On Wednesday, Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor, recalled, on the nationally syndicated Michael Medved Show, that the 1857 Supreme Court decision Dred Scott vs. Sandford, which ruled that people “of the African Race” are not US citizens is still “the law of the land.”
Huckabee appeared on the show after holding a rally for Kim Davis, the Morehead, Kentucky County Clerk who was arrested and jailed after staunchly refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Recalling the recent Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that established nationwide legality of marriage between individuals of the same sex, Huckabee compared it to the Dred Scott decision, “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. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott decision?”
Medved corrected Huckabee immediately, informing him that the Dred Scott decision had long since been overturned, though wrongly referencing the 13th Amendment (it was actually the 14th Amendment that dealt with citizenship). While Huckabee expressed no interest in overturning the decision with a constitutional amendment of his own, he compared it to Dred Scott because of its lack of congressional mandate, “They made it up, and they made it up out of thin air,” Huckabee told Medved. “Therefore, until Congress decides to codify that and give it a statute, it’s really not an operative law.”
Huckabee went on to expound, “It goes back to what Jefferson said, which is that if a decision is rendered that is not borne out by the will of the people, either by the elected representatives and going through the process,” Huckabee explained. “If you just say it’s the law of the land because the court decided it, then Jefferson said, ‘you now have surrendered to judicial tyranny.’
Kim Davis, who has been released after spending six days in jail, returned to work on Monday, maintaining that her Apostolic Christian faith continues to prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her attorneys told reporters that Davis will not violate her conscience when she returns to her job.