A federal judge delivered an order yesterday demanding the removal of a 2.5-ton monument to the Ten Commandments on display in the rotunda of Alabama's Supreme Court. US District Court Judge Myron Thompson, backed by a federal appeals court ruling affirming his decision, gave Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore until Aug. 20 to remove the statue. Thompson delivered the order to the associate justices on the state Supreme Court as well as Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General William Pryor.
Moore has fought for the Ten Commandments monument ever since he had it installed in the rotunda in the middle of the night in 2001. "Judge Thompson is going ballistic and overreaching his authority," Tom Parker, a spokesman for Moore, told the Associated Press. Suggesting that Moore may disregard his order, Thompson told the Boston Globe that "at this time" he did not foresee "an opportunity for any physical confrontation between federal and state officials or between federal officials and anyone else" to enforce the order.
Alabama Attorney General William Pryor has openly supported the placement of the Ten Commandments monument, seeing no violation of the Constitution's separation of church and state. His nomination by President Bush to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is currently being blocked by a Democratic filibuster in the Senate because of Pryor's far-right, extremist views on religion, women's rights, lesbian and gay rights, and reproductive rights.
6/18/2013 Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Voter Requirements - On Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship before being allowed register to vote.
In an opinion written [PDF] by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court ruled that the Arizona statute violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, also known as the "Motor Voter Law") of 1993, which created a federal form that individuals can mail in to register to vote in federal elections. . . .
6/18/2013 Pakistani Women's University Bus, Hospital Bombed - A bus for a women's university in Pakistan and the hospital that treated victims from the blast were bombed on Saturday, killing 14 students and 24 others at the hospital.
The bus was transporting female students and teachers from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University in Quetta, located in the southwestern part of Pakistan. . . .
6/18/2013 Taliban Attack In Afghan Capital As NATO Transfers Power - Yesterday, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) transferred responsibility for the country's security forces to the Afghan government after a bomb blast targeting a political official left three civilians dead in Kabul. . . .