Just when you thought Newt Gingrich’s positions on judicial independence couldn’t get any more insane and dangerous than they already are, he went on Face the Nation on Sunday and advocated arresting judges who issue rulings he doesn’t like.
Newt Gingrich on Sunday hammered at the nation’s judiciary system, saying that if a court’s decision was out of step with American popular opinion, it should be ignored.
There’s “no reason the American people need to tolerate a judge that out of touch with American culture,” Gingrich said on CBS’ Face the Nation, referring to a case where a judge ruled that explicit references to religion were barred from a high school graduation ceremony. And Gingrich recently has said judges should have to explain some of their decisions before Congress.
Host Bob Schieffer asked Gingrich how he planned to enforce that. Would you call in the Capitol Police to apprehend a federal judge, he asked.
“If you had to,” Gingrich said. “Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall in.”
A judge should have to explain his or her radical decisions, Gingrich emphasized again.
On Planet Wingnuttia, judges have to go to Congress and explain their decisions and be arrested if they don’t. On planet Earth, judges do explain their decisions. They issue rulings that anyone, including a congressman, can read to see their legal reasoning.
Gingrich claims his tough stance is part of a key question going into the 2012 elections: “Do you want to move towards American exceptionalism, reassert the Constitution, reassert the nature of America, or do you, in fact, want to become a secular, European, sort of bureaucratic socialist society?”
Standard wingnut behavior, advocating something clearly in opposition to the Constitution and justifying it in the name of saving the Constitution. The Constitution provides for an independent judiciary for a reason. And they explained exactly why they did so in the Federalist Papers. As a historian, Gingrich knows this; as a demagogue, he doesn’t care.