On Sunday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, appearing on ABC’s This Week, was queried by host George Stephanopoulos about Huckabee’s blazing defense of Kim Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky.
Stephanopoulos started by stating that some conservatives said Davis should not have defied the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage was legal, quoting Rod Dreher, who stated, “What we cannot do, and what the government cannot permit, is open defiance of settled law.”
Huckabee answered bluntly, “He would have hated Abraham Lincoln, because Lincoln ignored the 1857 Dred Scott decision that said black people weren’t fully human. It was a wrong decision. And to say that we have to surrender to judicial supremacy is to do what Jefferson warned against, which is in essence to surrender to judicial tyranny.”
Referencing the founders of America and their creation of the three-branch system of government, Huckabee explained, “The courts can’t make a law; the Constitution is expressly clear that that’s a power reserved to Congress. When the courts have a ruling, then it is incumbent on Congress to codify that into law and specifically delineate what that means. That hasn’t happened, George.”
Huckabee added, “Do we have a check and balance system? Do we have three equal branches or do we have one supreme branch, not just a Supreme Court? … This goes back to the larger issue of whether or not what we learned in ninth grade civics is even still operative. Why people are so angry across the country not just on this issue but on others is that the ruling class has thumbed their nose at the very Constitution.”
Then Huckabee moved in for the kill, blasting:
You’ve got Democrats who ignored the law when it was the law to have traditional marriage. Gavin Newsom in San Francisco as mayor performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. Did he ever get put in jail? He most certainly did not. You have Barack Obama and Eric Holder, when he was attorney general. They ignored the rulings of [the Defense of Marriage Act]. Did they ever get put in jail for ignoring the law? They most certainly did not. So when is it that liberals get to choose what laws they support, but a county clerk in Kentucky who, acting on her Christian faith, is criminalized, jailed without bail, because she acted on her conscience and according to the only law that is in front of her?
When Stephanopoulos argued that the federal government recognized same-sex marriage, Huckabee pointed out, “When you say the federal government recognizes it, what statute, under which do they recognize it? They do it by decree, but there is no congressionally voted-upon statute.”
Huckabee concluded with a flourish, quoting Lincoln’s first inaugural address in 1861:
We are bypassing the process when we have one branch of government acting as if it has authority over the other two. What I’m coming back to, and I think people are missing this, is that we live under the rule of law, which is a three-branch checks and balances system of government, or we end up with what I think was so powerful when Lincoln said this: “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court the instant they are made, then in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers having to that extent having practically resigned their government into the hands of this eminent tribunal.