Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kutler on Huckabee and the Constitution

Stanley Kutler weighs in on Republican candidate Mike Huckabee's views on the constitution and immigrants, first in The Washington Independent, and picked up on History News Network. Kutler is a true legal history luminary, author, among other things, of “The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon,” and currently the E. Gordon Fox Emeritus Professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin, and professor of law. Kutler begins:

Mike Huckabee is a master at using the clever quip to deflect tough questions.
He toys with criticisms of his “fair tax” policy; at times he ignores the Sixteenth Amendment which makes the income tax indisputably constitutional. He has also made a shambles of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which the Framers of the Constitution intended as the means for ensuring separation of church and state, and social peace in a diversified nation. Now, Huckabee has weighed in another constitutional matter. Again he has demonstrated his fecklessness, if not his ignorance.
On CNN’s “The Situation Room” (Jan. 8), Huckabee finessed the allegation that he favored stripping American citizenship from children born in the United States to illegal immigrants. That ever-present “someone,” he said, had suggested to him that bestowing citizenship on such children “needed to be reviewed.” The status of children of illegal immigrants who had come for the purpose of giving birth, Huckabee added, might indeed might be reconsidered.
As he said, “I simply said that’s something the Supreme Court would have to rule on.” He maintained that rejecting citizenship “was only a conversation that someone had with me.” Again, that “someone.”
But why would – why should – the Supreme Court “reconsider” a constitutional amendment that has been clearly understood for more than 140 years? It could be that Huckabee betrays his “Old South” roots?

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