Newt Gingrich declared war against the nation’s courts on Thursday during the GOP debate in Sioux City, Iowa. After host Megyn Kelly asked him about the viability of his proposed plan to gut the judiciary branch, Gingrich said that as President he would abolish any court and get rid of any judge that makes a decision that he disagrees with.
“The courts have become grotesquely dictatorial, far too powerful. I’ve been working on this project since 2002 when the Ninth Circuit court said that ‘one nation under God’ is unconstitutional in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I decided that if you had judges that were so radically anti-American that they thought ‘one nation under God’ was wrong, they shouldn’t be on the court. Like Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR, I would be prepared to take on the judiciary if, in fact, it did not restrict what it was doing.” Gingrich then claimed that Thomas Jefferson himself abolished several federal judges in 1802.
Here’s the video:
Newt Gingrich is proving himself more dangerous by the minute. For some reason he thinks that as President, he’d have power beyond what is granted by the Constitution. The President has no power to abolish judges and entire courts. That takes an act of Congress. Even Jefferson had to rely on Congress to remove federal judges and even then he didn’t get what he wanted. Back in 1802, Jefferson wished to remove many of the judges appointed by his political rival, John Adams. He successfully lobbied Congress into impeaching some of the judges on legal grounds such as drunkenness and because many of them were simply proved to be unnecessary. But Congress stopped short of getting rid of judges based on politics, rebelled against Jefferson, and the removals ended. In the end, Congress refused to get rid of judges simply because Jefferson disagreed with them politically.
If Gingrich had his way, all of what he terms “liberal judges” would be removed and replaced with judges that will do what he wants them to do, regardless of the Constitution. He would institute a litmus test on all appointees and would only choose judges based on their politics and not their ability. Gingrich would be setting a dangerous precedent that would essentially outlaw judges with opposite viewpoints. It’s a violation of the Constitution and of the separation of powers.
Gingrich is complaining about the Ninth Circuit Court because it rightly ruled that “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. Gingrich needs to read the Constitution because it says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” When Congress voted to add the words “under God” to the Pledge, it established a religion, thus violating the First Amendment. In other words, the court ruled correctly and Gingrich is out of line. He is a sorry excuse for a historian, and has a pompousness that makes him unfit to be President of a nation that needs bipartisanship and unity. Under a Gingrich Presidency, America would be more divided than ever before and conservatives would ban liberal viewpoints. They would destroy the First Amendment and the Constitution and would force Americans to live under conservative rule no matter how they vote. It would be the end of the America the Founding Fathers envisioned.