Law professor Paul Campos has an interesting take on the Alabama Ten Commandments controversy:
If a federal judge ordered a state judge to forcibly return an escaped slave from a state in which slavery was illegal back to the slave's owner, would the law require the state judge to obey the federal judge's order?* * *
* * * Moore, who has refused to enforce a federal court order requiring the removal of a monument of the Ten Commandments Moore has installed in the state's judicial building, told NBC News, "I am a believer in the justice system. And I believe you should obey higher courts except when that higher court is not going by the law."
While this is an unusual claim, it is hardly unprecedented in America legal history. As Cover's book illustrates, prior to the Civil War it was the standard position one strand of abolitionism took toward the legal status of slavery.