Registered: Jan 2003
Local time: 05:41 AM
Location: Santa Cruz
About 100 demonstrators prayed Monday outside the Alabama Judicial Building, keeping up their opposition to a federal court order to remove a 5,300-pound stone representation of the Ten Commandments from the building's rotunda.
Attorneys prepared to ask a federal court in Mobile to block the removal of the Christian monument.
The lawsuit on behalf of a Christian talk show host and would name as defendants the eight associate justices who last week overruled Chief Justice Roy Moore and directed that the federal court order be followed, said attorney Jim Zeigler.
Many of the monument supporters spent the night in sleeping bags on a plaza outside the building and nearby steps, and one scaled lattice work on the side of the building and spent the night on a ledge. The unidentified man climbed down after daybreak.
Demonstrators have said they know the monument, installed two years ago by Moore, could be moved Monday or Tuesday.
Federal courts have held that the monument violates the Constitution's ban on government promotion of a religious doctrine.
Moore, who contends it is his duty to acknowledge God in the public rotunda of the state government building, was suspended last week by a state judicial ethics panel for disobeying the order by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to move the monument.
Moore, who was at home in Gadsden on Monday, has pledged to argue his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Whenever workers come to remove the monument, supporters of Moore intend to keep it from going anywhere by locking hands and dropping to their knees.
Some of the demonstrators have kept vigil at the courthouse since last week and are committed to staying as long as it takes to make sure the display stays put.
"I got more energy since I don't know when -- God gave me strength," said Scott Campbell, who arrived Thursday from his home in Gurley in north Alabama.
A few people outside the building Sunday wanted the monument removed.
"I'm here to check out the circus," said 21-year-old Jeremy Jordan of Montgomery. "I thought church was supposed to be separate from the state."
At Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church, worshippers said they want the Ten Commandments in public life but have reservations about Moore and his handling of the dispute.
"It was forced down our throats," Debbie Stack said of the marker. "This has taken the focus off of God and put it on a man."