DeLay Joins the Nullification Chorus

Add former House Speaker Tom DeLay to the chorus of right-wing voices declaring that the executive and legislative branches of government, along with the states, can just ignore the Supreme Court if it makes a ruling they disagree with.

DeLay said that anyone who “understands the Constitution” knows that the legislative and executive branches do not need to enforce a Supreme Court ruling, “and not only that, if the states would just invoke the 10th Amendment and assert their sovereignty, they could defy a ruling by the Supreme Court.”

“If this Supreme Court rules against marriage, all hell is going to break loose,” DeLay said, citing a pledge signed by politicians and activists, including Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, who have vow to defy such a ruling by the court. “We’re going to stand for marriage even if it takes civil disobedience.”

Yeah, so let some politician say that when the Supreme Court hands down a ruling that DeLay agrees with and see how quickly that “anyone who understands the constitution” knows they can defy the ruling turns into cries of tyranny and oppression. Virtually every commonly heard argument from the right when it comes to the Supreme Court is pure hypocrisy. It’s “judicial tyranny” and “judicial activism” when the court overturns a law they agree with, but not if they overturn a law they disagree with. Everyone is free to defy a ruling they don’t like, but not a ruling they like. It’s all just special pleading. And they never seem to tire of striking a pose in the schoolhouse door defying a court ruling in favor of equality.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    so let some politician say that when the Supreme Court hands down a ruling that DeLay agrees with and see how quickly that “anyone who understands the constitution” knows they can defy the ruling turns into cries of tyranny and oppression

    Like would happened if Obama said he didn’t agree with the Hobby Lobby decision and he was going to force every closely held corporation to provide contraception coverage. The explosion of wingnut heads would be in the megatons.

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

    DeLay said that anyone who “understands the Constitution” knows that the legislative and executive branches do not need to enforce a Supreme Court ruling…

    He’s right. It there in The Constitution, under the Constitutional Crisis Clause.

  • abb3w

    Well, he might be technically correct — since it’s politically possible that the states indeed could defy a ruling by the Supreme Court.

    Contrariwise, the President then could lawfully invoke the Insurrection Act over such defiance, as Eisenhower did during the 1950s — because while politically possible, it would be unlawful for the states to defy a ruling by the Supreme Court.

    United States Code, Title 10, Section 332:

    Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.

    Nohow, at least Delay does not yet seem to be advocating continuation from politics to other means.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    Is it wrong that I’m hoping to see Alabama judges facing down Federal troops in full combat gear, ‘making a stand for Freedumb’, over Same-Sex wedding licenses?

  • Trebuchet

    Nitpick: DeLay was never speaker. He was majority leader when Dennis Hastert was speaker.

  • alanb

    Contrariwise, the President then could lawfully invoke the Insurrection Act over such defiance, as Eisenhower did during the 1950s

    And then Obama becomes dictator for life. The end.

  • busterggi

    What I just said in the Scott Walker thread.

  • Jared James

    All hell is going to break loose in the same sense that tens of thousands of pastors are prepared to die for their beliefs.

    Which is to say, there will be some quiet grumbling and some AIDS jokes and then they will find the Next Undesirable Minority to whip up bigotry and fear for fundraising purposes.

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

    busterggi “What I just said in the Scott Walker thread.”

    But did you rhyme last time?

  • Nick Gotts

    And then Obama becomes dictator for life.

    Still a modest ambition compared to Kim Il-sung!

  • Nemo

    Nitpick: DeLay was never speaker. He was majority leader when Dennis Hastert was speaker.

    I’ve told him twice before. Sadly Ed doesn’t read the comments anymore.

  • robertfoster

    Shades of Andrew Jackson. “John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

  • http://www.twitter.com/jablair51 Ouabache

    citing a pledge signed by politicians and activists, including Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum…

    Both of those guys have been out of power for 8 years so what the fuck do they plan on doing about it? I mean, beside whine and cry about it and ask people for money for their impossible presidential campaigns?

  • lorn

    Tom Delay is, as is to be expected of his ilk, a jingoist. He talks a strong game of aggressive opposition and defiance but he will never, ever, risking anything.

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

    Nemo “Sadly Ed doesn’t read the comments anymore.”

    Would you? I only read through them to see what I wrote.

  • azpaul3

    Obama will still be president when SCOTUS issues its marriage ruling. He will enforce the order of the court by allowing the Federal Marshals to fan over Alabama to serve contempt citations issued by the Federal District Court if necessary.

    But, Obama will not be president come January 2017. Assume one of the Republican yahoos is elected, god forbid. Now Alabama decides to enact laws nullifying gay marriages in the state and refusing to allow new gay marriages. The case goes to the Federal District which rules the state laws unconstitutional. The state refuses to acknowledge the ruling and continues with its ban on gay marriage. The District Court rules the state must comply but is ignored. The court issues contempt citations and orders the Federal Marshals to go git the pigs and haul their asses into court. The president calls down to the local Marshal’s office and says, “No. Do not serve the citations.”

    The Federal District Court, the appellate courts, the Supreme Court could issue contempt citations all day long, even against POTUS and get nothing. I don’t know if, in such a case, there would be enough balls in the congress to begin impeachment.

    Executive refusal to enforce has been done before but not in such a high-profile case denying the basic rights of millions of citizens. The rule of law could suffer great harm should this precedent set. Another good reason to keep the Republicans out of the Oval Office.

  • brucegee1962

    Thanks for the summary, azpaul3 — I was thinking of asking how a possible scenario like that might end up.

    The bright side to this, though, is that a lot of people were thinking that, if the SC ruled in favor of gay marriage, it would take the issue off the table for the election. The GOP nominees would be able to say, “Hey, I’m against gay marriage as much as anybody, but the Supremes have spoken, so my hands are tied.” Or else they could be like Walker, and puff and blow about a Constitutional Amendment that won’t happen.

    But if the hard right starts insisting that whatever candidate gets the nomination must advocate nullification, that could cause all sorts of interesting squirming and pyrotechnics. These people honestly seem to believe they’re in the majority in the country, and they feel so strongly about this issue that they’re willing to toss away any chance of occupying the Oval Office again. Good for them!

  • brucegee1962

    I only read the comments to see what Modus writes too.