Warren Blumenfeld wishes the “Morning Joe” team would’ve asked these questions to former governor Mike Huckabee.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Dear “Morning Joe” Team, MSNBC
Each weekday morning, I look forward to watching your program. I appreciate the diversity of issues you present, and how you model ways that people coming from differing backgrounds and political perspectives can discuss and debate while showing respect for those with whom they disagree.
I watched this morning, however, with great frustration during your interview with former governor Mick Huckabee. My frustration centered on both Huckabee’s assertion and the “Morning Joe” team’s failure to challenge his claim that the majority of the judges on the Supreme Court, in Obergefell, et al v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al, “legislated from the bench,” in other words, that they made law.
Let’s be perfectly clear. The Court did not make anything. Rather, the Court followed its judicial mandate to the letter by interpreting existing law to determine its constitutionality. In this case, the majority determined that remaining state laws that granted marriage rights only to “one man and one woman” to the exclusion of same-sex couples are inherentlyunconstitutional under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Writing for the majority of the Court, Justice Kennedy wrote, in part:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”
Under the subtitled, “Equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” Kennedy wrote:
“Their [same-sex couples’] hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Kennedy invoked the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Due Process Clause” as well as its “Equal Protection Clause” as connected to the rights of same-sex couples to marry, as the Court previously had connected the rights of people of different “races” to marry in its 1967 determination in Loving v. Virginia.
The majority of the Court in Obergefell, et al v. Hodges determined that:
“The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs….The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way….This dynamic is reflected in Loving [v. Virginia], where the Court invoked both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause.”
Coming back to the “Morning Joe” team’s interview of Huckabee, not only do I wish you had challenged Huckabee’s misunderstanding — whether due to ignorance or political expediency — of the role of the judiciary and what it actually did in Obergefell, et al v. Hodges, but possibly more importantly, whether a candidate for the presidency of the United States has the qualifications to hold the highest elected office in the land without even a basic comprehension of our country’s foundational document.
I wish you had gone even further by asking Huckabee if he, in fact, is exploiting the highly visible notoriety surrounding the case of Kim Davis — the Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk who recently refused to issue marriage licenses, as per her duties, to same-sex couples on “religious” grounds – in his attempts to kick-start his foundering presidential campaign by attaching himself so closely and clearly to Davis? Maybe we should take Huckabee up on his offer to serve in jail for eight years instead of Davis.
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld
South Hadley, Massachusetts
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