Washington (CNN)Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee compared Rowan County clerk Kim Davis' refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples to conscientious objections to slavery Sunday.
Huckabee compares Ky. clerk jailing to slavery ruling in Dred Scott
Asked if Davis, who was jailed last week for refusing to issue the licenses, should be forced to obey the Supreme Court ruling on marriage, Huckabee cited the landmark Dred Scott decision.
"You obey it if it's right," Huckabee said on ABC's "This Week." "So I go back to my question. Is slavery the law of the land? 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."
Many Republican candidates have rallied around Davis since she drew national headlines for refusing issue the licenses and asked her deputies not to comply with the high court ruling. After she was arrested, the first license was issued to a gay couple.
"Do we have a check and balance system? Do we have three equal branches or do we have one supreme branch, not just the Supreme Court? That's the fundamental question," Huckabee said.
Democrats who supported same-sex marriage rights before the Supreme Court ruling weren't jailed, Huckabee said.
"Gavin Newsom in San Francisco as mayor performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. Did he ever get put in jail? He most certainly did not," he said. "You have Barack Obama and Eric Holder, when he was Attorney General. They ignored the rulings of (the Defense of Marriage Act). Did they get put in jail for ignoring the law? They most certainly did not."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is running strong in New Hampshire polling, said he did not believe Davis should be jailed, but also said the ruling is the law. The bigger problem, he told ABC's "This Week," is that fights are turning off younger generations to Christianity.
"We have a lot of young people who sit on the fence on an issue like this. And they also think about their, you know, their belief in God," Kasich said. "And when we see these kind of battles going on I get a little bit afraid that it turns people off to the idea of faith in God, what it means to be a Christian."