Huckabee Again Compares Gay Marriage to Dred Scott Ruling

It’s really one of the more bizarre analogies used by the Christian, this comparison they continually make between a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and the Dred Scott ruling, perhaps the most infamous in American history. Huckabee offers it yet again:

Huckabee, who recently issued a letter pledging to fight gay marriage, told Starnes that conservatives should wage “civil disobedience” against a government that “acted outside of nature and nature’s God, outside of the bounds of the law, outside of the bounds of the Constitution,” warning that otherwise they will be forced to commit “biblical disobedience.”

“What if no one had acted in disobedience to the Dred Scott decision of 1857?” Huckabee continued. “What if the entire country had capitulated to judicial tyranny and we just said that because the Supreme Court said in 1857 said that a black person wasn’t fully human? Suppose we had accepted that, suppose Abraham Lincoln, our president, had accepted that, would that have been the right course of action?”

Huckabee, for whom the term ignoramus might well have been invented, continues to think that Lincoln was president at the time of the Dred Scott ruling, which is false. That ruling came down in March, 1857, a full four years before Lincoln took office (elected in 1860, not inaugurated until March, 1861). And the case was not about whether slavery was legal or not, it clearly was.

More importantly, Huckabee has his comparison exactly wrong. Chief Justice Taney’s decision concluded that black people were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” That’s pretty much exactly what Huckabee thinks about gay people — so morally inferior to straight people (because God said so, dontchaknow) that they have no rights that straight people are bound to respect. This is a man who railed against a Supreme Court ruling that merely said you can’t throw gay people in prison, for crying out loud. He said that was “judicial tyranny” too (it’s always judicial tyranny when the courts rule against their wishes; what a coincidence, that). It is Huckabee and his fellow bigots who are on the side of the court’s majority in Dred Scott.

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  • sheikh mahandi

    I think you have skipped a century somewhere Ed, you have the ruling as 1957, Lincoln’s election as 1960, and inauguration as 1961.

  • theschwa

    “…suppose Abraham Lincoln…”


    “…our president…”

    Oh. THAT Abraham Lincoln! I thought he meant the one who works at the dry cleaner in Toledo, Ohio.

  • theschwa

    @1: uh-oh. Did I enter a parallel universe again? This is odd. In MY timeline, Lincoln was president in 1861! How do I get back home?

  • Mr Ed

    Huckabee is a misaligned weather vane. A minor christian reality star has a pedophile past, Huckabee supports him. A white supremacist kills nine in church Hackabee took money and spoke to groups that influenced him. If you want to know which way to go just look where Huckabee is pointed and head the other way

  • eric


    Huckabee is a misaligned weather vane

    Maybe not. With a functioning weather vane, the tail-end points backwards.

  • Larry

    How do I get back home?

    Use Obama’s time machine. I think its pretty much available these days.

  • Big Boppa

    This campaign button from the last time Huckabee ran for office says everything one needs to know.

    I would sooner vote for a clown like TRump than this Dominionist, Racist Pig’s dropping.

  • cptdoom

    Huckabee also keeps insisting that Dred Scott was an “unconstitutional” ruling, showing he really doesn’t understand the evolution of the Constitution itself. Of course it is clear that the decision was immoral and against the concept of “all men are created equal,” but so was the institution of slavery, which was clearly protected in the Constitution. So ruling that the legal status of slave continues even in a free state, and accepting the Constitutionality of laws throughout the country that limited the rights of free people of color, seems a completely defensible ruling based on the Constitution of 1857. What Huckabee really should be referencing is Plessy v. Ferguson, but that would undermine his contention that LGBT people should face discrimination.

    Huckabee’s also wrong in saying that people fought against slavery because of the Dred Scott decision. As I understand the history, it was the Fugitive Slave Law, which required even abolitionists to participate in hunts for runaway slaves, thereby limiting the rights of white men, that really moved the population in opposition to that “peculiar institution.”

  • Modusoperandi

    Huckabee’s right. Dred Scott told black people that they weren’t as good as white people. Gay marriage tells Moral Americans in Traditional Marriages that they aren’t as good as The Gays.

  • John Pieret

    Conservative “logic”:

    Dred Scott = BAD;

    Marriage Equality = BAD;

    Ergo Dred Scott = Marriage Equality.



    * In this case quod erratum demonstrandum.

  • Hoosier X

    If Huckabee had been around in 1857, he would have supported the Dred Scott decision with gusto.

    I’m sure he would have been one of the many Southern “state’s rights” advocates who didn’t believe in the free states’ rights to not have slavery.

  • roggg

    If you cant understand how a decision saying that people are free to do as they please is exactly the same as a decision saying that some people cant ever be free to do anything they please, then I just cant help you. It’s just common sense people!

  • gshelley

    I am curious as to whether Huckabee could explain why Dredd Scott was wrong other than “Slavery is wrong”

  • Donnie

    As an aside:

    Huckabee, for whom the term ignoramus might well have been invented, continues to think that Lincoln was president at the time of the Dred Scott ruling, which is false. That ruling came down in March, 1857, a full four years before Lincoln took office (elected in 1860, not inaugurated until March, 1861)

    My history professor made a big point on this that there is a time lapse between elected and inaugurated. In class, he would use the elected date for nomenclature purposes, but that the President did not officially take office until inaugurated.

  • Scientismist

    Huckabee supports Biblical morality. That works a lot like a magic 8-ball, in that it can give you whatever answer you want as long as you are willing to keep shaking it until you get a message you like (see Jesus and Mo for June 3, 2015).

    Yes, had he been there in 1857, he would have liked the Dredd Scott decision, because it reflected God’s will that, while all men (human beings) might be created equal, black people didn’t count as human. Now, 158 years later, he has been given the revelation that God wants black people to be treated a bit better; but gay people, according to his magic 8-book, are still less than human.

    How dare the Supreme Court force him into Biblical disobedience? Better to be civilly disobedient. He’ll let you know soon exactly what that entails, if he doesn’t shake his Bible to pieces first.

  • colnago80

    Based on the state of the law at the time, the Dred Scott decision was decided correctly as slavery was perfectly legal under federal law. It only became invalid after passage of the 14th Amendment after the Civil War which automatically overturned it.

  • abb3w

    There’s also the distinction between decisions of the legal arena and decisions of the political arena. “Final” decisions in the former may continue to be disputed in the latter — or even continue on to dispute by other means.

  • gshelley

    It seems debatable whether it was decided correctly. I became curious and tried to look it up and could only find a couple of examples, but they make decent cases that Taney was being highly selective and overreaching in order to get the decision he wanted.

    but it wasn’t about slavery, which most of the people who call it seem to think

    And others suggest that it was probably wrong on the citizenship aspect, but this is difficult, and was definately wrong on whether Congress could set up new states as slave free

  • d.c.wilson

    I’m still trying to figure out what kind of “civil disobedience” Huckleberry plans on committing. Is he going to emulate George Wallace and stand in front of the courthouse doors to prevent the gays from getting marriage licences?

  • whheydt

    Re: d.c.wilson @ #19…

    I really, really hope that, if one of these clowns (I’d tend to bet on–or at least hope for–Roy Moore), that Obama recalls what Eisenhower did when that sort of situation occurred while he was in office. I’m sure the 101st Airborne is still available.