The legal case for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples is pretty thin—as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern put it, “she claims she’s acting ‘under God’s authority,’ while her extremist attorneys have filed rambling, impudent briefs that attack the Supreme Court’s decision [in Obergefell v. Hodges] instead of working around it.”
Presidential candidate and leading Davis cheerleader Mike Huckabee did not help that case on Thursday, arguing in a radio interview that Davis is justified in defying what she sees as an unjust SCOTUS decision just like other Americans are justified in defying the Dred Scott ruling, which he described as a prevailing “law of the land” that holds that “black people aren’t fully human.” The problem with Huckabee’s analogy (one of the problems with Huckabee’s analogy) is that the Dred Scott decision—which held that blacks are not eligible for U.S. citizenship and that the federal government couldn’t prohibit slavery—was superseded 150 years ago by the 13th and 14th Amendments, which banned slavery and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”
From The Hill:
“Michael, 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,” Huckabee told radio show host Michael Medved. “Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”
Dred Scott was overturned by the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.
In other words, a major-party presidential candidate is under the belief that black people are not technically eligible for U.S. citizenship and that slavery is, formally speaking, still legal.