In his continuing bid to demonstrate his weak grasp on the American branches of government and generally how we do things around here, Mike Huckabee is defending anti-gay, marriage license-denying county clerk Kim Davis, saying she only needs to uphold the law “if it’s right” and saying she’s “fighting judicial tyranny” by ignoring the Supreme Court.

Davis, the Rowan County clerk who maintains that she has a direct hotline to God and thus doesn’t have to listen to SCOTUS when it says same-sex marriage is legal, remains jailed for contempt of court in Grayson, Kentucky. While her lawyer goes around comparing her to a Jew living in Nazi Germany, Huckabee has, not surprisingly, jumped with both feet on her bandwagon. He’s circulating a petition calling for her release and planning a rally for tomorrow, September 8, outside the detention center where she’s being held.

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In the meantime, he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week that Davis is basically just like an anti-slavery abolitionist and besides, gay marriage is still illegal in Kentucky. (It’s not. It’s really, really not. The fuckin’ Supremacy Clause, how does it work?) From their brain-twisting conversation:

HUCKABEE: George, can you cite for me what statute Kim Davis would be required follow in order to issue a same-sex marriage license in Kentucky when her state specifically says, by 75 percent of the voters, that marriage means one man, one woman? Can you cite the statute at the federal or state level that she’s supposed to follow? Even the very form that she fills out specifically lists a male and a female. Does she have the authority just to scratch that out and create her own?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Doesn’t she have to the duty to obey a legal order from the court?

HUCKABEE: Well, you obey it if it’s right. So I go back to my question. Is slavery the law of the land? Should it have been the law of the land because Dred Scott said so? Was that a correct decision? Should the courts have been irrevocably followed on that? Should Lincoln have been put in jail? Because he ignored it.

As Stephanopoulos gazed on in bafflement, Huckabee added, with a straight face, “ We either are a people of government, a people of law, and we are a nation of the people, or we are a nation under the power of the Supreme Court.”

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But Huckabee is also steamed that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wasn’t jailed when he performed same-sex marriages in 2004, in violation of what was then state and federal law, or when he declared San Francisco a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. Newsom pointed out that once a court ordered him to stop, he did, calling Huckabee’s memory of the San Francisco weddings “dead wrong.”

The two were busily sniping at each other on Twitter for most of yesterday:

In Huckabee’s reading, then, it’s fine to violate the law when it affronts your conscience, but only if your conscience is the kind that thinks gay marriage is wrong. Got it.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.

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Huckabee on August 19, 2015. Photo via AP Images