Favorite

Huckabee's Hail Mary 

Mike Huckabee, who made a credible run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, hasn't done as well in 2016, despite — or maybe because of — his financially rewarding turn as a hyperbolic media entertainer.

A conservative Republican judge in Kentucky gave Huckabee what he perceived as a needed opening last week. Coincidental to news that Huckabee was running 10th in national polling in Iowa — the critical first state in the nominating process and a state whose conservative religious bloc backed Huckabee in 2008 — Federal Judge Jim Bunning sent County Clerk Kim Davis to jail for refusing to obey an order upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis said it would violate her religion to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She also wouldn't permit her deputies — who were willing to issue the licenses — to do so.

To any legitimate legal commentator, Davis' position was futile. For better than two centuries, U.S. law has recognized the U.S. Supreme Court as the final arbiter on constitutional matters. The Supreme Court had held it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis took an oath of office to uphold the constitution. She would not do so. She even wanted to force her religion on unwilling others. She went to jail through Tuesday, when the judge was satisfied others were fulfilling their legal obligations in her office. The Supreme Court had also made clear that acceptance of public office comes with some limitations on personal preference if they trample on rights of others.

Enter Huckabee, with his novel view that a Supreme Court ruling is not final. Citizens must only obey rulings they deem "right." Which sounds a lot like anarchy. It wasn't a new theory for Huckabee. When governor, he denied Medicaid money for an abortion for a mentally disabled teenager raped by her stepfather. When he says today that no current state law requires Kim Davis to marry anyone — U.S. Constitution aside — remember the rape case. U.S. law then said explicitly that Medicaid could be used to pay for abortions in case of rape, incest and to save a mother's life. The Arkansas teen qualified on two grounds. Huckabee refused.

Huckabee is wrong about many other things. Then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom didn't go to jail when he allowed marriage licenses for same-sex couples absent an authorizing state law. As Newsom pointed out on Twitter to Huck — who went silent — Newsom believed the ban on marriages unconstitutional. The Supreme Court would eventually agree. But in the interim, a court ordered Newsom to stop the issuance of licenses. Unlike Davis, he obeyed the rule of law.

Then there are those "sanctuary cities" that refuse to participate in enforcement of federal immigration laws. Why is no one in jail? Simple. No law requires cities to participate in federal enforcement. No court has ordered a city to enforce immigration laws, a constitutional responsibility of the U.S. government.

Huckabee struggled Sunday with George Stephanopoulos to explain the difference between court rulings that ended bans on mixed-race marriages and same-sex marriages. The main difference is that Huckabee (now at least) doesn't oppose mixed-race marriages. The situations are precisely the same. Racial bans were built, too, on some people's view of religion. The same with school desegregation, the place where lawyer Huckabee really falls short in his analysis.

No law — state or federal — backed President Eisenhower's decision to send troops to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation under federal court decisions. As late as 1990, Arkansas still had on its books a constitutional prohibition against integration. By Mike Huckabee's legal theory, officials like Faubus had no obligation to obey the court until somebody passed a statute.

Arkansas also retains a criminal statute for homosexual acts. It has been overturned by courts, but ONLY by courts. In the Huckabee legal view, that ruling has no meaning without an enabling statute.

Huckabee is merely demagoguing to reach ultraconservative religious voters in hopes of jump-starting a moribund campaign in Iowa and South Carolina. His arguments are so dishonest, so legally lacking (even Fox News legal "experts" deride them) and so full of errors of omission and commission that they shouldn't bear mention.

Except. What if they work on the gullible?

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Mike Huckabee

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • French Hill gets a prominent mention in Russian intrigue

    The lede of a Politico article on Russian intrigue is perhaps not an ideal place for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock to find himself:
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Faulkner County investigating sexual harassment complaint

    At the urging of the Faulkner County Quorum Court, Prosecuting Attorney Cody HIland will undertake what he calls a civil investigation of complaints of sexual harassment against Shelia Bellott, who oversees four employees as director of the county's emergency management office.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Frank Broyles at home following stroke

    Former Razorback football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, 92, is reported recovering at his Fayetteville home following a stroke.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • As always, a lot of what happens in the name of Jesus has nothing to…

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • And I quote, "It makes complete sense that a God who favors a man who…

    • on July 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation