MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Judge Roy Moore, the runaway GOP frontrunner per recent polling for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) when he went to serve as the Attorney General of the United States, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview here that unlike his opponent he will represent Alabama a lot like the way Sessions did.
Moore believes it is imperative Alabama elects a conservative willing to challenge the status quo like Sessions, rather than an establishment-backed candidate like Luther Strange who is unwilling to upset the apple cart in Washington.
Like Sessions, Moore said he plans to thoroughly vet candidates for judicial nominations—something Moore’s opponent, Strange, and so many others currently do not do properly. Sessions, of course, as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the early years of Barack Obama’s presidency, oversaw the GOP efforts to battle Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Moore aims to fill the void left behind by Sessions on that front.
More importantly, however, Sessions held this Senate seat for 20 years after first being elected in the mid-1990s, and had a profound impact on Alabama and the national Republican Party, as well as the United States of America generally. Moore’s embrace of Sessions, and his brand of economic nationalism that he shares with the president, is a key recipe for electoral success in Alabama: Sessions is so popular in Alabama he was reelected last time unanimously as he drew no opponent in either his primary or his general election.
“Jeff Sessions and I have known each other for many years,” Moore said in an exclusive interview here on Friday last week, as the campaign enters its final three-week stretch with him far in the lead. “Jeff Sessions knows everybody, and of course he knows my opponent. Jeff Sessions helped get my son appointed to West Point last year and I have a lot of respect for Jeff Sessions. I think what is really the difference is not just only our conservative values, but how we view the judiciary. I’m a very strict constructionist of the Constitution and I know how to question, or I know how to vet—to use the word that the press uses all the time—candidates for judicial offices, and I think I would be very successful in the United States Senate in doing that because I think that there’s so many in the judiciary and legal establishment that don’t understand the Constitution, don’t understand the separation of powers, don’t understand the concepts of restraint of power in the Constitution. Also, judges are not above the Constitution.”
Moore said it is “absolutely ridiculous” when asked about judges in courts across the country abusing their power to undermine President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, and he said he plans to do something about it. Moore said he intends to seek out impeachment of judges—even U.S. Supreme Court Justices—when they overstep their bounds, and he specifically mentioned the case of Obergefell v. Hodges which legalized gay marriage in the United States.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. It not only violates the Constitution, it violates the federal rules of procedure. An injunction can only be issued to the parties in the case, and the parties in any case don’t extend across the country. They’re making rulings that have no basis and nobody is calling their hand. One of the things I’d like to do in the Senate is back the House on impeachment of judges and remove them. If they put themselves above the Constitution, they should be removed. Their oath is to the Constitution and to nothing else. To knowingly do that, and whether it be a federal district judge, a circuit court of appeals judge, or a United States Supreme Court Justice, they should be held account to the Constitution—and they’re not holding the Supreme Court Justices, I know. For example, in the case of Obergefell that was issued on June 26, 2015, Chief Justice Roberts said that that opinion by five lawyers completely contradicted the Constitution, as did Justice Scalia, Justice Alito, and Justice Thomas. They said it was an alteration of our form of government, they wrote one of the most strongest dissents I’ve ever read in a case. Nobody, nobody even questioned any of the Justices or even made a move for impeachment because we have put Justices on the Supreme Court on a pedestal above the Constitution because they become actually judicial supremacists because once they rule their rulings are considered the supreme law of the land. Well, the supreme law of the land under Article Six is the United States Constitution by specific definition.”
Moore also aims to fill the void Sessions left behind on the key issues of immigration and trade. Breitbart News detailed for Moore how Sessions—unlike most politicians—considered the impact of immigration on his constituents, not just the impact on immigrants both illegal and legal and the impact on the business community and special interests.
“I think I would have the same opinion,” Moore replied. I think you have got to look how it affects the people of this state. Actually, a senator’s job is not only to vote on national issues, but a senator’s job is the represent his or her state. Prior to the 17th Amendment which passed in 1913, the legislatures of the states chose the senator. Of course, after 1913 they were elected at large. But of course I still think it’s a very big part of a senator’s job to look at the effects of policies on the people of their state. I think that’s what Jeff Sessions did and that’s what I will do.”
Moore’s interview with Breitbart News, interestingly, came before he was mercilessly and unfairly attacked by Strange’s allies in the GOP establishment over immigration last week. They distorted his position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty from Obama, which was granted unlawfully to illegal alien youths, to try to undermine his support in Alabama. Since the attacks on Moore, the judge has made it very clear where he stands on DACA and amnesty in general:
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) September 1, 2017
The battle for the U.S. Senate race here in Alabama is one for the ages. The establishment in Washington, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and cronies of ex-George W. Bush White House aide Karl Rove, are lining up behind Strange with millions upon millions of dollars from out of state poured into Alabama. President Trump himself, in the first round of voting, backed Strange over Moore and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), among other candidates, before the Aug. 15 primary. Trump has not weighed in since then other than to congratulate both Moore and Strange on making it to the Sept. 26 runoff, and White House sources have told Breitbart News and other outlets that it is very unlikely that Trump will help Strange any more than he has to date from here on out.
Meanwhile, conservatives including many supporters of the president like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee—whose daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders is now White House press secretary— and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have now stepped up to back Moore in the final weeks of the campaign.
