Mike Huckabee: States Can Ignore Supreme Court On Gay Marriage

01/21/2015 07:35 am ET | Updated Jan 21, 2015
  • Igor Bobic Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee disputed what he called the "notion of judicial supremacy" on Tuesday, arguing states would have the final say on gay marriage regardless of whether the Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Huckabee, a conservative evangelical and potential 2016 presidential candidate, said a Supreme Court ruling, expected this year, would ultimately be moot because "one branch of government does not overrule the other two."

"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," Huckabee said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

"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.

A ruling from the high court, however, would not "make law," but rather would invalidate existing bans on gay marriage as unconstitutional. State legislatures would need no additional law to recognize same-sex marriages. Similar appellate court decisions have already done so in 36 states and the District of Columbia -- all of which now recognize same-sex marriages.

This isn't the first time Huckabee has flirted with the theory of nullification. The comments place him on the far right of his party -- even more so than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a potential rival in the race for the White House.

If Huckabee felt dismayed by some in his party who have softened their rhetoric on the matter, he didn't show it on Tuesday.

"I may be lonely, I may be the only one, but I'm going to stand absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage not because it's a politically expedient thing to do because it isn't," he said. "I'm going to do it because I believe it's the right position, it's the biblical position, it's the historical position."

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