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Roy Moore, the former chief justice of Alabama who was removed from office over a Ten Commandments monument controversy, says President Bush should not worry about whether or not a Supreme Court justice will be confirmed by the Senate – rather, he should stand on principle and send up the best qualified judges.

While saying he would wait for the confirmation hearings to give his opinion of Harriet Miers, the president’s nominee for associated justice of the high court, Moore said Bush is using the wrong criterion for nominating the highest judges of the land.

“They’re picking candidates on whether or not they can sustain a Senate investigation,” Moore told Joseph Farah on the nationally syndicated radio program “Farah Live” yesterday.

“There are a lot of conservative, constitutional judges” whom Bush could tap, Moore said.

Moore believes the president should nominate strong nominees and let the chips fall where they may.

“Keep putting them up until they have to choose someone,” he advised. “We’ve got to stand up to these people.”

The former chief justice said he’d “prefer to wait for the Senate ‘inquisition’” before weighing in on the Miers nomination.

Moore, who defiantly refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building in a fight with federal courts, also discussed his 4-day-old gubernatorial candidacy, having announced his quest to become governor of Alabama Monday.

Challenging incumbent GOP Gov. Bob Riley, Moore will be on the ballot as a Republican in the June primary. The candidate wants to “restore the government of our state back to its people,” he told Farah.

Asked if any polling data had been collected on the race, Moore said, “I’m not running for polls; I’m running for principles.”

Part of Moore’s goal is “restoring the base of the moral system,” he said.

Moore says he would be fine with not winning the governor’s race, saying he wants God’s will to be done.

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