Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) once said that getting rid of every amendment in the Constitution after the 10th Amendment "would eliminate many problems” in the United States government. Moore’s comments were first reported by CNN’s “K-File” on Sunday.
Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones for the Alabama Senate seat in a special election Tuesday.
What did Moore say?
Moore’s comments came in 2011 during an appearance on the "Aroostook Watchmen” radio show, which is hosted by two Maine residents and known for pushing far-right conspiracy theories.
During a June 2011 appearance on the show, one of the radio hosts told Moore that he wanted a constitutional amendment that voided every amendment beyond the 10th; Moore concurred.
"That would eliminate many problems,” Moore said. "You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended."
Specifically, Moore tore into the 14th Amendment, which he said has essentially allowed the federal government to trample on state’s rights.
The danger in the 14th Amendment, which was to restrict, it has been a restriction on the states using the first 10 amendments by and through the 14th Amendment.
For example, the right to keep and bear arms, the First Amendment, freedom of press liberty. 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.
Many found Moore’s comments particularly troubling because a large portion of amendments beyond the 10th address civil rights.
For example, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection under the law. The 15th Amendment prohibits governments from denying people the right to vote based on their race. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The 24th Amendment abolished poll taxes, which were aimed at black people to prevent them from voting.
How did Moore’s campaign respond?
Moore campaign spokesman Brett Doster told CNN that Moore, in fact, doesn’t support the elimination of amendments beyond the 10th and said CNN was twisting Moore’s words.
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. 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.