In Challenging the Supreme Court, Republicans Challenge the Constitution

Time and again we have seen Republican presidential hopefuls display their ignorance of the United States Constitution – or of even how our system of government works. Heck, some of them, like Ted Cruz, can’t even figure out how the Senate works.

Or take Ben Carson the other day:

First of all, we have to understand how the Constitution works, the president is required to carry out the laws of the land, the laws of the land come from the legislative branch. So if the legislative branch creates a law or changes a law, the executive branch has a responsibly to carry it out. It does not say they have the responsibility to carry out a judicial law.

And who does he think determines the constitutionality of those laws? That’s right: the Supreme Court.

So he’s right about one thing: We do have to understand how the Constitution works.

Carson, lamentably, does not. But then, of course, neither does any Republican in Congress, seemingly.

I’ve been thinking about what Mike Huckabee said to a group of Evangelicals at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference on April 30. Everyone made a big deal about how he says he “speaks Jesus” but that was not the important bit.

The mainstream media probably did not want you to notice it, but this was the part that mattered:

I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that — the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God. When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created.

Obviously, the Supreme Court can overrule God. As should be obvious to Huckabee, the United States Constitution, and not the Bible, is the law of the land.

Just as obviously, Huckabee does not respect the courts. Or he would not have said such a thing to begin with. It’s like when people say, “With all due respect…” No, no respect is intended. You think the other person is an idiot.

Mike Huckabee thinks the courts are meaningless if they don’t rule the way he wants them to rule. That they have somehow de-legitimized themselves as though modern conservative ideology is the litmus test for every law passed since March 4, 1789, when the 1st United States Congress convened.

If that were not absurdity enough, he issued a direct challenge to the Supreme Court:

“Somebody’s got to be willing to take on the institutions that challenge and threaten our ability to believe as we believe, because when religious liberty is lost, all liberty is lost.”

Here, he is echoing Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who said in 2013, “The church and people of faith and values need to rise up” if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality. “We just simply cannot allow this to become the law of the land.”

Can’t allow?

In fact, it is Staver who, earlier this spring co-authored a pledge not to obey any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, and he told a gathering that he expected every GOP candidate for president to sign it.

Mike Huckabee has already done so. So has Rick Santorum, another perennial White House hopeful. The list of key signers is a literal hate group who’s who.

According to Staver, “We’re going to ask every presidential candidate — Republican and Democrat — to sign on to this pledge and it’s going to be very telling if they don’t.”

It will certainly be very telling. It will tell us who respects the United States Constitution and intends to obey the laws of the land – until now allegedly a pre-requisite for every Republican (or so they have told us) – and who does not.

And consequently, who is ineligible to be President of the United States. After all, that is part of the presidential oath of office, to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And according to Article 3, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court’s “judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States.”

All these men are members of the political party that has been calling President Obama “lawless.” These same figures who are now lining up to proclaim they will refuse to obey a pro-marriage equality ruling from the Supreme Court.

Obama has to obey the laws of the land, but they do not?

Apparently not. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, said recently, “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.”

Well hey, they didn’t want to give up their slaves either, and we fought a war over that one as well. Guess what? They gave up their slaves, even though God told them they could have them.

The Supreme Court overruled God then, too.

Because talk is cheap, and because there is absolutely no risk at all to their well-being, these people who don’t understand how the Constitution works are talking martyrdom, like the Martin Bormann-like David Lane, and Sandy Rios of the American Family Association.

This sort of talk is like a porn addiction to them. It no doubt makes pissant little bigots feel important as well.

Yet even Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee have joined the martyr chorus. Rand Paul, as is well known by now, has neo-Confederate associations, so you can hardly expect him to pay much respect to the Constitution (unless it’s the Confederate Constitution).

Right Wing Watch has observed that “Some activists are calling for an anti-gay version of Rosa Parks.” A fascist Rosa Parks is as much a logical impossibility as a conservative revolution or a constitutional conservative. Rosa Parks fought for freedom from bigotry, after all, not freedom for bigotry.

Conservatives have never been comfortable with the Constitution. It is, after all, a liberal document. It doesn’t preserve the status quo. Rather, in proclaiming that political power derives from the will of the people, it shatters it.