Moore believes that this race will in many ways determine if the “Trump revolution” that elected a man to the presidency who had never held office or served in a senior military position before—the first time in U.S. history—will continue. If voters send Strange to D.C., he argues, it will be a message that they don’t want the change that Trump represented in November 2016. If they send Moore, Alabama can send a shockwave across Washington.
“According to CNN, which has written on this, on July 2 they said this would be a test case for the GOP divide,” Moore told Breitbart News when asked about the significance of the race. “In other words, between the establishment Republicans and those that I consider want to do something in Congress—and I think that’s a very big issue because in this race being a special election because of the vacation of former Sen. Jeff Sessions to the attorney general’s office, it’s coming up before the 2018 midterm elections next year. This is a signal whether this Trump revolution will continue or die in its infancy because of a lack of interest. But according to this race, there’s a lot of interest all across the country. I think they’re watching to see what happens here. And I think the people of Alabama want to show them what happens here because the people of Alabama like the people of America voted for change in 2016 and they’re not seeing it happen.”
Strange has tried to cozy up to Trump despite his lack of support for the president and the president’s agenda. Strange’s support, alongside McConnell, for a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to pass major legislation means that there is no way that Strange actually supports the president and his agenda no matter what he says. So, when it comes to things like Trump’s planned border wall, by supporting McConnell’s 60-vote threshold, over which eight Democrats will always block the president’s plans for a wall, Strange stands with those eight Democrats who block Trump’s wall rather than with the president. Moore, on the other hand, stands with President Trump on wanting to be able to pass bills that fund a wall and other major legislative agenda items for the president.
“I disagree with my opponent on the 60-vote rule,” Moore told Breitbart News. “I consider the 60-vote rule to be unconstitutional. It’s a super-majority rule that contradicts the constitutional simple majority passed by the founders of our Constitution. It violates the simple majority rule passed by the founders of our Constitution. I consider it an unconstitutional rule. I consider it a rule that the majority of the Senate can overcome. I think the Constitution does not specify a rule, and it prevents a Senator from any state like Alabama from voting on the issues that the people of that state voted on. What it does is it takes away the right for the Senator for the people of his state on these issues, and I think it’s clearly unconstitutional and no amount of any Senate rules can overcome that. I do not consider it that the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution allows them to pass such a rule, to be clear, because I think that has gone through a court.”
Because of the rule, Moore said, “you can’t vote on any legislation.” That includes the president’s border wall, which Strange clearly opposes since he opposes opening the mechanism by which to pass funding for it.
“I think the 60-vote rule allows people to avoid voting on controversial issues by hiding behind a rule,” Moore said. “Now, I understand the argument of the parties that the party in the majority may change and things happen, but the thing about it is it is still a violation of the Constitution. We often talk in judicial circles about judicial fiats, in other words an amendment to the Constitution by judicial fiat which means them passing laws that have no relation to the Constitution. Well there’s also legislative fiat, and that’s what we see with regard to the 60-vote rule.”
As such, Strange’s faux support for Trump–nothing more than verbal platitudes rather than true action–contrasts with Moore, who has emerged as an actual defender of the president and his agenda.
Our President is under attack.
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) September 1, 2017
Moore actually backs Trump when it comes to border security and building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
“I want to see our security return to what it was meant to be and I think we can look at all options and a wall is certainly one of them. It’s certainly something I could support,” Moore said.
Moore also said he backs potentially using the military to secure the border and enforce immigration law.
“I think we could use the military,” he said, noting it has been done by “both Republican and Democrat presidents alike.”
“I think it [illegal immigration] could be stopped immediately using the United States military,” Moore said. “I think it can be stopped. It’s common sense. If you have an enemy flowing over your border, you don’t have to stand back and say we can’t use the military on our borders. Likewise, when you’ve got illegal aliens—and it’s not an illegal immigration problem, it’s an illegal alien problem—it can be stopped and it should be stopped immediately.”
When it comes to trade policy, Moore told Breitbart News he stands firmly with President Trump in supporting bringing back U.S. industry into the heartland of America. Strange, it’s worth noting, has made no such commitment to back President Trump on trade policy—and has refused repeated opportunities for interviews with Breitbart News on the matter.
“I think that’s one of the strongest points I agree on with the president,” Moore said when asked about what he would do to bring factories and jobs back to America from foreign countries. “I agreed with the president before he was president. I agree with the president’s position from even before he was president. This is one of the greatest travesties in our country. I agree with free trade—our country was established on free trade—but it’s not free trade when governments become involved in the trade process like what has happened in certain foreign countries. I think that that warps this concept and it’s allowed businesses to go overseas to Mexico, China, wherever. I support the president 100 percent in bringing industry back into our country. Quite frankly, I think it can be brought back into our country—we don’t lose the technology, we don’t lose the skill sets. We can develop those again. I know steel plants, sock factories all across Alabama and the South have been taken.”
He also supports the president when it comes to increasing pressure on China. “I think we not only have that option, we have that obligation,” Moore said about increased economic pressures from Trump on China. “We have to put pressure on countries that are misusing our policies. Taking a strong stand, looking back to, I think it was Roosevelt who said, ‘walk softly, and carry a big stick.’ Well, you’ve got to do that economically as well. You’ve got to stand up for your rights. You can’t cave to foreign countries and say, ‘we’ll take all our missiles down if you take your missiles down,’ and turn around and let them develop their missiles. In other words, you got to trust and verify—but I think verify first.”