Mike Huckabee Says MLK Jr. Would Fight the Supreme Court on Gay Marriage (by Reading a King Excerpt that Praises the Court)
Former Arkansas Governor, radio host, and Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee equated the struggle against marriage equality to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s struggle for civil rights. Huckabee muddled his own point by criticizing “judicial supremacy” and then quoting a passage from Dr. King, which champions the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.
At the 2014 “March for Marriage” in Washington D.C. Huckabee delivered a speech excoriating Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza for not only striking down Arkansas’s same-sex marriage ban in May but also for ordering that same-sex marriages could commence immediately.
Mike Huckabee is something of a mystery. He’s chubby in the way that one often describes as “jolly” or “cuddly” and he charmed many voters during the 2008 Republican Primaries – although not nearly enough to win the nomination, he did have more delegates than even Mitt Romney. Yet, he is also a Christian pastor and his religious and political ideologies are intertwined in the way that is only troubling to anyone who is not a Christian.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a Christian preacher but religious of all faiths, agnostics, and atheists alike rightly tout him as a champion not just of freedom but of love. While it remains unclear – even in his own family – how Dr. King may have reacted to the struggle for gay marriage. So, we only have his stated principles to guide us.
During his speech, Huckabee read an excerpt of King’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” specifically where “just” and “unjust” laws were compared. After reading the excerpt, Huckabee says he wished “he were here today” to, apparently, fight “with” Huckabee against marriage.
Huckabee said he thought King would say, “Mr. Supreme Court Justices, Madame Supreme Court Justices, your role is only to interpret the law, to make sure it meshes with the Constitution not messes with the Constitution.” He then goes on to imply that just laws are not made by the court, but only in the Capitol.
Yet, it’s like Huckabee either wasn’t listening to himself or, as Jon Stewart said recently, “Words have no meaning anymore.” In the quoted excerpt Huckabee read, Dr. King explicitly referred to the decision of the court to strike down educational segregation. Huckabee’s chosen example actually championed the “judicial supremacy” he said was so dangerous.
A state can’t pass an amendment to their constitution to limit free expression – even if it passed with 100% of the vote – because it would violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thus it is because of the protections granted to Americans by the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment that these marriage bans keep being struck down.
Image via screengrab