Gingrich Claims He Would Arrest Activist Judges
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attacked the U.S. courts and said that he would send Capitol Hill police or U.S. marshals to arrest judges and put them before a congressional hearing, reported Think Progress in a Dec. 18 article.
Gingrich made his statement this weekend on CBS’s "Face the Nation," hosted by Bob Schieffer.
The GOP candidate went off about "activist judges" who "impose secularism." He said that these judges who "make disagreeable decisions should be held accountable before Congress," Think Progress writes.
Gingrich went on to say that he would send Capitol Hill police or a U.S. marshal to arrest the judge if necessary. He then would "encourage impeachment."
"One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a Congressional hearing... How would you enforce that," Schieffer asked. "Would you send the Capitol police down to arrest him?
"Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal," Gingrich replied.
The GOP presidential hopeful also said that there is a "fundamental assault on our liberties by the courts."
In the past, Gingrich has said that Congress and the president should be able to ignore court rulings with which they disagree and that in some controversial cases, the authorities could become involved to subpoena activist judges and defend their rulings, the Blaze reported in a Dec. 18 article.
Gingrich pointed out a recent instance where a U.S. District Court Judge Fred Biery ruled that a Texas high school could not use religious language during a graduation ceremony.
"I think he should be asked to explain a position that radical," Gingrich said. "How could he say he’s going to jail the superintendent over the word ’benediction’ and ’invocation’?"
"I got in this originally for two things," he said. "The steady encroachment of secularism through the courts to redefine America as a non-religious country and the encroachment of the courts on the president’s commander-in-chief powers, which is enormously dangerous."
Gingrich has been slammed for his views from both the left and the right. Former Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that some of Gingrich’s ideas for the judiciary are "are "dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall, and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle," U.S. News & World Report reported in an Dec. 19 article.
In a Dec. 19 post on Law.com, author Kenneth Shuster writes, "We should see Gingrich’s arguments against the judiciary, and those of others like him, for what they are - namely, ideological power grabs."
"We should appreciate that we need judicial supremacy because, without it, we invite the danger of a ’tyranny of the majority’ that will not only fail to protect the rights of minorities, but oppress them. Do we want to live in a country that can legally discriminate against Muslims, Jews, gays or African-Americans, simply because the majority is Christian, straight and white?"