Mat Staver Calls for “Civil Disobedience” Over SCOTUS Marriage Decision

Jim Burroway

August 23rd, 2016

Right Wing Watch caught up with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver who was speaking to a Pennsylvania anti-abortion group last April:

We are coming to a place, ladies and gentleman, where we have to make a decision. Where we have to make a decision like Dietrich Bonhoeffer made a decision, like Martin Niemoller made a decision. We are coming to the position where we are in the same place that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had to make a decision, where the founders of this country had to make a decision that we will either obey God or we will obey man. And when those two directly, inherently, irrevocably collide with one another. We are in a position like Daniel in the lions’ den, like the three Hebrews that would not bow down, like Esther, who offered her life on the line and engaged in civil resistance against the most powerful king on the planet. We are coming to that moment in time.

When we have five lawyers on the Supreme Court — and I’ve had the opportunity to argue there, I’ve written lots of briefs, I’ve been a dean of a law school, I’ve been a tenured law school professor, I’ve taught constitutional law, I know all of that issue. But when we have five lawyers on the Supreme Court that not only contradict themselves in a two years period because, you know in 2013 they said the states had a right to define marriage, and in June 2015 they said states don’t have the right to define marriage. Frankly, states don’t have the right to define marriage to begin with any more than they have the right to redefine gravity. It is what it is. It’s part of natural creation. But they contradict themselves in a period of two years, and as Chief Justice John Roberts said, the five lawyers — that’s his term, not mine — they impose their will on a legal judgment not based on the Constitution, not based on the Court’s precedent.

That’s a lawless opinion. When are we going to stop playing charades and pretend that whatever those five people say, whoever they might be, whatever they say, no matter how devoid of the Constitution it may be, that it becomes the law of the land? It doesn’t! If that’s your belief system, if you have gotten so brainwashed to think that whatever those five people in Washington, D.C., say, we now have to march to it like toy soldiers because if they say so, irrespective of the fact that they have no authority under the Constitution to do it, then you would support Dred Scott, you would support Buck v. Bell, because those decisions came down from the United States Supreme Court as well.

And those decisions, the Dred Scott by the Supreme Court, they said that Blacks were not entitled to citizenship and therefore you cannot bring your case in court. We had a civil war to overturn that nonsense.

Staver gets his history just about as wrong as he does the law. Whenever anyone disagrees with a Supreme Court decision, they often point to Dred Scott as an example as a truly awful decision. We all know it was morally repugnant and a dark stain on our nation’s history. But that dark stain came about because the Constitution at the time — remember, it counted Black slaves like Dred Scott as only three-fifths of a person — made it pretty clear that he and others in his situation were not full citizens, not according to that pre-Thirteenth Amendment Constitution anyway. Pointing out that awful fact of history and the sorry state of the Constitution that our forefathers had foisted on this country is in now way the same as saying you support Dred Scott. No decent person can support what that decision did to Mr. Scott and million others like him. But since justices can’t declare constitutions unconstitutional, it seems to me that a decision like Dred Scott, as odious as it was, was also inevitable under the version of the Constitution they were stuck with in 1857. And that’s why we had a civil war and two critical constitutional amendments to ensure that black people would be full citizens rather than three-fifths of a person.

Staver’s respect for the law is just about as slippery as his grasp of history. As the law school dean at Liberty University, which he bragged about in this clip, he taught his law students that they should counsel their clients to break the law in favor of “God’s Law” if they perceive a conflict. And according to a RICO lawsuit that is currently pending in court connecting his law school to the Miller-Jenkins kidnapping case, his law school apparently practices what he taught.


August 23rd, 2016

Just like the Nazis. I remember reading about how they force-gaymarried all the Jews. Or something.


August 23rd, 2016

In 1857, at least half the states agreed with the Scott decision. Wanna bet what side conservative authoritarian christianists like Shaver would have been on?
Fundamentalist = lying, hypocrisy, hate.


August 23rd, 2016

Staver. Obviously.


August 24th, 2016

“I’ve had the opportunity to argue there, I’ve written lots of briefs, I’ve been a dean of a law school, I’ve been a tenured law school professor, I’ve taught constitutional law, I know all of that issue.”

Considering that Staver has never won a case, I wonder about how well he knows constitutional issues.

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