The weekend before the closely-watched Alabama senatorial election, another scandal emerged for Republican Roy Moore. An audio clip surfaced from an appearance by Moore on a conspiracy-related internet talk show in which Moore agreed with the hosts that voiding all constitutional amendments after the 10th “would eliminate many problems.”
Moore’s comments came on a 2011 episode of the “Aroostook Watchmen,” a right-wing internet talk show based in Maine. On an audio recording obtained by CNN, Moore responded to a statement from one of the hosts advocating an amendment that would void every amendment that was not part of the original Bill of Rights.
“That would eliminate many problems,” Moore replied. “You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended.”
Moore specifically cited the 17th Amendment, which changed the process for electing senators. Originally, senators were selected by state legislatures, but the amendment made it so that senators were chosen directly by the people of the state. Following the host’s lead, Moore also criticized the 14th Amendment, which was passed after the Civil War and includes the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.
“The danger in the 14th Amendment, which was to restrict, it has been a restriction on the states using the first Ten Amendments by and through the 14th Amendment,” Moore said. “To restrict the states from doing something that the federal government was restricted from doing and allowing the federal government to do something which the first Ten Amendments prevented them from doing. If you understand the incorporation doctrine used by the courts and what it meant. You'd understand what I'm talking about.”
“For example, the right to keep and bear arms, the First Amendment, freedom of press, liberty,” Moore continued, “Those various freedoms and restrictions have been imposed on the states through the 14th Amendment. And yet the federal government is violating just about every one of them saying that -- they don't, they don't -- are not restrained by them.”
There is a total of 27 amendments to the Constitution. Some other important amendments that come after the 10th included the abolition of slavery (13th), guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race (15th), extending the right to vote to women (19th), and the prohibition of poll taxes (24th).
Moore did not specifically advocate a return to slavery, but he was previously criticized for another quote in the Los Angeles Times from September 2017 in which he seemed to downplay the institution. An audience member asked Moore when he thought America was last great. Moore answered, “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another.... Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
While the clip did not specifically mention the 19th Amendment, Roy Moore did co-author a legal textbook that argues that women should not elected to public office.
In a response to CNN, the Moore campaign denied that the candidate ever supported the repeal of 16 amendments. “Once again, the media is taking a discussion about the overall framework for the separation of powers as laid out in the constitution to twist Roy Moore's position on specific issues,” a spokesman said in an email. “Roy Moore does not now nor has he ever favored limiting an individual's right to vote, and as a judge, he was noted for his fairness and for being a champion of civil rights.”
“Judge Moore has expressed concern, as many other conservatives have, that the historical trend since the ratification of the Bill of Rights has been for federal empowerment over state empowerment,” the campaign spokesman said.
In the same episode of “Aroostook Watchmen,” Moore seems to embrace several conspiracy theories as well. Moore implied that Barack Obama was not a citizen and expressed support for “new hearings into what really happened on 9/11.” Moore has long questioned the validity of Obama’s birth certificate including a statement in December 2016.
The Moore campaign told CNN that he “believes that Islamic terrorists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, [has] made rebuilding the military one of his key campaign purposes, and is the only Senate candidate with experience serving in a combat zone.”
The combination of Moore’s past and his embarrassing behavior have led many Republicans to reject their party’s candidate. On Sunday, Alabama’s senior Senator, Republican Richard Shelby, revealed that he did not vote for Roy Moore.
“I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in,” Shelby said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I couldn't vote for Roy Moore. I didn't vote for Roy Moore.”
Shelby did not say who he voted for, but Lee Busby, a retired Marine, entered the race as a conservative write-in candidate in November. There is speculation that Shelby may have voted for Col. Busby.
Originally published on The Resurgent