Ben Carson hints: As president, I wouldn’t enforce a Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage

posted at 7:21 pm on May 6, 2015 by Allahpundit

Via TPM, I did not foresee “let’s revisit Marbury v. Madison” emerging as a minor theme of the primary. But between Carson and Huckabee it’s already a hot race to see who can pander the hardest to social cons over the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Huck ante’d up recently with this comment:

In Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. makes the case there comes a time when people of conscience have a moral obligation to practice civil disobedience against “unjust laws.” Do you agree with that? For example, is there anything a court could try and impose upon you as a president that you morally would refuse to comply with?

Dr. King’s letter quoted extensively St. Augustine, who developed the doctrine of just and unjust laws. And the necessity to not abide by unjust laws, which as Augustine and King both concurred, “Are not laws at all.” Court decisions that defy the Constitution, or the laws of nature or nature’s God, do not constitute a legal or moral obligation to comply. In addition, the Constitution doesn’t recognize a court—any court, including the Supreme Court—as having absolute power to make a law. In fact, the false doctrine of “judicial supremacy” is in itself unconstitutional, and defies the balance and separation of powers clearly outlined in our law. Unless the people’s representatives pass enabling legislation and a president signs and agrees to enforce it, there IS no law.

Not true, and it’s politically silly for him to take that tack knowing that he may eventually face a national electorate that now supports gay marriage on balance. Even worse, the prospect of another governor from Arkansas creating a constitutional crisis by refusing to enforce a constitutional ruling of the Supreme Court has earned him comparisons to Orval Faubus even among righties, including George Will just last night on Fox News. The Federal Marriage Amendment was never going to happen but at least it’s a procedurally orthodox response to SSM being legalized. Huckabee trying to reinvent the wheel about presidential duties following a Fourteenth Amendment ruling is … not orthodox.

But Carson’s competing for the same voters and can’t be outdone, so here you go.

“First of all, we have to understand how the Constitution works. The president is required to carry out the laws of the land, the laws of the land come from the legislative branch,” Carson said on Tuesday. “So if the legislative branch creates a law or changes a law, the executive branch has a responsibly to carry it out. It doesn’t say they have the responsibility to carry out a judicial law. And that’s something we need to talk about.

That’s why I said “hints” in the headline instead of “vows” — even an amateur pol like Carson won’t explicitly commit to refusing to enforce a Supreme Court decision, although that’s clearly what he’s implying. Makes me wonder how he and Huck would approach Supreme Court rulings on subjects more mundane than whether gay marriage should be legal coast to coast. If Court rulings are really just advisory opinions about how the president should behave, then we were all way, waaaaay too invested in that ObamaCare mandate decision a few years ago. Obama already feels free to ignore Congress when it suits him. Let’s encourage him to ignore SCOTUS rulings that he doesn’t like either, I guess.

Not surprisingly, the other formidable social con in the race has a much stronger legal background than Huckabee or Carson and is tailoring his solutions to gay marriage accordingly, with a procedurally sound (albeit still doomed to fail) attempt to amend the Constitution.


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Comments

So sort of like Obama?

chris0christies0donut on May 6, 2015 at 7:25 PM

First off, let’s assume that the Supreme Court doesn’t make an totally inane decision against all the states that have democratically made their choice on this matter.

Secondly, any Republican that thinks the thing to do is to go soft on gay marriage is off base. The sentiments and poll numbers are going to start going the other way, and a backlash will occur, and as a Republican you don’t want to be left holding that bag with the gay militants.

anotherJoe on May 6, 2015 at 7:28 PM

As the Republican presidential candidate field grows rapidly, and as the GOP panders to the Christian right – promising to “defend traditional marriage” and the “assault of religious freedom,” political strategists might want to take a look at the latest WSJ/NBC poll.

Asked how they would feel about presidential candidates with certain qualities or characteristics, far more Americans said they would “be enthusiastic” or “be comfortable with” a candidate who is gay than a candidate who is an evangelical Christian.

A very large majority, 61 percent, said they would be enthusiastic or comfortable with a gay candidate, while just 52 percent said the same of an evangelical Christian.

On the opposite side, just 37 percent said they would “have some reservations about” or “be very uncomfortable with” a gay candidate, while 44 percent said the same of an evangelical Christian.

At this point, it’s a race to see who isn’t humiliated by withdrawing first, isn’t it.

