So do you feel that you have to acknowledge God publicly so people understand where you're coming from? Why isn't it enough for you to just get up in the morning thinking, 'I'm going to go about my day believing in God.'
Because this country's founded upon God; without the acknowledgement of God, there would be no country. The Declaration of Independence says very clearly that we're entitled to exist as a power on Earth by the laws of nature and nature's God. The United States code annotated today recognizes the Declaration as organic law; it is the law I'm sworn to uphold. The Constitution of Alabama said that we invoked the favoring guidance of Almighty God in order to establish justice.

Courts do not have authority over what you think. When you come before the court you're free to be a Christian, a Jew, an atheist, a Buddhist, or whatever because courts judge you on what you've done, not what you think. And likewise when you leave the courts, you can worship a tree if you want and the court cannot interfere with that. That is a concept coming from God.

Why did you choose the Ten Commandments to display?
It's identified with a particular God, the Judeo-Christian God. It is the laws that form the moral basis of our society and it represents the restrictions of government in its two tables.

Some people have suggested that judges post the Beatitudes in their courtrooms instead--that it's a more full representation of the Christian God. What would you think of that?
Well, it wouldn't be prohibited by the First Amendment.

Would you ever consider doing that?
No, I haven't considered that but you know, if I did, I would have.

Would you have expected to have the same kind of legal fight over that?

How would you react to a Muslim judge doing something similar, inscribing a verse from the Qur'an on a monument and placing that on a federal courthouse?
Well, it wouldn't be representative of the history of this country and what we're founded upon. Nevertheless, it wouldn't be a violation of the First Amendment either; in other words, it's not prohibited by the First Amendment.

And why is that not prohibited by the First Amendment? Because that's an expression of freedom of religion?
Well, it's not Congress. It's not making a law. It's not establishing a religion. It simply doesn't violate the law.

So would you view that, as a judge, as making a personal statement and not a legal statement?
Well, it couldn't be a statement based on the history of this country since we're not established on a Muslim God. But it would be a personal statement, yes.

So if you were a judge in that case, you would rule in favor of the Muslim judge.
I would say it would not be a violation of the First Amendment.

What do you think of the recent fights over activist judges and Congress bearing down on that?
Well, I think Congress should bear down on that. Judges completely violate the Constitution. Something's wrong when they're disregarding the law they're sworn to uphold. Americans should wake up. I mean, that's electing men to be gods and they're not gods; they're sworn to uphold the Constitution--that is the Supreme law of the land.

What are some of the most important examples of judicial activism now?
They're rampant in the United States Supreme Court. Lawrence v. Texas [which protected the rights of people practicing consensual homosexual sex] was one. Atkins v. Virginia [which banned the execution of mentally retarded individuals] was another. Grutter v. Bollinger [which upheld affirmative action in public university admissions] was another. Roper v. Simmons [which outlawed the death penalty for people who committed crimes as minors] was the most recent.

So do you think that judicial activism is a problem mainly among more liberal judges or does it cross party lines?
I think it crosses party lines, definitely.

On the conservative side, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is often accused of judicial activism by the left. Do you agree with that?
No, I think Justice Scalia is trying to uphold the original intent of the Constitution. That's not judicial activism. Judicial activism is when you put yourself above the Constitution and you start telling the way society should be run. Justice Scalia promotes, as I understand it, the rule of law, which is the Constitution and what legislatures and Congress say the law is, not what a group of men and women in black robes create out of their own minds.

When the Supreme Court heard the Pledge of Allegiance case last year, a group of religious scholars and clergy submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff. They wanted 'Under God' out of the Pledge of Allegiance not because they didn't believe in it but because they felt putting God into the secular sphere like that trivialized God. How would you respond to that?
I'd say these so-called religious leaders don't know much about God. God is sovereign over the affairs of nations as well as over the affairs of the individual. That's why he's God and they're not.

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