Sunday, December 18, 2011

In August, I noted that Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, and Newt Gingrich would "never, ever, ever be the GOP nominee for president in 2012." I was asked over the weekend whether Mr. Gingrich's recent surge has caused me to reconsider this statement. It has not. One need look no further than this article to see why he won't be president.

While I doubt the judiciary is any more "arrogant" now than it has been in the past, does it not occur to Mr. Gingrich, that the majority of federal court judges were appointed by Republicans? By way of example, President George W. Bush appointed a total of 325 judges. President Obama has appointed 123.

I have a lot more I could say about Mr. Gingrich's utterly insane proposals concerning the judiciary but since he will never be president, I will simply point out that his beliefs about a rogue judiciary sound to me a lot like the complaints raised by these two lawyers.


  1. No question you're right. To a devout democrat, this is quite a spectacle on the right. One acceptable candidate is detested by the party whose nomination he seeks and then there is the preferred parade of embarrassing clowns each of whom takes the stage until their sad performances become unbearable even to themselves. Haven't had this much fun since Watergate.

  2. It's going to be a fun year, no doubt.

    Just for some perspective, the following individuals were mainstream candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2004:

    Al Sharpton
    Dennis Kucinich
    John Edwards
    Carol Moseley Braun

    Other candidates (Bob Graham, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Wesley Clark) could be considered, well, acquired tastes. And of course, they ended up with John Kerry as the candidate, running with JOE LIEBERMAN!

    I think Gingrich is popular because he says things that politicians don't usually say, and he is often thought-provoking -- even if the thought is, "hey, wait a minute!"

    Take, for example, his recent comments about judges. First, I need to point out that the Huffington Post "article" you linked to is extremely misleading about what Gingrich actually said. He did not say that "he would be willing to arrest a judge who he thought was out of line." That of course would be ridiculous, and Gingrich said nothing of the sort. His proposal is that Congress should in some cases bring judges before it to explain their opinions, using the subpoena power if necessary. Then Schieffer asked if he would send the capitol police if the judge refused to comply with the subpoena, and Gingrich said yes. Yes is the clearly the correct answer if you believe that Congress has the power to subpoena judges. And Gingrich has a pretty good argument for why Congress has that power: because Congress has the power to impeach judges. Surely the greater power of impeachment includes the lesser power of investigative subpoena.

    That said, the idea of bringing judges in to explain their opinions to Congress is objectionable for at least two reasons: (1) Judges already explain their opinions in their ... opinions; and (2) Bad opinions written in good faith should not be an impeachable offense.

    But there are some interesting ideas in there. The only thing I can say for sure is that reducing Gingrich's comments to "I will arrest judges I don't like" is a ridiculous and unfair lie that cheapens public life.

    I do agree Newt Gingrich will never be president, but it would be fun to watch him run.

  3. Possibly of interest, regarding the substance of Gingrinch's remarks on judicial supremacy:

  4. By the way, I see I made an error up there -- of course John Edwards was Kerry's VP candidate, not Joe Lieberman (who ran with Gore). Couple of real winners there!


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