugh is on the bench — a conservative majority will rule in favor of such displays.

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