Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and a leading voice for Christian conservatives, said Thursday (Jan. 22) that governors and state legislatures should consider ways to resist a Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.
Huckabee likened such a ruling to the notorious Dred Scott case before the Civil War in which the Supreme Court said African Americans couldn’t be citizens. Pushing back against such an opinion “is not without historical and judicial precedence,” he said in an interview promoting his new book, “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,” published Wednesday (Jan. 21) by St. Martin’s Press.
‘We have a constitutional amendment in our constitution,” he said on USA Today’s Capital Download. “Do we want to hold to that? Do we want to put it before a referendum of the people?’ I mean, there are a lot of different angles to pursue it. (Or) you could just surrender and say, ‘OK, we just agree that the court is right.’ ”
Whatever the legal basis for Huckabee’s stance — and constitutional scholars question whether there is one — as a political matter his fervent opposition all but guarantees that the issue of gay marriage will be prominent in the GOP presidential debate. While other leading contenders also oppose gay marriage, some of them, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have said court decisions recognizing the right make it a settled question.
“Rather than just immediately capitulate to nine people in robes, and what it will probably be is five people in robes against four people who disagree … then you have a very, very divided court,” he told the weekly newsmaker series. “Do we really surrender the entire American system of government to five people, unelected, appointed for life, with no consequences for the decisions they make? The founders never intended for there to be such incredible, almost unlimited power, put in the hands of so few people.”
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SOURCE: Religion News Service
(Susan Page writes for USA Today.)