Bench Memos

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Huckabee Restates


In response to queries from the Committee for Justice, Mike Huckabee clarified the remarks he made on CNN this morning (see below for my comments on the comments that interview elicited):

I believe there is a significant difference between liberal judicial activism which works to reinterpret the Constitution and collective action by the people to amend the Constitution.  Over 221 years as a nation, we the people have joined together 27 times to amend our  primary governing document.  The Founders set up clear principles for this process – setting in place steps that make change difficult but not impossible for good reason.  As a result, as a people together, we have been able to institute the Bill of Rights, abolish slavery, and grant voting rights to women through the Constitutional amendment process. I believe that a Human Life amendment to protect all human life, a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the definition of marriage, and an amendment to repeal the 16th amendment’s authorization of the income tax are issues that need to be addressed at the Constitutional level.  But this is something for the people to decide through the democratically-established process of Constitutional revision – not unelected judges who are not accountable to the people.

My only quarrel with Huck is with his apparent belief that without the 16th Amendment we couldn’t have an income tax.  That would be true only if the Constitution really is whatever the judges say it is–because the Supreme Court that said in 1895 that the Constitution forbids an income tax (a ruling overturned by the amendment 18 years later) was dead wrong.


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