So none of these excuses to attack the Constitution are all that surprising. They’re not the first and they won’t be the last. But you would think all these attacks would draw some attention at least from the mainstream media.

Even so, there might be some awkward moments when the eventual Democrat and Republican candidates debate, and the question comes up: Which of you has vowed to violate the rulings of the Supreme Court, and therefore, the United States Constitution?

13 Replies to “In Challenging the Supreme Court, Republicans Challenge the Constitution”

  1. Many years ago I studied the bible and took courses. Huckabee is wrong about the bible as well as being wrong about politics, no surprise.

    Jesus said, in the bible in Matthew 22: “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

    What that means is give taxes to the gov’t and follow the laws of your gov’t. Also follow the laws of God. The separation of church and state wasn’t something our founding fathers thought up, they learned it from the bible.

    Shame on Huckabee, that scoundrel for not obeying the laws of the land as Jesus told him to.

  2. Apparently- the Laws of the United States of America only apply to non-Republicans…?
    What else is new.

  3. I alluded to this lack of knowledge of our Constitution in another post here. The only part of The United States Constitution Republicans want to talk about is The Second Amendment and they can’t even get that one right. These right wing nut jobs are destroying this country from within. Republicans thought if they catered to the religious extremists and the Tea Party nut cases that they could control them and retain power. They now control the Republican Party.

  4. An interesting take on Jesus’ instructions to his followers about giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things of God the things that are God’s. I say it is interesting because I don’t believe I have ever encountered anyone who used that passage to justifying disobeying God.

    There is an other story where Peter and other apostles had been arrested for teaching in the name of Jesus, the rulers had told them not to, but they did it anyway. Peter say, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) I believe that is what Huckabee and Rand Paul are encouraging other Christians to do, when what the government tells us to do conflicts with what God, in His word, tells us is right and wrong, then to follow God.

    The highest authority is God, even for elected officials, and they are right we may have to make that choice, and I pray that we choose to follow God, even if that means being in opposition to what the Supreme Court may decide.

  5. Agree with everything you say except:

    “Well hey, they didn’t want to give up their slaves either, and we fought a war over that one as well. Guess what? They gave up their slaves, even though God told them they could have them.

    The Supreme Court overruled God then, too.”

    In Dred Scott v Sandford (1857) the SCOTUS actually ruled that the federal congress is prohibited under the 5th amendment to outlaw slavery and free slaves.

    That is precisely why the 13th amendment needed to be passed. An amendment to the Constitution was required to outlaw slavery as shocking as that may sound.

    Yes Abraham Lincoln did free slaves prior to the 13th amendment under his article II powers as Commander in Chief. During war time the President has the Constitutional authority to seize “contraband” during war time. He ironically used the SCOTUS ruling that slaves were legally defined property to classify them as “contraband” subject to military confiscation.

  6. Too bad, Mike Huckabee — Americans would rather have a gay president than a Christian evangelical

    A new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News has found that more Americans would be comfortable with a gay or lesbian president (about 61 percent of respondents) than they would with an evangelical Christian president (only 52 percent).

    Furthermore, only 37 percent said they would be uncomfortable with a gay or lesbian person in the highest office in the country, while 44 percent said they would be hesitant about an evangelical Christian running for president.

  7. If you don’t like America, don’t let the door hit ya where your ‘good lord’ split ya, on your way out.

  8. You do not understand. Obey the laws of the land personally. Obey the laws of God personally.

    I can obey my national laws and God’s laws. The right is trying to tell others what they think other people should do and they have decided what God would want others to.

    Did God say any of those things in the bible? No the right makes its own crazy ideas up.

    Abortion is not illegal. The breath of life is not in the fetus.

  9. If I was not Christian and I lived in the US under the laws Huckabee and Carson would ignore and under a draconian twisted moral code the lunatic right would impose, I could only find freedom by leaving the US, you know, to seek religious freedom, or freedom from their sick imposed fake religion.

    The roots of the nation are being ripped out by the right, Bil.

    Also, the old testament is for learning, history. Jesus teaches the New testament is for instruction. There was a whole bunch of love and understanding and compassion in there that the Pope sees but the right is hateful about. The religious right are ugly with their God hates ____ signs and hate.

  10. Not my god. The right to swing your religious arm ends where my secular nose begins.

    Don’t like it? Move to Saudi Arabia.

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