Mike Huckabee on Constitutional Issues
Mike Huckabee is clear and consistent regarding the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when he says, ”I believe the First Amendment is quite clear in stating the government shall not prefer or prohibit any exercise of religion. Attempts to establish a government-approved faith or an attempt by the government to prohibit the belief or exercise of belief of a particular faith is and must remain clearly unconstitutional." Mike further states, "I believe the constitutional amendment is mixed. When the Court follows a strict separationist position, I believe it fails to give appropriate weight to the historical, political and legal precedents of our great nation." Justice Scalia recognized embracing and celebrating our Judeo-Christian heritage is not antithetical to a separation of church and state. In agreement with Justice Scalia's comments, Mike added, "We must accommodate the genuine interests of Americans to express their heartfelt religious beliefs. This must not be confused as an establishment of a state religion." Mike Huckabee fully believes this approach to be wholly consistent with the intentions of our Founding Fathers, who intentionally, and with great wisdom, put the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause in the same primary amendment to the Constitution.
The Kelo property rights / eminent domain decision handed down by the Supreme Court was an issue of concern to Mike Huckabee. Mike is on the record stating, "Eminent domain must not be utilized to allow the taking of private property for commercial use or other uses not absolutely necessary to protect the lives of citizens, or in unusual and unavoidable circumstances, to provide for a public service for the common good. Unfortunately, Kelo is the direct application of precedent." Mike recognizes that through a series of opinions dating back decades, the Supreme Court has now pushed the envelope on the original concept of eminent domain to an untenable point. He points out the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution says in part, “private properties shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation.” However, today he believes the concept of “public use” has become distorted to the point allowing the government to take private property from one party and give it to another private party for a “higher use” is established precedent. In the Kelo case, the Court allowed the city of New London to take private property not for public use, but rather for the “public purpose” of generating greater tax revenue. Mike Huckabee's stand is clear when he says, "Given this departure from the intentions of our Founding Fathers and from our Nation’s historically strong recognition of individuals’ property rights, I support a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit eminent domain for what is essentially private development."
The issue of defining marriage is one where Mike Huckabee's stand will not be misunderstood. Mike puts it clearly when he says, "I support passage of a federal Constitutional amendment and will do so as President." This position is no different than when as governor of Arkansas, he helped lead successful efforts passing a similar amendment to the Arkansas Constitution.