Moore gained fame by refusing, despite an order from a federal judge, to remove a 2 1/2-ton granite monument to the Ten Commandments Moore had installed in the Rotunda of the Judiciary Building in Montgomery.
Moore designed and commissioned the Ten Commandments monument with private funds. On his orders, and without the knowledge of the eight other members of the Alabama Supreme Court, he had the monument installed during the night of July 21, 2001.
A federal judge ordered the monument removed. Moore refused, despite an appeals court ruling upholding the judge.
The other justices of the state high court did an end run around Moore and removed the monument.
Moore was eventually ejected from office by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Moore then asked the U.S. Supreme Court for help, saying the judiciary court was requiring an unconstitutional religious test for judges.