CNN host grills Rick Santorum: 'Do we have a country if everyone acts' like Kim Davis?
Rick Santorum speaks to CNN (screen grab)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum asserted on Monday that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should continue to follow her conscience because the U.S. Supreme Court had no "authority" to strike down same-sex marriage bans.


After Davis announced on Monday that she would allow county clerks to issue marriage licenses without her name on them, Santorum told CNN that he would advise her to "follow her conscience."

"Kim Davis has every right to say that this should be a religious accommodation and I believe the state of Kentucky as well as the federal government should be passing things like the First Amendment Defense Act," the GOP hopeful opined.

CNN host Alisyn Camerota pointed out that "it is discrimination not to provide a license" to LGBT couples because the Supreme Court decided that marriage equality was "the law of the land."

"Number one, because the Supreme Court says something, doesn't necessarily mean it's the law of the land," Santorum replied. "My belief is when the Supreme Court acts beyond their constitutional authority then we have every obligation to fight that."

"The court acted beyond its authority," he continued. "When the court exceeds it's authority, the Congress and the president should push back."

"And there's a process for that," Camerota observed. "But at the moment -- today -- the Supreme Court has decreed the law of the land. And she is defying it. Do we have a country if everyone acts on their own individual personal religious beliefs and decides not to follow certain laws?"

"Again, the Supreme Court made a decision about same-sex marriage, which again, I believe was beyond their authority to do so," Santorum insisted. "It did not provide anything that Kim Davis had to issue a marriage license. It said very clearly that there had to be accommodations provided for people of faith."

Watch the video below from CNN's New Day, broadcast Sept. 4, 2015.