Marcus on May 6, 2015 at 7:29 PM

Via TPM, I did not foresee “let’s revisit Marbury v. Madison” emerging as a minor theme of the primary. But between Carson and Huckabee it’s already a hot race to see who can pander the hardest to social cons over the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Huck ante’d up recently with this comment

Unless the people’s representatives pass enabling legislation and a president signs and agrees to enforce it, there IS no law.

Not true

Actually, it is true. The executive and legislative branches are co-equal branches. There was a justice on Alabama’s state supreme court that actually made a strong case to this effect earlier when refusing to bow to the demands of a Federal court, and also did a fantastic job articulating the difference in realms of authority between Federal and state courts.

Even worse, the prospect of another governor from Arkansas creating a constitutional crisis by refusing to enforce a constitutional ruling of the Supreme Court has earned him comparisons to Orval Faubus even among righties, including George Will just last night on Fox News.

Which goes to show you just how far to the left George Will has gone. Opposing gay marriage is not the same thing as favoring segregated schools, and the position that Will and pundits like him adopt do not simply compare (il)legal process, but attempt to draw moral equivalencies.

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Clownish GOP Nominee Contender Says Something Stupid

This is news?

Tlaloc on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

The sentiments and poll numbers are going to start going the other way, and a backlash will occur, and as a Republican you don’t want to be left holding that bag with the gay militants.

anotherJoe on May 6, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Wishful thinking != data

Tlaloc on May 6, 2015 at 7:34 PM

“Let the court enforce it.” -Andrew Jackson

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:37 PM

2.3%

Lost in Jersey on May 6, 2015 at 7:39 PM

I’m not so sure that in the wake of the current administration’s behavior there’s any mechanism whatsoever for one branch to enforce its supposed Constitutional prerogatives.

I can’t see voting for Carson, but as far as I’m concerned he’s right on this one.

JEM on May 6, 2015 at 7:40 PM

I really don’t want another President who thinks the law is optional.

myiq2xu on May 6, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Obama already feels free to ignore Congress when it suits him. Let’s encourage him to ignore SCOTUS rulings that he doesn’t like either, I guess.

So basically you see that the only solution to executive supremacy is to trade it in for judicial supremacy?

This goes back to the age-old question of political, social contract theorists: who is the sovereign? The US is predicated on the idea that all 3 branches are equal in their say, but you’re basically coming down on the side that you must ultimately cede absolute power to one branch.

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:40 PM

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Yeah but… Gay Benson!

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Author of The Conscience of a Conservative Brent Bozell wrote a book in 1966, The Warren Revolution, that explained why Marbury’s current interpretation is incorrect. Huck and Carson are not exactly on new ground here, even if they are going to be deemed wingnuts for traveling the same path.

Vatican Watcher on May 6, 2015 at 7:43 PM

I really don’t want another President who thinks the law is optional. myiq2xu on May 6, 2015 at 7:40 PM

The law? You mean like the 10th Amendment?

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Well now Rick Santorum has just announced on Greta that he’s going to jump in on May 27.

rbj on May 6, 2015 at 7:44 PM

Seems apparent to me that Dhims are, Constitutionally, anal babies.

vnvet on May 6, 2015 at 7:45 PM

Vatican Watcher on May 6, 2015 at 7:43 PM

Marbury wasn’t even used as it is today for 80 years.

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:45 PM

I donated to Carson. His voice needs to be heard. Huckabee and Santorum should get out.

Nexialist on May 6, 2015 at 7:47 PM

some of these HA articles sure are a stretch. In some ways all the candidates can be interpreted to “hint” at something.

I’m ready for the laws to be enforced as written and the Supreme Court to stay out unless there it is a life or death situation.

tej on May 6, 2015 at 7:49 PM

Yeah but… Gay Benson!

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:42 PM

Gawd… yeah, that guy, Guy, was a hoot on Megyn Kelly’s show a couple of nights ago. It’s just a footnote, and he doesn’t want to play identity politics, but now we’re going to have the HotAir post, followed by a 5-10 minute segment on Fox about his homosexuality. Just don’t call him the gay conservative, or the conservative who happens to be gay, as we keep telling you he’s gay, gay, gay!

If it’s not that important, and it’s only a footnote, then if he got a 5-10 minute segment on just that, I can only imagine how much time Fox will then give to the actual main text of his and MKH’s book! We’re looking into full-day broadcasts heading well into next year then!

HotAir, Fox, and Benson himself all reveled in some perturbed, transparent duplicity with that one.

