Friday, January 23, 2015

Huckabee the faithless

No, former Arkansas governor and perennial Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee isn't faithless in the sense of not being religious: quite the contrary, in fact, as he never tires of telling us. Rather, he's faithless inasmuch as he cannot be trusted to follow the law if it doesn't accord with his strict evangelical Christianity.

He said as much — again — on a talk radio show recently.

"One thing I am angry about though ... is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the court makes a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say, 'Well that's settled, it's the law of the land.' No, it's not the law of the land."

"Constitutionally, the courts cannot make a law, they can interpret one and then the legislature has to create enabling legislation and the executive has to sign it and has to enforce it," Huckabee added.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Epically wrong. Wrong on so many levels, it's kind of breathtaking.

When the Supreme Court issues a decision, that decision is the law of the land. Get hauled before any lower court in the country for defying the Court's decision, and see how that lower court rules. Congress and the White House can overrule the decision via new legislation, but until they do, the Court's opinion is the final word.

The courts don't need to "make law" to decide what the law is. Resolving an ambiguity in a law establishes "the law of the land". So does declaring a law unconstitutional. Ditto resolving contradictory holdings among federal appeals courts.

Huckabee's fat-headed blithering about "making law" doesn't even rise to the level of sophistry: it's childish literal-mindedness. We wouldn't accept such "reasoning" from an artificial intelligence. We certainly shouldn't accept it from a supposedly adult human.

But we can assume he knows how laws get made. His superficially confused remarks are really dog whistles to his supporters meant to show that he'll go to any length to act in accordance with his faith, even if it means defying the law of the land. He would not, in other words, faithfully uphold the Constitution if he became President.

A lot of highly devout people wring their hands over atheism and secularism, decrying the country's loss of faith. Give me a break. It's faithlessness to the rule of law, like Huckabee's, that is the real threat to this country's future.

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