Mike Huckabee is exercising some convoluted logic in his attack on same-sex marriage.
In a radio interview Wednesday with conservative host Michael Medved, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that Dred Scott v. Sandford -- an 1857 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that African-Americans are not U.S. citizens -- is still "the law of the land," despite the fact that no one adheres to it.
The strange comparison is part of Huckabee's defense of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for five days after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In doing so, she defied the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June.
"Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land which says that black people aren't fully human," Huckabee said on Medved's eponymous show. "Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?"
The citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was adopted in 1868, invalidated the Dred Scott decision -- but Huckabee ignored that fact. Medved pointed out a previous amendment, the Thirteenth, which abolished slavery, and asked Huckabee if he thought a constitutional amendment would be necessary to override the marriage equality ruling.
"I don't think that's necessary," Huckabee replied, showing an ignorance or at least willful disregard of consitutional law. "Because, in the case of this decision, it goes back to what [Thomas] Jefferson said that if a decision is rendered that is not borne out by the will of the people either through their elected people and gone through the process, if you just say it's the law of the land because the court decided, then. Jefferson said, 'You now have surrendered to judicial tyranny.'"
In a separate interview this week with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Huckabee argued that the ruling on same-sex marriage is illegal "because this has left the whole country in a state of ambiguity and confusion."
Huckabee says the governor of Kentucky could fix this "state of ambiguity of confusion" by removing the need for a clerk to sign a marriage license. However, he questioned whether the governor had the authority to make such a change in the paperwork, a conundrum that Huckabee says proves "implementing same-sex marriage is so ridiculous and, frankly, Tony, it's why it's so illegal."
Moreover, Huckabee defended Davis's actions by pointing out that Kentucky state law did not recognize same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court decision -- again, disregarding the Supreme Court's authority to invalidate state laws. But according to him, the decision put antigay clerks like Davis between a rock and a hard place.
"Which law does she follow? The ambiguous and unconstitutional judicial tyranny ruling of the Supreme Court that has not yet been codified? Or does she follow the specific constitutional and statutory requirements under Kentucky law, under which she was elected?"
Listen to both Huckabee interviews, courtesy of BuzzFeed and Right Wing Watch, respectively, below.
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