Judge Not: Newt Gingrich Adds Another Zany Plank To His Platform

GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich continues to adopt some of the most lunatic positions from the right-wing fringe. First it was calling child labor laws “truly stupid.” Then it was calling Palestinians an “invented people.” Now Gingrich wants to go after judges he doesn’t like.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich was questioned about his prior comments that he would, as president, eliminate judges and courts that he regarded as overstepping their authority. As an example he suggested that the entire Ninth Circuit could be done away with. On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer noted that Gingrich’s proposal would violate the Constitution, and asked the former Speaker how he would enforce this. Would he send the Capitol police to arrest such judges? Gingrich replied…

“If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. marshal.”

This may go down in history as one of the stupidest, and most dangerous, statements from a presidential contender. The notion that a president could unilaterally punish judges for decisions with which the president disagrees is fundamentally unconstitutional and anti-American. Such power would mean that judges would have to live in fear of losing their job if they displeased the White House. It would mean that they could not decide cases on the merits, but would have to decide based on the political repercussions of their ruling. That would, in effect, make the judiciary an irrelevant appendage of the White House, rather than an independent and impartial administrator of the law.

It will be interesting to see how Gingrich’s Tea Party supporters respond to this repulsive stance. The Tea Party has always tried to portray itself as opposed to big government and the encroachment of power by government institutions. There is nothing more representative of a power grab than one branch of government asserting that it has the authority to eliminate another branch. And that’s exactly what Gingrich is proposing.

But I wonder if Gingrich has thought this through. If President Obama were to adopt Gingrich’s view today, he could have Justices Thomas and Scalia arrested and thrown off the bench. Then he could appoint two new judges to take their place. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Gingrich had in mind? In fact, were Obama to try that he would be swooped on by outraged Republicans and Tea Partiers and castigated as a traitor.

And if it wasn’t disgusting enough that Gingrich would propose something so contrary to American values, Fox Nation characterizes this as Gingrich criticizing “Anti-American Judges.” That’s a loaded term that implies that any judge that makes a ruling that a president doesn’t like is anti-American and, therefore, subject to impeachment. Of course, it’s the policy advanced by Gingrich, as well as the spin given to it by Fox, that is anti-American, not the judges that Gingrich yearns to impeach.

[Update] Fox Nation doubles down with a second column on Gingrich’s dictatorial aspirations. This one sports a curious headline that lamely tries to tar Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation as having been “jacked up” by Gingrich and calls the program “Slay the Nation.”

Fox Nation

Also note that on the morning following the death of Kim Jong Il, the Fox Nationalists place this rehashed story at the top of their web site above a much smaller link to a story on the deceased leader of North Korea.


5 thoughts on “Judge Not: Newt Gingrich Adds Another Zany Plank To His Platform

  1. To me this sentiment screams of totalitarianism. While people like to focus on issues that they think are fascistic, it really is the imposition of a one-party system with punishments for dissenting views that we should fear. Such ideas violate our first-amendment rights and invalidate the separation and balancing of powers that many of us see as a hallmark of our democratic system.

    The Nazis did not invent national healthcare – Germany’s system dates back to 1870. There were obviously changes through the years, but their system started under an emperor, went through the hiccup that was Weimar, into Nazism and prevails today. Their healthcare system was not the way they found communists, socialists, Jews and other people deemed “deviant” by their extreme nationalism.

    Nazis also did not want to control guns in the way that has been portrayed. My understanding is that they liberalized a bunch of gun laws that had begun with the treaty of Versailles and continued under Weimar. I think Hitler’s S.A. were armed. What they did was disarm groups they considered enemies (i.e. Jews).

    What is really telling is the inability of these kinds of government to handle any kind of dissent.

    Back to the topic of Gingrich and judges: I find that generally the media very poorly covers the courts (I love Nina Totenberg on N.P.R. though! I really learn something). If you read the judges’ decisions, you often understand their decision – even if you don’t always agree.

    • Tea Partiers fret irrationally about “czars” that are really just ordinary administrators. But when one of their own proposes something that a real czar would actually do, the TPs are silent (so far).

    • or, to paraphrase another Republican, Gingrich is proposing a dictatorship as long as he gets to be dictator.

  2. When I first heard this I thought it had to be a report from The Onion, it is so ridiculous and outrageous. I expect Gingrich will have to back pedal on this one, or, I hope, he is stupid enough to double down on it. I think this is serious enough that his front-runner status is going away. If the Romney camp and all of the repuke candidates, don’t jump all over this and destroy him with it, then they are complete idiots. No one in their right mind could support this nonsense. Imagine Obama or Hilary saying something this stupid in 2008. If Obama had said something that stupid he would not be President today-Hilary would have seen to that, and if Hilary would have, the primary race would have ended alot sooner. It just absolutely boggles my mind the shit that comes out of these demented minds. Good riddance Newt it was nice knowing ya!

  3. Man, what a fuck up this guy is. I mean seriously, has he ever been on top of anything and not totally obliterated himself? He makes it so easy, he doesn’t even make me angry anymore. What did they think would ultimately happen with (arguably) a party that’s been fractured? You give the lunatic fringe the loudest voice and all the defacto power and you actually will end up fracturing the party. Is that what we’re seeing with Romney just not cutting it for them? This is all just so amusing to me, and I don’t feel any where near as much shame as I should for that.

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