Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Neuroses in microcosm: The Starbucks "Skinny Platform" | Main | Photojournalist at Gitmo because of US war on Al Jazeera »

January 15, 2008

Huckabee wants to rewrite the US constitution

Radical cleric and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee wants to rewrite the constitution:

The United States Constitution never uses the word "God" or makes mention of any religion, drawing its sole authority from "We the People." However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it's time to put an end to that.

"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

When Willie Geist reported Huckabee's opinion on MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski was almost speechless, and even Joe Scarborough couldn't immediately find much to say beyond calling it "interesting." [Raw Story]

For starters, Huckabee (may have) supported a proposal to rewrite the 14th Amendment to deny citizenship to children born on US soil to undocumented immigrant parents. Huckabee is the only presidential candidate to have called for the elimination of birthright citizenship.

Correction: Earlier I wrote that Huckabee opposed birthright citizenship. Actually, it's more complicated and interesting than that. Huckabee's ally Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project reported on January 8th that Huckabee promised to oppose birthright citizenship, but on January 9th Huckabee contradicted Gilchrist saying he'd made no such promise:

Mike Huckabee yesterday contradicted his own top immigration surrogate, announcing he will not support a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal aliens.

It was a stark reversal after The Washington Times reported that James Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, said Mr. Huckabee promised to pursue an amendment to the Constitution.

In an article in yesterday's editions, Mr. Huckabee's spokeswoman did not challenge the former Arkansas governor's statements to Mr. Gilchrist and said the two men shared the same goals on immigration.

But by yesterday afternoon, Mr. Huckabee had backed away from that position."I do not support an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship," Mr. Huckabee said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site. [WT]

I'll leave it to you to decide who's more credible, Jim Gilchrist or Mike Huckabee...

 

[HT: LGM]

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00e54fe0620e8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Huckabee wants to rewrite the US constitution :

Comments

Ayatollah al Huqa'abi... that has a perversely good ring to it, especially seeing as how one of his biggest fundie wingnut supporters is purported to have said that "Islamics" are "not even human"

I'm kind of amused that all the usual suspects in the media are up in arms about the enormity of this, though, because two of the three constitutional amendments he's mentioned specifically, on gay marriage and "human life," were planks in the '04 and '00 party platform of the Republican party.

Oddly, when the candidate had no intention of ever doing anything to make that come about, it wasn't an unreasonable thing to ask for.

"amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards"

Oh god, i hope the puke on my shirt comes out....

Replace the word God with Allah, maybe then the Christians will see the potential of such an idea.

Or just add an "l" to make it "Glod's standards." Kinda takes the power out of it, no? Glod has a plan for each of you!

LB: That article you linked to on anchor babies and the 14th amendment is dated January 8.

For accuracy's sake, here's one dated January 9:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080109/NATION/992492919/1002

Mike Huckabee yesterday contradicted his own top immigration surrogate, announcing he will not support a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal aliens.

It was a stark reversal after The Washington Times reported that James Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, said Mr. Huckabee promised to pursue an amendment to the Constitution. In an article in yesterday's editions, Mr. Huckabee's spokeswoman did not challenge the former Arkansas governor's statements to Mr. Gilchrist and said the two men shared the same goals on immigration.

But by yesterday afternoon, Mr. Huckabee had backed away from that position.

"I do not support an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens. I have no intention of supporting a constitutional amendment to deny birthright citizenship," Mr. Huckabee said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site.

I understand your fears, and you can make of his "reversal" what you like, but what you've written as stands clearly is not accurate in the present tense.

Ron Paul has also said that he wants to end birthright citizenship by abolishing the 14th amendment.

Remember when I quoted the 10 to 1 line on the previous thread that some found threatening? I think some here might underestimate support for what he said today, but clearly there is a lot of support for "taking back this nation for Christ". And if he could do it legally through the amendment process (which is doubtful -- that Constitution is very hard to amend), of course people can be concerned.

Still, I would suggest this is just a way of shoring up support from those who believe their Christian views have been left in the dust these past 3 or 4 decades. And clearly, there are a number of people out there who support him for these very reasons.

Maybe if select members of current secular society was less "in your face" and more respectful of differences, these supporters would feel less threatened and less the need to support such candidates? Just a strategy suggestion. Still, I'd not worry too much about these promises to amend the Constitution.

More likely is that if elected, he would just appoint justices who would reverse the judicial actions of the Warren Court, which was seen by even many neutral legal scholars as usurping the powers of the legislative branch ("the people" so to speak) to impose liberal ideology over the traditional process and the will of (the majority of? because majorities tend to change hands) the American people.

It's the "we're killing children / innocent life" meme that so many -- even with this much time passed -- cannot accept. And if you understand precedent and legal reasoning, even "pro-choice" supporters often come to the conclusion that the whole "penumbra" decision is legally unsound. (see The Brethren for more detail, if you're interested in more detail -- and I mean that "you" generally -- instead of the typical invective-spewing "we're right, you're EVIL" that I'm sure will soon be direct my way for mentioning these facts.) :-)

directED, rather...

I thought he was talking about the Federal Marriage Amendment, which allows homophobic states (and the Federal government?) to withhold "full faith and credit" from same-sex marriages in states like Vermont, and an amendment that would allow the states to criminalize all abortion. Since neither amendment could muster the necessary Congressional supermajority to be passed on to the states for ratification, let alone be ratified, nobody should lose sleep over them.
Moreover, Huckabee is long odds for the GOP nomination, and the GOP brand is poison this year (thanks, Mr. President!), so let him go on saying such things. It's his political funeral.

What no HatTip on the Correction? ;-) Kiddin'...


Actually, since Huckabee never outright contradicted what Gilchrist said ("Mr. Huckabee's spokeswoman did not challenge the former Arkansas governor's statements to Mr. Gilchrist and said the two men shared the same goals on immigration.") I suspect what may have happened is that earlier, Huckabee shot off his mouth about supporting such an amendment to Gilchrist, but then came to realize just how unrealistic such an amendment change would be. Also, how potentially alienating to those who oppose unregulated immigration, but would not support changing the Constitution to affect those children born here.

Maybe I'm really reaching, but at least it's refreshing to me that Huckabee did not get into the "he said, he said" type argument, just corrected what he had said earlier the next day... FWIW.

Oh, and I do urge you and your readers to check out The Brethren to better understand the Warren Court and the legal complexities we're still grappling with.

It's well researched and written, a good read, and quite relevant to the issues we'll be hearing much more of today, and tomorrow. An interesting slice of time, with a unique cast of characters. (Let me know what you think if you do read it in full?)

to withhold "full faith and credit" from same-sex marriages in states like Vermont

Actually, there are no legally recognized same-sex marriages in Vermont. Only Massachusetts legally recognizes same-sex marriages.

And the Full Faith and Credit argument demanding recognition in other states unfortunately is a myth as well. (Don't shoot the messenger -- I was shocked to learn this in law school too, based on a "common sense" reading of the phrase, and my layman's understanding of Family and Constitutional Law.)

And yes, I went to a quite liberal law school, and was taught by some of the best -- one a respected Harvard Law graduate specializing in Constitutional and "Sexuality and the Law" issue, now teaching at Stanford.

To try and explain, these issues actually do fall to the states, and there is a public policy exception that holds sway in "choice of law" or "conflict of law" situations like this. This precedent is unlikely to be overcome, even on such a hot-button issue.

Dale Carpenter on Volokh.com has some excellent threads explaining why Full Faith and Credit is not likely to be where the same-sex marriage issue is "won" -- if anybody's interested in learning more -- and here's another paper I found that is probably more helpful than me in explaining why.

The abstract:
"Although the Full Faith and Credit Clause is often assumed by the popular press and some legal commentators to impose a mandatory duty on states to recognize same-sex marriages validly celebrated in another state, this common assumption is clearly false. States have always retained the power to refuse to recognize some out-of-state marriages that violate their expressions of public policy. This has happened with, for example, marriages involving underage spouses or marriages that violate a state's consanguinity rules. Marriages do not stand on the same constitutional footing as litigated judgments. As a result, whether a state chooses to recognize a same-sex marriage celebrated in another state is a function of the recognizing state's law and its conflict-of-laws principles and not a matter of constitutional compulsion."

papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=899385

Suffice it to say, law school many days was difficult for me, but I learned a lot. It's so complex fitting these issues into the existing American legal framework, but necessary in the end I suppose. The fight surely won't be easy, will take another generation or two they predict, especially given the many state constitutional setbacks in recent years. And it looks like in the end, the victories must be won through the legislative not judicial bodies, making some of the anger we express today actually counterproductive to the "fight".

I really did think law school would give me the tools to better "fight" on these issues, but sadly it's just not that easy as I soon learned.

Maybe the only value I can be of here today -- I came to the conclusion -- is to help educate those without law school educations (I'm certainly not law professor material) to better understand what such a "fight" really entails, to help identify the "battlegrounds" at the very least. Whether we like it or not, there really appears no way around the state-by-state persuasion techniques, because Family Law in America has always been governed by the states' laws.

That is, if we're lucky and no overriding amendment to the Federal Constition is passed. (Actually I guess I'm showing my glass half-full outlook; someday perhaps a federal amendment might pass the other way, but I'm not holding my breath -- not in my lifetime. For good reason, that Constitution is hard to amend, either way.)

It would only be worse if Osama was running as a candidate for the presidency. This dude is DANGEROUS.

Corrrection noted on Vermont, Mary.

As for full faith and credit, it's important to understand that FMA wasn't proposed in good faith, as a genuine attempt to amend the Constitution. Its Republican framers, sponsors and merchanisers know it has no chance; it's strictly cynical demagoguery framed to titillate the homophobic paranoid know-nothings whose reliable votes have kept the GOP in power, usually against their middle-, lower-, and working-class interests.

Huck is just the latest in a line of Republican Pols who talk the evangelical talk. Huckabee may well believe it, but there is no chance of his agenda actually passing. The religious right is nowhere near as powerful as they think. Presented with the full force of the evangelical agenda most Americans would recoil in horror. There is no way to amend the constitution without flushing the evangelical agenda into the light of day.

Serious question: is talking about changing the Constitution any worse than just ignoring what it says or actively misrepresenting it?

oh, Huckabee is a fool. But at least he doesn't pose as an intellectual, unlike you folks. as for the Constitution, it is a vastly overrated thing. the better, profounder protector of liberty is in the culture, not in the First Amendment, important as that is. Example: in my law school I was threatened with expulsion, twice, merely for mocking the ideas of other students, without profanity, without ad hominen arguments, simply logic and facts. Georgetown has a culture where to say certain things is verboten. (one of the them is to say that Christianity is utter nonsense.) And the Constitution's writ does not exend to the academic world. Conversely, in the 19th C. the First A. was construed as window dressing, with no legal teeth, but America was by and large no less, and no more, a country where free expression was allowed than it is now.

Huckabee doesn't believe it. I have written before, that Huckabee has been flying into L.A., on the sly, to lay down some bass tracks, and hang out with his musician buddies. He records at a studio owned by an a cat I know. In the studio, he's all "nudge, nudge, wink, wink," when it comes to religion. The Huckster is a master at telling people what they want to hear. That is why he IS a Huckster. Meaning con-artist for those of you who are too young to remember the term.

As for Mary's pretzel logic regarding fidelity to the full faith and credit clause, you'd think she just googled the issue, or recently graduated. And still, her conclusion, that states hold sway on the issue of family law and marriage, is incorrect factually, and also immoral, in my opinion. Also, Volokh is some of the worst sourcing, and one of the worst websites, anyone can come up with.

Mary - just what/which "fight" YOU are referring to? Could you nail it down and be more specific? BTW - you're advice to go easy on Huckster, and on theocrats, in general is advice that should not be taken.


Margalis - talk away, thanks to the First Amendment.

as for the Constitution, it is a vastly overrated thing. the better, profounder protector of liberty is in the culture, not in the First Amendment

Lol. Luckily, most of us will continue to cast our lot with the Constitution. So much for the "culture" with the writer's strike and Hollywood and the recording studios offering up fare appealing to 13-year-olds, not intelligent discourse. Take care if you cast your lot with the "free market of culture" rather than something more solid and longlasting.


And still, her conclusion, that states hold sway on the issue of family law and marriage, is incorrect factually, and also immoral, in my opinion

Mudkitty: Luckily, your opinions hold as much sway as your invective-reduced conversational points.

Once again, you don't have to listen to logic or reasoning, but don't be surprised when your voice is given less and less credibility as you post. Check out Dale Carpenter's background at UM and consider the vast weight of those who have dedicated time and intellectual resources to studing the issue.


LB: again, don't fear Huckabee's promises of Constitutional change. In a way, you're responding just like him really: trying to whip up fear into action, instead of remaining calm and reasoned. Take the time to offer up something more reasoned and credible, even if some of your commenters would urge you "yeah, yeah, good stuff!!" ?

The more you know -- even when it's initially rough going eating from that Tree of Knowledge -- the less you tend to fear. And the more you understand, the more valuable you are overall as a writer or freelancer. I know science is more your game, but take care if you're going to make the hop, skip and jump into analyzing political issues from a legal layman's perspective. Else your overall credibility is reduced to that of the "mudkitty"'s of the world.

I love the smell of concern trolling in the morning.

Passive-aggressive psychologizing make hulk angry! Condescension hurt head!

Mary's doing the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" that the Huckster does. "Don't fear Huckabee's promises of Constitution "change." Unbelievable lunacy.

Change the Constitution? Hmmmmm? Where to start? Start at the beginning? Yeah. Let's change the First Amendment first.

Not!

Brilliant, Mary.

Are you saying that Huckabee is making "promises" he can't or won't keep? So much for Xian culture, Mary.

Mary makes the ultimate theological mistake by implying that eating from the tree of knowledge (of good and evil) is not a sin, as far as Xians go. "She" barely knows her own bible. Go reread Genesis, Mary.

I take it Mary, you don't have a very busy law practice, cuz otherwise, how could you afford to spend so much time here at Magikthise?

BTW - philosophy is LB's game, Mary. You also act like a newbie.

See what I mean about the stupids taking over what had been a fairly intelligent blog?

One more thing Mary - LB thinks, and writes, multiple, concentric, circles around you.

(The sound of Mary furiously googleing the meaning of concentric.)

Now, go clerk for someone from the Federalist Society.

Notice, Mary engages in insults, but neglects to address the point?

Mary, shouldn't you be attending to your huge client base right now? Does you're boss know you're using his time to comment here?

The comments to this entry are closed.