Mike Huckabee Needs a Civics Lesson

Mike Huckabee is demanding that the governor of Arkansas call a special session of the state legislature for the sole purpose of impeaching a judge who overturned that state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Along the way, he shows why he needs a lesson in civics.

Judge Chris Piazza, a circuit court judge in my home state of Arkansas, decided that he is singularly more powerful than the 135 elected legislators of the state, the elected Governor, and 75% of the voters of the state. Apparently he mistook his black robe for a cape and declared himself to be “SUPER LAWMAKER!”

Hey Mike, you know what this reminds me of? It reminds of when the Supreme Court didn’t overturn Obamacare and you were furious that those justices didn’t mistake their black robes for capes and overturn the actions of the 535 elected legislators and the elected president. Funny how your argument changes depending on whether you support the outcome. You’re all for judges overturning the actions of elected officials when you disagree with what they did. When you agree with what they did, it’s OMG TYRANNY!

I supported the 2004 Constitutional Amendment, Amendment 83. Once it passed, I took an oath to uphold it. So did Judge Piazza. He took the same oath. But he must have come to believe that his oath didn’t really mean anything. He must have come to believe the popularly held, but completely false notion that a judge can go beyond deciding something is unconstitutional, he can prescribe the remedy and even implement it. Sorry, judge, but I learned in 9th grade civics and from a reading of the US and Arkansas state constitution that we have 3 branches of government. And that the 3 of them are equal. The judicial branch is not the superior branch and cannot erase the will of the other 2.

I think you need to retake that 9th grade civics class. You could start by reading the Federalist Papers, particularly Federalist 78, in which Alexander Hamilton explains that the courts must be empowered to strike down legislative acts that are contrary to the Constitution:

The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.

The comments on the article are exactly what you would expect:

He should definately (sic) be impeached. If he feels that way he needs to move to New York or California. Not here where MOST people srill (sic) love God and want to follow what He tells us in the Bible. Homosexuality is an abomination.

You want to follow what God tells you in the Bible? Go ahead. Don’t be gay.

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  • Synfandel

    Mr. Huckabee always reminds me of this bit from the Canadian TV show “The Mercer Report” back when Huckabee was the governor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHw0FqD3RFw

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Ninth grade civic? Crimeny, I learned about checks and balances in fifth grade. He need elementary school remedial classes, not high school.

  • dugglebogey

    Aren’t homosexuals just obeying Jesus when he told the Pharisees that the most important rule other than to love god is to “Love they neighbor?”

    Seems like homosexuals are just interpreting their bible literally.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Alexander Hamilton explains that the courts must be empowered to strike down legislative acts that are contrary to the Constitution

    To be fair, Hamilton’s concern was to limit the power of the people, so while his agenda aligns with yours now that’s just an accident of history. He wanted to prevent congress or an executive getting all populist, specifically to head off the kind of situation that occurred in Rome with the Gracchi and Gaius Marius.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    …particularly Federalist 78…

    I used to own a ’78 Federalist. You know, you wouldn’t figure a Hindustan Motors copy of a Morris Oxford III from the ’50s would be a good car, and it wasn’t.

  • gshelley

    There seem to be a lot of people who don’t like the decision, but I haven’t seen anyone (though no doubt they exist, the state is going to appeal after all), who has argued the judge got it wrong, just that he shouldn’t have ruled the way they don’t like

    I would suppose they have to think either

    1) The state doesn’t require any reason at all to discriminate and can just set marriage as an option for whatever group they want

    2) The state has a legitimate and rational interest in only allowing certain groups to marry

    I suspect that for most of them, they don’t like gay marriage because the oppose homosexuality for religious reasons and that was always enough, so once the Supreme Court said that an actual reason was needed, they were scrambling around desperately trying to find one and haven’t yet adjusted to this new fact.

  • iangould

    ” Homosexuality is an abomination.”

    Like divorce or charging interest.

  • John Pieret

    The good news:

    Speaker of the House Davy Carter, R-Cabot, and Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, reacted harshly to the calls for impeachment.

    “Notwithstanding the controversial subject matter of the decision, we are not going to impeach the circuit judge because members of the House don’t like the decision,” said Speaker Carter. “That’s just not going to happen. That’s a slippery slope. That’s why we have separation of powers. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.”

    Carter continued, again stating, “I’m telling you that it’s not going to happen.”

    http://talkbusiness.net/2014/05/calls-judge-piazza-impeachment-follow-gay-marriage-ruling/#sthash.7bsRdtAS.dpuf

  • caseloweraz

    Speaker of the House Davy Carter, R-Cabot, and Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, reacted harshly to the calls for impeachment.

    “Davy, Davy Carter — one sane Republican!”

    I very much doubt that he was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, however.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    dugglebogey @ # 3: Aren’t homosexuals just obeying Jesus when he told the Pharisees that the most important rule other than to love god is to “Love [thy] neighbor?”

    Considering that just about everything in the Babble is addressed primarily to males, and there’s also a Major Rule about leaving thy neighbor’s wife alone (and another one saying you have to purchase his daughter(s)), it’s either that or staying home and taking unfair advantage of yourself.

  • Ichthyic

    Ninth grade civic? Crimeny, I learned about checks and balances in fifth grade. He need elementary school remedial classes, not high school.

    I actually think I learned about it from “Schoolhouse Rock” when I was about 7.