Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said on a radio show in 2011 that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would “eliminate many problems,” CNN reports.
Amendments adopted after the initial 10 include the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery, the 15th Amendment, which prohibited federal and state governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” the 19th Amendment, which allowed women to vote, and the 24th Amendment, which abolished poll taxes.
Moore is running in a Tuesday’s special election for a Senate seat from Alabama. During the campaign, he has faced allegations of molesting underage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore has been condemned for saying that homosexuality should be illegal and that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress, and he was twice removed from the Alabama state judiciary, once for refusing to remove a sculpture of the Ten Commandments from state grounds and another for refusing to grant same-sex marriage licenses.
In June 2011, Moore appeared on the radio show “Aroostook Watchmen,” whose hosts profess conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, the Sandy Hook shootings and the Boston Marathon bombings. On the show, Moore told the hosts he was in favor of having hearings on 9/11 to find out “what really happened that day.”
One of the hosts said he would like to see an amendment that would void all the amendments after the Tenth. “That would eliminate many problems,” Moore replied. “You know people don’t understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended.” Moore cited the 17th Amendment, which calls for the direct election of senators by voters rather than state legislatures.
The host then told Moore that the 14th Amendment — which guaranteed former slaves citizenship and equal protection — had been passed “only at the point of a gun.” Moore replied, “Yeah, it had very serious problems with its approval by the states. The danger in the 14th Amendment, which was to restrict, it has been a restriction on the states using the first Ten Amendments by and through the 14th Amendment. To restrict the states from doing something that the federal government was restricted from doing and allowing the federal government to do something which the first Ten Amendments prevented them from doing. If you understand the incorporation doctrine used by the courts and what it meant. You’d understand what I’m talking about.”
Moore’s campaign spokesman told CNN that Moore doesn’t believe all amendments after the Tenth should actually be struck. “Once again, the media is taking a discussion about the overall framework for the separation of powers as laid out in the constitution to twist Roy Moore’s position on specific issues,” said Brett Doster. “Roy Moore does not now nor has he ever favored limiting an individual’s right to vote, and as a judge, he was noted for his fairness and for being a champion of civil rights.
“Judge Moore has expressed concern, as many other conservatives have, that the historical trend since the ratification of the Bill of Rights has been for federal empowerment over state empowerment.”
Moore has expressed a racist point of view before. Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that at a September campaign rally, Moore was asked by a black member of the audience when he thought the last time America was great. He answered, “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
President Trump has outspokenly supported Moore in recent weeks, holding a rally in the Alabama media market last Friday and recording a robocall urging voters to choose Moore.