Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Coming Next: Ten Commandment Tattoos! 

I'm sorry, I know this stuff is serious, part of an unceasing crusade by the American Taliban--but try to read this without picturing Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes sitting on the bench hearing this poor guy's DUI appeal:

(via Alabama news feed)
A south Alabama judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney objected to the judge wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments embroidered in gold on the front of the garment.

Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan showed up Monday at his Covington County courtroom in Andalusia wearing the robe at the start of a week of jury trials of cases that were being appealed from lower courts — mostly cases like driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

Attorneys who try cases at the courthouse said they had not seen the judge wearing the robe previously. The commandments were described as being big enough to read on the robe by anyone near the judge, but not like eye-catching slogans on T-shirts.

Andalusia attorney Riley Powell said he was defending a client charged with DUI and filed a motion objecting to the judicial robe and asking that the case be continued. He said McKathan denied both motions.

"I am all for the Ten Commandments for me personally and for my family," Powell said. "But I feel this creates a distraction that affects my client."

McKathan told The Associated Press that he believes the Ten Commandments represent the truth "and you can't divorce the law from the truth."

"The Ten Commandments can help a judge know the difference between right and wrong," McKathan said.

He said he doesn't believe the commandments on his robe would have an adverse effect on jurors.

"I had a choice of several sizes of letters. I purposely chose a size that would not be in anybody's face," McKathan said. He said he does not always wear a robe in court, but plans to wear the Ten Commandments robe on a regular basis.
So let's decide who to blame here. My nominees:

1) CJOTUS Wm. Rehnquist, for those Gilbert & Sullivan-ish sleeve stripes. He should race NASCAR in such an outfit.

2) Morton Haack and John Intlekofer [uncredited]: Costume designers, 1968 version of "Planet of the Apes"

3) Roy Moore, unemployed ex-judge, High Priest of the Sacred Rock Idol ((c) 2003, R. Moore, it sez on the rock)

4) "Judge" McKathan's parents, for naming their son "Ashley" in this day and age. Having a sister named Melanie I realize that there was a whole generation sadly influenced in offspring-naming program related matters by "Gone With the Wind," in which a male named Ashley played a prominent role, but sheesh!

5) Nominee of your choice.

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