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:51 PM

If Court rulings are really just advisory opinions about how the president should behave, then we were all way, waaaaay too invested in that ObamaCare mandate decision a few years ago.

Did Allahpundit even bother reading King’s letter from a Birmingham Jail or Augustine’s work on just and unjust law before writing such an inane comment as above. At least do Carson the courtesy of understanding his argument. Good gracious.

STL_Vet on May 6, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Clownish GOP Nominee Contender Says Something Stupid

This is news?

Tlaloc on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Racist.

Bigot.

Bishop on May 6, 2015 at 7:52 PM

Even worse, the prospect of another governor from Arkansas creating a constitutional crisis

Oh, but when a back-bencher does it …

corona79 on May 6, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:45 PM

Exactly his point!

Vatican Watcher on May 6, 2015 at 7:59 PM

HotAir, Fox, and Benson himself all reveled in some perturbed, transparent duplicity with that one.

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:51 PM

I pretty much ignored him prior to this and can keep on keeping on.

dmacleo on May 6, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Yeah but… Gay Benson!

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:42 PM

And what do you wanna be when you grow up?

JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:02 PM

But between Carson and Huckabee it’s already a hot race to see who can pander the hardest to social cons over the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Bush 43 famously said to not question his integrity … or maybe his character, I forget which. It’s apparent from this quote AllahPundit doesn’t think much of Carson’s character/integrity. When I thought AllahPundit attacked Sarah Palin’s integrity, I didn’t like that either.

It makes me wonder what AllahPundit is about.

LashRambo on May 6, 2015 at 8:03 PM

(albeit still doomed to fail) attempt to amend the Constitution.

The vast majority of states have already voted to reject undefining marriage, AP.

whatcat on May 6, 2015 at 8:06 PM

And what do you wanna be when you grow up? JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:02 PM

Someone who doesn’t put weeners in his mouth.

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Carson is correct. What if the SP ruled on something totally in opposition to the constitution? Congress can over rule the SP by enacting a law.

fight like a girl on May 6, 2015 at 8:19 PM

I’d love to see it just to see what the media would do. However, if he wants to change the law he needs to do it properly–through Congress.

SouthernGent on May 6, 2015 at 8:21 PM

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 8:10 PM

Says the dolt who believes the Newtown shootings were staged, and lasers brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11.

JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:22 PM

I’d love to see it just to see what the media would do. However, if he wants to change the law he needs to do it properly–through Congress.

SouthernGent on May 6, 2015 at 8:21 PM

Exactly. I don’t like the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, would Carson also not enforce that?

JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:24 PM

Clownish Atheist Gasbag Says Something Stupid

This is news?

Tlaloc on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Thanks for the self-disclosure.

22044 on May 6, 2015 at 8:25 PM

SCOTUS annoys me on a regular basis but another imperial presidency doesn’t appeal to me.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2015 at 8:28 PM

JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:22 PM

You’re going to hell unless you repent of your wickedness. Think of that the next time you, well, you know.

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Yeah but… Gay Benson!

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 7:42 PM

That’ll do. What a nauseating, random thing to type in here.

*Scroll By* Goodbye.

RushBaby on May 6, 2015 at 8:38 PM

RushBooby on May 6, 2015 at 8:38 PM

Try Alka Seltzer.

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 8:44 PM

Ok. For the sake of argument, let’s assume Carson wins and decides to somehow not enforce a decision legalizing gay marriage. Exactly what does Carson do? Even the most fanatic social conservative must recognize that cutting an old person’s Social Security is going to go over terribly. So what else?

thuja on May 6, 2015 at 8:56 PM

I kinda wonder how many hours of each day a President spends enforcing Supreme court rulings? Someone brought up Roe V Wade, Great example! In the last 30 years what did any President do to enforce That ruling?

Carson was trying to answer a question based on a logical impossibility, something typical of the left wing media

halfbaked on May 6, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Lasers DID bring down the towers. Mossad lasers, aimed by invisible Jews who hang-glided down from a space probe.

Bishop on May 6, 2015 at 9:04 PM

Lasers DID bring down the towers. Mossad lasers, aimed by invisible Jews who hang-glided down from a space probe. Bishop on May 6, 2015 at 9:04 PM

Now that’s crazy.

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 9:13 PM

I’m of two minds on what some people are calling the United States as a “post-Constitutional” republic. Depending upon the type of Republican that gets nominated and elected president, we could well be in a phase where he or she could use the full powers of the office against Democrats as Obama has against Republicans and conservative activists and concerned citizens.

