Huck: Trump Should Ignore Travel Ban Ruling, Like Jackson With Trail Of Tears

Danny Johnston

President Donald Trump may want to avoid taking legal advice from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

After a federal judge on Wednesday ordered a hold on Trump’s revised travel ban, Huckabee urged the President to ignore the ruling, citing Andrew Jackson’s refusal to enforce an 1832 Supreme Court decision affirming the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation. Jackson rejected the decision in Worcester v. Georgia, leading to the forcible expulsion of some 15,000 Cherokee from Georgia along the Trail of Tears. Some 4,000 died on that journey.

According to Huckabee, this is a solid historical precedent.

“Hoping @POTUS tells Hawaii judge what Andrew Jackson told overreaching court,” Huckabee wrote on Twitter. “I’ll ignore it and let the court enforce their order.”

That is a misquotation of a remark, believed to be apocryphal, that Jackson made about Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling in Worcester v. Georgia: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."

Other stalwart Trump supporters have held up Jackson as an example for the President to follow.

William Johnson, chairman of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, told TPM last year that Trump may need to override the judicial and legislative branches to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

“You could have a Trump do what Andrew Jackson did when he defied the U.S. Supreme Court and had the Trail of Tears,” Johnson said at the 2016 American Renaissance conference, a gathering of white nationalists, pointing out that the president “controls the armies.”

Trump doesn’t appear to be planning on such drastic steps at the moment. During a Wednesday speech in Tennessee, he said he intended to take the travel ban case “as far as it needs to go,” on up to the Supreme Court.

On a surface level, though, Trump says he models himself after Old Hickory, whose portrait he’s granted a prime spot in the Oval Office. During a visit Wednesday to the Hermitage, Jackson’s home in Nashville, Trump praised his distant predecessor as “inspirational” and a “beloved president.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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