Monday, December 19, 2011

About “Newt’s War on the Courts”

There has been not a little unhappiness among conservatives about Newt Gingrich’s recent statements about holding federal judges accountable. Hot Air even dubbed it “Newt’s war on the courts”.

However, I am not among those who are unhappy. Although I, too, may disagree with details of what Gingrich has said on the subject, I am actually heartened by his boldness.

For the problem in recent decades has not been Presidents and Congresses confronting the Judiciary, but the unwillingness of Presidents and Congresses to do so. Federal judges have again and again disregarded and undermined the Constitution with impunity. And the other branches of the federal government have done next to nothing.

That is not the way constitutional government should work.

Under our Constitution, the three branches of the federal government are to check and balance each other. And the Executive branch has done that to Congress, and the Congress to the Executive, and the Judiciary to both.

But who has checked the Judiciary and kept it in balance? Federal judges have acted like dictators in black robes, even nullifying elections without Constitutional backing, and have not been held accountable at all.

There are constitutional means for Presidents and Congresses, as well as Governors, to put rogue federal judges in their places. But they rarely, if ever, do so even when outrageous rulings cry out for it.

So when a candidate expresses the willingness to actually defend our Constitution against judges who care not a wit for it, I am that much more inclined to support said candidate. When one branch goes rogue and disregards and even attacks our Constitution, it is the sworn duty of other branches to defend the Constitution.

Now, can this be taken too far? Can one branch so suppress the power of another branch that it is dangerous and unconstitutional? Can checking the power of federal judges go too far? Yes, and FDR, for one, did take things too far.

But since FDR, that has rarely if ever been the problem. The problem has been federal judges who tear down the rightful power of the other branches, of the states, and of the people, and have disregarded the Constitution without let or hindrance. And the future of our constitutional republic demands that such judicial arrogance be put in its place.

Good on Newt Gingrich for the courage to express the willingness to do so.

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