It’s a logical progression of the body politic. It would sadden me greatly for a Republican president to act that way, but the Democrats certainly deserve it to happen to them.

Eastwood Ravine on May 6, 2015 at 9:16 PM

I really don’t want another President who thinks the law is optional. myiq2xu on May 6, 2015 at 7:40 PM

And who actually MAKES the law? Lawmakers or judges?

Nutstuyu on May 6, 2015 at 10:32 PM

Akzed on May 6, 2015 at 8:10 PM
Says the dolt who believes the Newtown shootings were staged, and lasers brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11.
JetBoy on May 6, 2015 at 8:22 PM

So how was Alderaan destroyed? Ghey pride parades?

Nutstuyu on May 6, 2015 at 10:36 PM

Stoic Patriot on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 PM

I assume you’re talking about Roy Moore. Roy Moore may be on sort-of firm legal ground by refusing to bow to the whims of a lower federal court judge, but when the SCOTUS comes calling, he’ll have no legal ground to stand on. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear cases originating from state courts, to give final ruling, and has had this power since 1789.

Stoic seems to be against the concept of judicial review. Exactly what is the court’s constitutional power, or their role in checks and balances, if not for judicial review?

limecat on May 6, 2015 at 10:40 PM

And who actually MAKES the law? Lawmakers or judges?

Nutstuyu on May 6, 2015 at 10:32 PM

I know you probably ask that sarcastically, but that’s such a difficult question to answer. In a common law system where precedent reigns, judges probably have a bit more power than you might expect them to. And then there are agencies… for some fun reading, go check out my pick for worst law of the 20th C., the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946.

Sorry for the unnecessary civics lesson – my students are getting ready for their AP Gov tests on Tuesday!

limecat on May 6, 2015 at 10:45 PM

Better Late Then Never

TheMadHessian on May 6, 2015 at 10:51 PM

You don’t say…..

BIG GAY HATE MACHINE ORGANIZES DISSIDENT CATHOLICS TO ATTACK THE CHURCH

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

TheMadHessian on May 6, 2015 at 11:07 PM

Via TPM, I did not foresee “let’s revisit Marbury v. Madison” emerging as a minor theme of the primary.

Still a good idea though.

Not true, and it’s politically silly for him to take that tack knowing that he may eventually face a national electorate that now supports gay marriage on balance.

Not true. You’ve got to stand for something. And the people who are winning now didn’t get there by throwing out every goal that didn’t already have a majority for it.

David Blue on May 7, 2015 at 4:38 AM

I donated to Carson. His voice needs to be heard.

Nexialist on May 6, 2015 at 7:47 PM

Give him much more so that his voice can be heard . . . in Antarctica.

Younggod on May 7, 2015 at 6:59 AM

Via TPM, I did not foresee “let’s revisit Marbury v. Madison” emerging as a minor theme of the primary.

It’s fairly predictable. The more unpopular ideas are forced onto people by a court finding new interpretations of the Constitution — and can we at least admit that SSM would be a radically new interpretation of the Constitution — the more people will push back.

And Marbury v. Madison was always highly questionable, since SCOTUS was never given the job of reinterpreting the Constitution.

Can we at least agree that there is a world of difference between weighing whether the consequences of a new law might violate a Constitutional right on the one hand, and asserting that the Constitution guarantees to homosexuals an institution of marriage that is more to their liking, i.e., a form of marriage where a woman can marry a woman?

The more you try to stretch the power of SCOTUS to overturn the constitutions of supposedly sovereign states, the more pushback you will get.

There’s really no way to pretend that the Constitution has anything to say about SSM. If the court makes any pronouncement beyond “this is not really a Constitutional question, so all previous rulings overturning laws based on such claims are null and void,” then they’ve gone beyond their Constitutional role.

Trying to ram through unpopular notions that were never really agreed to by the representatives of the people will eventually cause exactly these kinds of problems.

They are playing with fire.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 7, 2015 at 10:26 AM

Andrew Jackson had it right: one of the reasons an independent judiciary was argued to be ‘safe’ was that the judiciary was the weakest branch of government. When it can command the resources of the rest of the government, though, that ‘weakness’ disappears entirely.

PersonFromPorlock on May 7, 2015 at 10:58 AM

Ben Carson hints: As president, I wouldn’t enforce a Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage

Republican Presidents will also have pens and phones.

RJL on May 7, 2015 at 2:32 PM