Mike Huckabee Defends Actions of Jailed Kentucky County Clerk

The Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor explains why he's supporting Kim Davis.
7:30 | 09/06/15

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Transcript for Mike Huckabee Defends Actions of Jailed Kentucky County Clerk
And governor Mike Huckabee joins us now. Thank you for joining me this morning. He'll be going to Kentucky on Tuesday as part of a demonstration in support of Kim Davis. There were some dissenting voices in the conservative movement. I want you to respond to something in the American conservative. He says that the supreme court makes a ruling we don't like, we are obliged to obey the law or be willing to suffer the consequences of disobedience. What we cannot do and what the government cannot permit is open defiance of settled law. He believes this is going to backfire on the religious liberty movement. Well, he would have hated a Abraham Lincoln, because Abraham Lincoln ignored the 1957 decision that said black people weren't fully human. It was the wrong decision. To say we have to surrender to judicial supremacy. We had so many different presidents, including Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, there were other founders like Hamilton, Adams, who made it very clear that the courts can't make a law, the constitution is expressly clear that that's a power reserved to congress. It's incumbent upon congress to ed: It's a matter for the states. And applying the 14th amendment to the equality of men and women in marriage is different than totally different of redefining marriage. The overreach of the judiciary, this, allowed to stand without any congressional approval, is what Jefferson warned us about. This is an exactly the same in both cases, you have the supreme court saying that state laws don't further the constitution, don't further the 14th amendment. George, can you cite for me what statute Kim Davis would be required to follow in order to issue a same-sex marriage license in Kentucky, when her state specifically says by 75% of the voters that marriage means one man, one woman. Can you cite the federal statute that she's supposed to follow? Even the very form she's supposed to fill out. Does she have the authority to scratch that out and create her own? Doesn't she have the duty to obey a legal order from the court? Well, you obey if it's right. So, I go back to my question, is slavery the law of the land because dread Scott said so? Was that a correct decision? Should the courts have been irrevocably followed on that? Should Lincoln have been put in jail? Because he ignored it. That's the fundamental question, do we have a check and balance system? Do we have three equal branches? Or one supreme branch not just a supreme court? That's the fundamental question. That's the bigger issue. This goes back to the larger issue, whether or not we learned in civics and why people are so angry across the country not just on this issue but others. The ruling class has thumbed their nose at the rulgtsz. You've got democrats who ignored the law when it was the law to have traditional marriage, Gavin Newsome in San Francisco as major, performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. Did he ever get put in jail? He most certainly did not. You had Barack Obama and Eric holder when he was attorney general, they ignored the rulings of doma, did they get put in law for ignoring the law? They did not. When do liberals get to choose which laws they support but a county clerk in Kentucky who, acting on her Christian faith, is criminalized and jailed without bail because she acted on her conscience and according to the only law in front of her. One of the most memorable statements on the separation between church and state, was John F. Kennedy back in 1960. But if the time should ever come, and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible, when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interests, then I would resign the office. Would you make that same statement in your candidacy for presidency? I can't see for any circumstance in which I would require to violate my conscience and the law and, if so, I think maybe there's a point in which codified that into law. Different from 1967, the supreme court ruling that struck down bans on interracial marriage? If a clerk at that time had said, listen, my religious beliefs forbid me from issuing that license, would you support that? It's an incredibly different situation. How so? It's not the same, it's not even close. Because you had a marriage that was man and a woman and it was equal protection but it didn't redefine marriage. But you didn't have the laws implementing the ruling then, then would it be okay to define the ruling -- Again, it's a very different equation altogether, because this is a redefinition. Marriage is not defined in the federal constitution at all. To school districts. We had to go back to the legislature, come up with the school funding formula. It was passed. Then we ordered the department of education to send checks. We are bypassing the process when we have one branch of government acting as it has authority over the other two. And what I'm coming back to, either we live under the rule of law, which is three-branch checks and balances system of government or we end up, which I think was so powerful. Lincoln said the vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed. By the supreme court the instance they are to be made. In personal actions people will have ceased to be their own rulings, having to practically resigned their government into this tribunal. We're either people of government or people of law. We are a nation of the people or we are the nation under the power of the supreme court, which is what the opinion of Roberts and Scalia so powerfully said. Governor Huckabee, thanks very much. Thank you, great to be with you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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