Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and a current presidential candidate. He is also a smart person, lecturing a radio host about how the law still bars African Americans from becoming United States citizens, Buzzfeed reports.
Except that what Huckabee says isn’t true. The Dred Scott v. Sandford decision of 1857, where the Supreme Court ruled that black people, whether enslaved or free, could not become American citizens, was superseded by the 14th Amendment in 1868, which granted citizenship to all who were born or naturalized in the United States, including black people.
“I’ve been just drilled by TV hosts over the past week, ‘How dare you say that, uh, it’s not the law of the land?’” Huckabee said. “Because that’s their phrase, ‘it’s the law of the land.’ 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. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”
Radio host Michael Medved also got it wrong when pointing out Huckabee’s mistake, saying that the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, had overruled Dred Scott.
The point Huckabee was trying to make is that even though Dred Scott is still in effect (it’s not), nobody follows it. This apparently means that people like Kim Davis shouldn’t have to adhere to another Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. Medved asked Huckabee if he would try to overturn this decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. “If you just say it’s the law of the land because the Court decided, then Jefferson said, ‘You now have surrendered to judicial tyranny,’ ” Huckabee replied, saying that Obergefell v. Hodges isn’t an “operative law” until Congress passes it as a statute.
Here are some baffled reactions to the Dred Scott remarks on Twitter:
You can listen to the clip in question below: