Dec 18th, 2011
Even before Newt Gingrich's remarks regarding the judiciary during the most recent GOP debate (we live-blogged it HERE), he had already provoked criticism over his distorted notions of the separation of powers. Notably, former George W. Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey called them, "dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle."
As has always been the case with Newt, when faced with any intelligent criticism, he doubles down. In a conference call with the press yesterday, he vowed that, as President, he would simply ignore any Supreme Court ruling with which he disagrees.
Russel Berman notes:
"Gingrich’s position represents, in effect, a direct challenge to the interpretation of Marbury v. Madison, the seminal 1803 Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review and cemented the high court as the ultimate arbiter of whether congressional or executive acts are constitutional."
This is classic Gingrich; throw bombs and grin as they go off around our political landscape. We should be used to it.
However, his appearance on today's Face The Nation program was worse than merely reasserting an anti-Constitutional position. When asked about the "practical" dilemmas inherent in his proposal that congressional subpoenas be issued to judges whenever he disagrees with them, he said, "sure," he'd have judges arrested and forcibly compelled to explain themselves... politically.