Mike Huckabee Shows off Constitutional Ignorance: Dred Scott ‘Still the Law of the Land’

huckabee-fire-heavenI joked with a buddy of mine the other day that GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee must be trolling us. There’s just no way he could be this stupid, right? After all, this is someone who was once governor of Arkansas and has been treated as a legitimate political analyst by pretty much everyone in the media. Hell, even Jon Stewart had him on as a guest while he was host of The Daily Show.

Yet, to listen to Huckabee speak, he doesn’t even seem to understand high school-level social studies. Since the Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage, Huckabee has been one of the most vocal critics of the ruling, often referring to it as “judicial tyranny.”

Well, once again he showed off his ignorance about our Constitution when he recently said that the 1857 Dred Scott ruling that stated blacks weren’t allowed to be American citizens was still “the law of the land,” but that lawmakers just refuse to adhere to that ruling.

“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. “Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”

His stupidity is palpable.

First, at the time when the Supreme Court made this ruling it was the law of the land. And it remained the law of the land – until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868.

See, that’s how you legally override a Supreme Court ruling – a Constitutional Amendment. Like I said, this is high school-level (maybe even junior high) social studies.

So, no, the Dred Scott Supreme Court case is not still the “law of the land.” Not only that, but it’s just pure idiocy to try to cite a case that centered around individuals trying to deny black people their Constitutional rights… to defend a woman who’s trying to deny gay people their Constitutional rights. Then again, these are some of the same people who’ve absurdly compared Davis to Martin Luther King, Jr.

The biggest problem with Huckabee is that his arguments are simply ridiculous. He’s literally trying to argue that the power our Founding Fathers gave to our Supreme Court via our Constitution isn’t legal or Constitutional. If that sounds confusing, it should – because it doesn’t make any sense.

The main purpose of our Supreme Court is to determine the constitutionality of our laws. That’s exactly what it did in June when it deemed any laws restricting the rights for gay couples to get married violated the Fourteenth Amendment rights of those individuals. Not only that, but it’s exactly what the Court did in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia when it ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Yes, June’s ruling wasn’t even unprecedented.

Oh, and I would like to point out that our current Supreme Court has a conservative majority – yet same-sex marriage bans were still overturned.

So, either Huckabee somehow managed to ascend to the heights he has politically without understanding even the most basic functions of our government and Constitution – or he’s a con man playing to the ignorance of the crowd for fame and fortune.

If you ask me, I’m going with the latter.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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