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updated 4/19/2004 12:29:12 PM ET 2004-04-19T16:29:12

Remember the so-called 10 Commandments judge, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who whisked a huge 5,000-pound monument of the 10 Commandments into the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building in the middle of the night? 

Well, he knew it was constitutionally suspect.  He assured the citizens of Alabama again and again taxpayer dollars aren‘t being used.  He said he paid for the monument long with a sculptor and private donations. 

Despite repeated court orders to remove the monument, he refused, and after losing at every appellate court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, he continued to defy the courts until the authorities went in and removed it themselves.  Moore himself was then removed from the bench by his colleagues. 

Judge Moore is entitled to his opinion, and if he wants to lose his job over his unwillingness to abide by court orders, so be it, but now that taxpayers of Alabama have been left to foot the bill for his shenanigans. The state reached a settlement Wednesday to pay $550,000 in attorney‘s fees to the groups who had to sue Moore to end his lawlessness. 

This in a state facing a $300 million budget deficit.  Now, Justice Moore paid for his own lawyers when fighting to get his job back.  Why shouldn‘t he pay to fight his personal crusade as well?  He should put his money where his mouth is and reimburse the state for its costs.  Private donations covered the cost of the monument.  He or they should cover the inevitable aftermath as well. 

The hard-working and tax-paying people of the state of Alabama should not have to pay for one rogue judge‘s malfeasance. 

Dan Abrams is the host of 'The Abrams Report.' 'The Abrams Report' airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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