Mike Huckabee Compared Kim Davis To Dred Scott & His Continued Support Of Her Is Baffling
Mike Huckabee opened his mouth again put in his two cents about the Kim Davis case, coming to the defense of the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. First, he compared the Kentucky county clerk to Abraham Lincoln and is hosting a "free Kim Davis" petition. But, of course, the former Arkansas governor and GOP candidate had more to say on the topic. In an interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, he compared the Kim Davis case to the Dred Scott decision that allowed slave owners to take slaves to western territory of the United States. But Mike Huckabee shouldn't compare the cases because the laws simply aren't the same.
In case anyone needs a history review, the 1857 Dred Scott decision was the Supreme Court ruling that stated that no one of African American descent could be a United States citizen. The decision also nullified prior legislation that outlawed the expansion of slavery into the Western part of the U.S. As The Huffington Post noted, the Dred Scott decision has long been regarded as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history.
Huckabee is one of the loudest conservative voices supporting Davis' stance against marrying same sex couples, which the Supreme Court ruled into law on June 26 in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. He claimed that just like Abraham Lincoln "ignored" the Dred Scott decision, Davis, and those who share her views, can do the same toward the gay marriage law, and elaborated on this during the interview:
So, I go back to my question, is slavery the law of the land because Dred Scott said so? Was that a correct decision? Should the courts have been irrevocably followed on that? Should Lincoln have been put in jail? Because he ignored it. That's the fundamental question.
Huckabee said that people should only obey a law "if it's right." But the Obergefell decision is one that works toward equality for this country. The Dred Scott decision allowed for discrimination and regression. Whether Huckabee believes that Obergefell was the "right" decision doesn't have much to do with the fact that the two decisions, centuries apart, aim for very different outcomes.
And slavery, which promoted the oppression of black Americans, actually had negative physical effects — violence and torture from slave owners. Gay marriage, and the promotion of equality, isn't hurting anyone. What is the harm of gay marriage? The Dred Scott decision promoted oppression, while Obergefell fought for and achieved freedom of equality. These are, obviously, polarized concepts.
Huckabee also argues that Davis is doing what Lincoln did by acting on her opposite beliefs in the law. Although this is basically true, Lincoln was president of the United States, while Davis is a county clerk in Kentucky. By opposing Dred Scott, Lincoln acted as a leader of the country. If we're going to compare president to president, Obama spoke out for the basic rights of same-sex couples long before Obergefell.
Here is something else to consider: The Supreme Court made gay marriage law, and as a government employee, Davis is to follow the law. In the interview with Stephanopoulos, Huckabee also argued that Davis comes from a state that "specifically says, by 75 percent of the voters, that marriage means one man, one woman." But many conservative politicians have commented that the clerk, as a government employee, needs to comply with the law. Huckabee's fellow GOP candidate John Kasich said that he doesn't "like the fact that [Davis] is sitting in jail," but asserted that she needs to follow the law. Other Republican voices, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Lindsey Graham, have echoed Kasich's.
The Obergefell decision was widely celebrated by many Americans, two years after SCOTUS struck down DOMA. Dred Scott, on the other hand, labeled blacks as "beings of an inferior order," and as Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia, commented on Democracy Now, is only an example of where the Supreme Court went wrong. Dred Scott is not looked upon as a model for solid Supreme Court law, Mike Huckabee. You can defend Davis all you want, but let's not go to that particular SCOTUS move for support.