Flake says he won't back Roy Moore, citing Muslim remark

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters Thursday that he will not support or endorse Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, citing his past comment that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

“A guy who says that a Muslim member of Congress shouldn’t be able to serve, that’s not right," Flake reportedly said Thursday.

Moore, who is running in the special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was twice removed from his position as chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, once for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from courthouse grounds and once for telling lower judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

In 2006, the former judge took issue with Rep. Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinnesota AG ups charges against ex-police officer in shooting of Daunte Wright Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT Attorneys general looking into online fundraising practices MORE (D-Minn.), the first Muslim in Congress, over his decision to take his oath of office on a Quran instead of a Bible.

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“In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on ‘Mein Kampf,’ or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the ‘Communist Manifesto,’ ” he wrote at the time. 

Moore has been a point of contention among Republicans since he became the party's Senate nominee after a hotly contested GOP primary, receiving a mix of endorsements and criticism from lawmakers in his party.

Sen. Ben SasseBen SassePresident of newly recognized union for adult performers boosts membership Romney blasts Biden over those left in Afghanistan: 'Bring them home' Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal MORE (R-Neb.) this week also slammed Moore for his previous comments on Muslims, noting the United States Constitution stipulates that there is no religious test required to run for congressional office.

“You can’t have people running for office — I don’t know the particulars of what Moore has said — but as it’s been reported, you cant have people running for office saying that being a Muslim would be a disqualification for being in Congress. The constitution is pretty dang clear about not having a religious litmus test," Sasse told conservative writer Jonah Goldberg in an interview on the podcast "The Remnant."

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar MORE (R-Texas) praised Moore this week, calling him a "conservative who will proudly defend Alabama values" in a post on his website.