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Back to Ten Commandments Section

Statement of Gov. Bob Riley
By Bob Riley
CNSNews.com Information Services
August 21, 2003

(Editor's Note: The following is a statement from Gov. Bob Riley
regarding the Ten Commandments Monument.)

August 21, 2003

"Today is a sad day in Alabama. Because of a series of what I believe to be erroneous federal court rulings, theTen Commandments monument has been ordered removed from the Alabama Judicial Building. Although I fundamentally disagree with what the federal courts have ordered, the State Supreme Court was correct in unanimously voting to uphold the rule of law.

Because we are a society of laws, the Alabama Supreme Court has a duty to comply with the federal court order, whether they agree with it or not. By not complying, the state stood to incur some of the most expensive fines ever imposed on Alabama. The suggested fines could have exceeded $1 billion within just four months. With an already underfunded judicial system, as evidenced by the suspension of jury trials in the past, and the current $675 million shortfall that threatens further cuts, the associate justices took the only responsible course of action.

Attorney General Bill Pryor should be commended for showing similar resolve to ensure that the rule of law prevails in Alabama. General Pryor and I will continue to pursue every possible course of legal action to protect the First Amendment rights of all Alabamians.

I support the public display of the Ten Commandments and have, in the past, filed an amicus brief to the 11th Circuit in support of Chief Justice Moore's position. In addition, I am prepared to file a similar brief in support of his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Once this case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower courts' rulings have been reversed, we should not waste one second of time returning the monument to the rotunda."