Senator Lindsey Graham took sides on the Kim Davis controversy today, saying that Kim Davis shouldn’t have been sent to jail but that “the secular law of the land is the United States Constitution”:
“I can sympathize with those who feel like traditional marriage is under attack and the court is wrong,” added the South Carolina senator. “But I can not say as a conservative that the court’s decision does not apply because I dislike it. I can not say as a conservative there is not a judicial interpretation of the Constitution that is supreme when it comes to how the Constitution works.”
Lindsey Graham is making a mistake here. One can accept that Supreme Court rulings need to be respected and still fight for religious liberty. In fact, Graham was doing that just earlier this summer. Compare what he said about Davis to this statement from June:
“What I want to do is protect the religious liberties of those who believe that opposing same sex marriage as part of their faith. So no I would not engage in the Constitutional amendment process as a party going into 2016. Accept the Court’s ruling. Fight for the religious liberties of every American.”
Flip flopping much, Senator? What happened to fighting for “the religious liberties of every American”? The closest Graham came to addressing that here was talking about SCOTUS nominees:
“All I can say is that appointing Supreme Court justices really matters, and I don’t want to lose an election we’re about to win,” said Graham. “I don’t want to be a presidential candidate that seems not to understand we’re a constitutional democracy not a theocracy.”
Of course judicial appointments matter! That’s why religious voters are looking for someone who will stand up for them consistently, without changing their tone every time the wind shifts. Senator Graham deserves respect for his strong stand for pro-life legislation and his willingness to advocate for immigration reform, but moments like this have me wondering if we want him nominating our next Supreme Court justice.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.