Calling the decision “an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny” issues by “five unelected lawyers,” Huckabee vowed to use executive orders to preserve Americans’ religious freedom. Huckabee mapped out a three-pronged approach, which he said would be carried out on the first day of his hypothetical administration. It involves signing religious liberty orders that protect businesses, churches and other organizations for “exercising their religious beliefs,” particularly where their marriage views are concerned; directing the attorney general to prosecute attacks against people of faith—including those who oppose gay marriage—as hate crimes; and preventing military chaplains from having to carry out same-sex marriages.
Huckabee is an avowed opponent of same-sex marriage who has signed DefendMarriage.org’s civil disobedience pledge. In May, he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that only Congress has the power to change federal laws.
Other 2016 Republican candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) have promised to ignore the ruling or take legislative action to undermine it. Jindal faces a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Louisiana on Tuesday for signing an executive order that he says protects local clerks who want to opt out of officiating gay marriages. Marriage equality advocates say Jindal's “Marriage and Conscience Order” goes beyond his constitutional authority as governor.