Friday, August 22, 2003
Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended from the bench today for defying a federal court order to remove a 5,280-pound Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the Alabama Supreme Court building. Chief Justice Moore, who used the Ten Commandments issue to rise from obscurity in rural Alabama to the highest judgeship in the state, will face a trial by the Court of the Judiciary of Alabama, which acted today and will rule if he should lose his job permanently.
Hahnemann, a Web designer for Adtran Inc., said he had been sculpting only about five years when a friend of Moore's contacted him around Thanksgiving of 2000, soon after Moore was elected chief justice.
Hahnemann said he was invited to meet with Moore in Montgomery to discuss the jurist's plans for a monument.
"He wanted something that would show connections between the Ten Commandments and the Constitution," Hahnemann said.
Following complaints by religious and "family"groups and a two year legal battle, a federal appeals court has upheld an Alabama statute which prohibits the commercial distribution of sex toys.
In April, 1998 the Alabama legislature unanimously passed a law banning the sale of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs," and provided for a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail. The measure was modeled after similar legislation in Georgia and Tennessee.
Two female entrepreneurs who sold devices from private in-house parties and a romance shop were among those who challenged the measure, saying that it violated their right to privacy. Their lawsuit stated that "by restricting the sales of these devices to plaintiffs, Alabama has acted in violation of the fundamental rights of privacy and personal autonomy that protect an individual's lawful sexual practices guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution."
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge on Monday overturned Alabama’s ban on sex toys, saying the state had no reason to prohibit the sale of the devices.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith of Huntsville found the state’s 1998 law is "overly broad" and in violation of due process rights because it bears no "rational relation to a legitimate state interest."
"We succeeded in kicking the government out of our bedroom," said Sherri Williams, who sells sex devices at stores in Huntsville and Decatur and joined in a suit challenging the new law.
Under the statute, selling or distributing "any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs" is a misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
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