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News Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the wrong decisions

  1. Dec 19, 2011 #1
    Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    From http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/gingrich-capitol-police-could-arrest-radical-judges.php [Broken]

    This man is openly running as a tyrant. And he's the GOP frontrunner?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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  3. Dec 19, 2011 #2

    russ_watters

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    At face value, I see nothing wrong with what he said (unless it is missing something). He's saying judges should explain rulings to Congress and if they refuse to do so that they should be brought there by force. What is wrong with that? Judges do answer to Congress according to the Constitution, but we have not been enforcing that.

    I have a much bigger issue with him saying that judges need to pay more attention to popular opinion. IMO, that's exactly the problem we have right now: that they are ruling based more on popular opinion than what the Constitution requires in some cases.
     
  4. Dec 19, 2011 #3
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Agree with Russ
     
  5. Dec 19, 2011 #4

    D H

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    He's pandering to some of the more vociferous elements of the right. Impeachment is for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Incompetence and having the wrong political views are not a part of the equation.

    The original intent of the words "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" was to take politics out of the equation. I thought Gingrich was a strict constitutionalist. I guess that means he believes in following the original intent strictly when he agrees with that original intent. Otherwise, he'll just ignore it (just as he promises to ignore judicial rulings with which he doesn't agree).
     
  6. Dec 19, 2011 #5
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Agree with D H. right now, the problem we have is not too much judicial authority, but an unreined executive and legislative authority.

    I think Gingrich is a dangerous fascist, and it's people like him who are destroying this country.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2011 #6

    Pengwuino

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    I didn't know having judges explain their decisions, something they're suppose to do anyways, constitutes "tyranny". Please look up the word tyrant in the dictionary next time.
     
  8. Dec 19, 2011 #7

    D H

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Please. It's over the top rhetoric like this that can make P&WA a rather nasty place, and that makes our country so very, very polarized.

    Try to make your points without resorting to extreme name calling.
     
  9. Dec 19, 2011 #8
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    One one hand, he's saying that judges should be "in touch with popular opinion", which I can understand. But when he's talked about actually enforcing this, he then says he would apprehend judges whose decisions he disagrees with.

    In other words, he is using accountability to the public opinion as a way to justify being accountable to congress at the president's discretion.
    This leaves the door absolutely wide open for the president to 'call out' judges he disagrees with, regardless of what the public opinion actually is. I could get behind a law/practice of judges being accountable to a majority opinion, but in practice that doesn't sound like that's actually what he's suggesting. He's suggesting that they should be accountable to congress. Congress has a ~15% approval rating. They are perhaps the absolute worst representation of public opinion.

    Sidebar: For reference, can someone post the relevant snippets from the constitution that talk about this?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  10. Dec 19, 2011 #9
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    No they don't. Here is what the constitution says.

    The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

    Judges decisions can be argued in a higher court. The Supreme Court is the highest court and once they decide, there is no recourse. The only way Congress can enter into this process is by changing the laws that the judges consider when deciding.

    If that's what Gingrich meant then I disagree with him. But even if he implemented such a rule, it would be meaningless. Judges would come before Congress, explain, and then everyone would go home. On rare occasions, judges would refuse, they would be brought before Congress by force, they would explain, and then everyone would go home. What kind of monkey business is that? I think he meant something worse. Namely, that if he didn't like the explanation, then the judge should be punished.
     
  11. Dec 19, 2011 #10
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Newt has also stated that he would ignore supreme court rulings that conflict with his executive powers.

    IMHO I think if that is the case we need to clarify exactly what those powers are. Newt sounds like a man who wants to be King.

    As a matter of fact according to Dick Cheney the vice president has the same powers as the president. Would the president and vice president have to agree on what they disagree with??

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/17/news/la-pn-gingrich-judges-20111217
     
  12. Dec 19, 2011 #11
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    It's non of my business but it seems like a fundamental violation of the basis of modern democracy, Trias politica, which is I believe also in the United States Constitution.

    Hence if there are judicial issues, that should be settled by judicial means.
     
  13. Dec 19, 2011 #12

    D H

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    That's pretty scary, actually. Judges should be in touch with the law. Public opinion is fickle, fickle, fickle, and stupid to boot.

    Here he is on solid ground. Congress has the right to impeach (and subpoena) judges. Failing to appear for an impeachment hearing is contempt of Congress. Time to send in the US Marshals!


    Where Gingrich is wrong is in trying to politicize the impeachment process. Impeachment was designed to be hard. The Constitution requires that Congress must find the person to be guilty of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Note that "we don't like your political views" is not in that list. Gingrich also must know, as a historian, that politicizing the impeachment process is futile. Impeachment alone is meaningless. The person must also be tried and found guilty. There is no chance that a politicized impeachment would pass muster in the Senate.

    You asked for references on how impeachment works. The House is responsible for impeaching public officials. This impeachment requires a mere majority. Think of impeachment as the equivalent of a grand jury. After being impeached, the case moves to the Senate. Representatives from the House act as prosecutors; the Senate acts as judge and jury. The catch is that a 2/3 vote is needed to find the impeached person guilty. That's 67 Senators.

    Sans that 2/3 majority, an impeachment is just an embarrassment to the House. Even if by some miracle the Senate becomes 67 Republicans, 33 Democrats (fat chance) at least one of those Republicans will vote against a politicized impeachment trial.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2011 #13
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    We have a delicate balancing act of three co-equal branches. It is not a judicial dictatorship. When they legislate from the bench the president AND the congress can take action. Together they have the power to reconstitute the judiciary. Newt has bombastic language but he cannot subpoena judges, congress can. He cannot abolish the 9th circus court of appeals but the president and the congress can. Lincoln, the reconstructionist republicans and FDR all had power struggles with the judiciary. This is nothing new.

    Skippy
     
  15. Dec 19, 2011 #14
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Actually, it's worse:

    I am so, so, so sick of politicians using the words "un-American" to rationalize why their opinions are better than others'. The more I read from this guy, the more I want to vote for Obama, or if Obama decides not to run, a trained monkey who may or may not be opposing Gingrich. Like edward said, it sounds like he thinks the president should be a dictator (but only if hes president).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  16. Dec 19, 2011 #15
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    well, they can subpoena judges all they want, but congressional hearings are rarely ever more than theater. and his assertion that they explain themselves before congress seems odd. judges normally write opinions explaining their decisions, don't they? the judge doesn't have to explain anything, he can just read back his opinion. if congress thinks it's bad jurisprudence, then they can take the option of impeachment and dismiss the judge. sure, they could use this process to harass one or two judges, but there's a lot of political price if one wants to go cleaning house in the judiciary.
     
  17. Dec 19, 2011 #16

    Char. Limit

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    The GOP has a great method of picking frontrunners, doesn't it? Michelle Bachmann and her "I will be submissive to my husband in the presidency", Rick Perry and his "I can't remember the third thing", Herman Cain and his SimCity tax plan, and now we have Newt Gingrich and his "I'm gonna try to abolish courts I disagree with". I'll just say this, and this is a fact: I will never vote for someone who proposes the abolition of any court because it disagrees with the President's opinion.
     
  18. Dec 19, 2011 #17
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    I agree 100%. I think at some point the GOP is going to have to compromise on its values and accept a candidate that doesn't embody extremely far-right views, in order to gain votes in the actual election.
     
  19. Dec 19, 2011 #18
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    The narcissism of such statements truly amazes me.
     
  20. Dec 19, 2011 #19

    D H

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    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    Both parties have gone through phases of appeasing so much to their extremes so as to make that party's candidates unelectable. This may well be one of those times.
     
  21. Dec 19, 2011 #20
    Re: Newt Gingrich wants to arrest federal judges if they make the "wrong" decisions

    I take it then that you would not have voted for FDR who threatened to
    "pack" the supreme court if they continued to declare "new deal" legislation as unconstitutional?

    Skippy
     
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