Mike Huckabee calls for massive resistance if Supreme Court rules for marriage equality

Republican's support for flouting the Court is rooted in an ugly historical concept

Published January 21, 2015 2:24PM (EST)

  (AP/Alex Brandon)
(AP/Alex Brandon)

With the Supreme Court set to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans this June, a specter is haunting social conservatives -- the specter of a country in which committed same-sex couples can wed, regardless of where in the U.S. they live. But former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has a simple solution: Should the Court rule in favor of marriage equality, states should simply ignore the ruling and continue to practice marriage discrimination.

The Southern Baptist preacher and potential 2016 GOP presidential contender told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that a High Court ruling for same-sex marriage would not make marriage equality the "law of the land," as "one branch of government does not overrule the other two."

"One thing I am angry about though ... is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the court makes a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say, 'Well that's settled, it's the law of the land.' No, it's not the law of the land," Huckabee told Hewitt.

"Constitutionally," he continued, "the courts cannot make a law, they can interpret one and then the legislature has to create enabling legislation and the executive has to sign it and has to enforce it."

In urging states to continue enforcing marriage discrimination should the Court strike down bans, Huckabee echoes longtime Virginia Sen. Harry Byrd, who in the wake of the Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling advocated that states and localities should wage "massive resistance" in order to prevent the integration of public schools. Virginia lawmakers heeded Byrd's advice, passing legislation that denied state funding and closed integrated schools.
For obvious reasons, Huckabee hasn't linked his same-sex marriage position to Byrd's doctrine, but he has consistently supported efforts to flout court rulings for same-sex nuptials. In October, after the Supreme Court let stand a series of lower-court rulings overturning marriage bans and some Republicans, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, conceded that the battle over marriage equality was "over" in their states, an indignant Huckabee threatened to quit the GOP if it abandoned its longstanding support for anti-gay discrimination.

By Luke Brinker

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