Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is embattled with a federal court ruling that lifts the ban on same-sex marriage in his state. On Fox News Sunday, Moore defended his defiance against the ruling and in the process, instructed President Obama on how law works in this country.
Fox host Chris Wallace played a clip of Obama discussing this divisive case in a BuzzFeed interview in which the president said, “When federal law is in conflict with state law, federal law wins out.” When asked if he had anything to say to Moore, Obama replied, “I think the courts at the federal level will have something to say to him.”
Moore gave Wallace his reaction:
Well, I’d like to tell President Obama that he’s entirely correct. Federal law does trump state law. But what this Harvard professor, who is President of the United States, does not understand, in a trial court’s decision on the constitutionality of a federal question is just that, it’s an opinion. It may be law of the case [but] it is not overturning the Alabama constitution. Federal law is not made by judges. That’s something very basic, something Speaker [John] Boehner has just referred to about the constitutional violations of this president and the Supreme Court. We are seeing this. Those interpretations are not law. If they were, then the legislature would have no role. Legislators are to make law, Congress is to make law. The United States Supreme Court — Constitution is law. So is the Alabama constitution. We have a fundamental misunderstanding in our country that federal courts, by their mere utterance, make law. They do not make law, sir, they make law of the case applicable to the parties before them.
In 2003, Moore also ignored a federal court ruling that demanded him to remove a Ten Commandments statue from the Alabama State Capitol. State officials complained that he was putting himself above the law. Wallace asked if Moore was up to the same antics.
I was obeying the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which does not prohibit the acknowledgment of God. When federal courts start changing our Constitution by defining words that are not even there, like marriage, they’re going to do the same thing with family in the future. When a word’s not in the Constitution, clearly the powers of Congress — the powers of the Supreme Court do not allow them to redefine words and seize power. Power is not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states [but] are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. This power over marriage, which came from God under our organic law, is not to be redefined by the United States Supreme Court or any federal court.
That clip can be seen below: