Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential ambitions all but ended yesterday when he made the radical, shocking proposal that he might use federal troops to halt abortions in America, despite Supreme Court rulings that they are legal.
At two separate stops in Iowa, Huckabee suggested that he would defy the Supreme Court and use federal troops or the FBI to stop abortions.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee indicated Thursday that if elected, he wouldn’t rule out employing federal troops or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop abortion from taking place in the United States.
Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against bans on abortion, Huckabee said past presidents have defied Supreme Court rulings.
Jesse Choper, professor emeritus of public law at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, said in a phone interview Friday that Huckabee’s statement was “way off-base,” adding, “it does rival Donald Trump.”
“I think he’d better more carefully examine what he’s saying, because it is totally unprecedented,” Choper said Friday.
No matter how much the Supreme Court’s decisions over the years were disliked, Choper said, presidents did very little to fight them. He pointed to civil rights decisions of the 1950s as an example.
“It was simply noncompliance,” Choper said of previous presidential responses. “That’s very different than calling out the troops for abortion.”
Huckabee’s comments came at two public speaking stops on a tour of Iowa.
In response to a question from the audience at the Pizza Ranch in Jefferson, Iowa, Huckabee said he would “invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendments for the protection of every human being.”
Both amendments contain due process protections against depriving people of life without due process of law.
“Would that be a huge controversy?” the former Arkansas governor asked. “Yes.”
But he argued that scientific advancements have now verified that unborn babies are human beings — information he said wasn’t necessarily available when the Supreme Court issued its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
“I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this,” Huckabee said at the event, where a Topeka Capital-Journal correspondent was present.
At his next stop, in Rockwell City, Huckabee answered follow-up questions from the correspondent, saying: “All American citizens should be protected.”
Asked by another reporter how he would stop abortion, and whether this would mean using the FBI or federal forces to accomplish this, Huckabee replied: “We’ll see, if I get to be president.”
He said he would use all resources available to protect U.S. citizens.
Huckabee said past presidents also have defied Supreme Court rulings. He cited Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, and said Lincoln had ignored the court’s 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision — which found that black Americans weren’t citizens — when he emancipated slaves. He didn’t clarify in what way Jefferson had violated any court rulings.
Huckabee’s radical proposal will resonate with those GOP voters who take the most extreme position on abortion. But for most Republicans — and a majority of Americans who may not support abortion on demand but favor limiting it — defying the Supreme Court and using federal troops or agents in American cities to enforce his diktat is going way too far.
Huckabee’s chances of being elected president have dropped to zero.