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The amendment was a part of Riley’s push to modernize the state constitution, a sprawling, racist document dating to 1901 that codified Jim Crow and created a strong state central government.“Federal and state court rulings have struck down a lot of these [clauses] as unconstitutional, but it was viewed by many as a black eye for the state,” Toby Roth, who served as Riley’s chief of staff during the constitutional fights, told TPM.
At the time, Moore, who is currently the GOP nominee and the front-runner to become Alabama’s next U. senator, had recently been booted from the state supreme court for defying higher court orders to remove a Ten Commandments statue from in front of his courthouse.
Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law hosted the neo-Confederate, pro-secession League of the South’s annual “Secession Day” events in 20, though Moore’s staff claim he didn’t know about it .
League leaders have participated in pro-Moore rallies both times he was removed from the state court.
The state supreme court struck down that ruling in 2002, with Moore on the court.
Many white Alabamians had pulled their kids out of public schools during desegregation, creating a new de facto segregated school system in parts of the state and leaving little incentive for white Alabamians, especially wealthier ones, to pay to improve schools that in parts of the state were heavily black.“People were afraid that it would reignite the [school] equity argument that was sued over in the 1990s,” said Kennedy.
Moore’s other controversies Moore is best known nationally for his controversial religious views.
He’s said Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in Congress, that Sharia law is already being implemented in parts of the Midwest, and that “homosexual conduct should be illegal.”But his racial views have also raised questions.This amendment got caught in a more recent fight over education funding as well, an issue that’s both racially charged and far from symbolic for many voters in the state.In 1993, a state judge had struck down the education language as unconstitutional while ruling that the state needed to spend more on schools.But lawmakers also added a provision that would have stripped a 1956 amendment passed in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision desegregating schools.That amendment said Alabamans had no constitutional “right to education or training at public expense.”Moore and hardline conservatives pounced to argue the removal of that language would allow for a backdoor tax increase by judges who would see it as granting a constitutional right to an education, warning it would hurt taxpayers and threaten private schools and homeschoolers.That base wasn’t enough when he ran against Riley in 2006, but it powered his primary victory over Sen. Attorney Doug Jones, who is best known for successfully prosecuting, decades later, Ku Klux Klan member responsible for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four young black girls.