Mike Huckabee: As president I'd defy the courts and go to jail like Kim Davis if necessary
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) on This Week (Screenshot)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said on Sunday that U.S. citizens only have to follow court orders if judges get "it right," and that he would follow his conscience as president even if it meant the type of jail time Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis is serving.


Speaking with host George Stephanopolous, the GOP presidential candidate claimed court orders only become binding upon citizens when state or federal legislatures take the ruling and codify it into law.

Huckabee -- who has hitched his fading star of a campaign to the fortunes of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who is currently sitting in jail for contempt after refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples -- explained that there is no specific law Davis should have been following.

"George, can you cite for me what statute Kim Davis would be required follow in order to issue a same-sex marriage license in Kentucky when her state specifically says, by 75 percent of the voters, that marriage means one man, one woman?" Huckabee asked. "Can you cite the statute at the federal or state level that she’s supposed to follow? Even the very form that she fills out specifically lists a male and a female. Does she have the authority just to scratch that out and create her own?"

"Doesn’t she have to the duty to obey a legal order from the court?" Stephanopolous pressed.

"Well, you obey it if it’s right. So I go back to my question. Is slavery the law of the land?" Huckabee attempted as way of an explanation. "Should it have been the law of the land because Dred 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."

Turning to presidents following their conscience, Stephanopolous played a clip of President John F. Kennedy in 1960 stating: "When 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 interest, then I would resign the office."

"Would you make that same statement in your candidacy for president?" the host asked Huckabee.

"I can't see any circumstance in which I would be required to violate my conscience and -- and the law," Huckabee conceded before adding, "And if so, I think maybe there is a point at which you say either I'll resign or put me in jail."

Watch the video below, uploaded to YouTube by the World Is Your News: