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Tue Dec 20, 2011, 01:07 PM

Chemerinsky on Newt: Today's LA Times [View all]

December 20, 2011
The attack on the federal judiciary by Republican candidates for president has reached a new low and should be denounced by liberals and conservatives alike. In November, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that if elected president, his "appointees to the federal bench will not receive a lifetime appointment."Now Newt Gingrich has pledged that if he were elected he would defy Supreme Court rulings with which he disagreed and that judicial review to ensure that the government complies with the Constitution has been "grossly overstated."

In Thursday's debate in Iowa and in a media conference call on Saturday, Gingrich declared that courts are forcing us into a constitutional crisis because of their "arrogant overreach." He repeatedly blasted federal judges for imposing "elitist opinions" on the rest of the country. He has called for impeaching judges, abolishing judgeships and even eliminating courts whose rulings he dislikes.


For example, in recent years, the high court has handed George W. Bush the presidency, greatly expanded the rights of gun owners under the 2nd Amendment, limited abortion rights and found in favor of corporations spending unlimited amounts of money in election campaigns. And most of the federal district court and court of appeals judges today were appointed by Republican presidents.

But there is a difference to this year's political rhetoric about the courts: It is more mean-spirited and it shows a stunning ignorance of the Constitution and American history.

Gingrich, for example, has called federal judges "anti-American" and "grotesquely dictatorial." And both Gingrich and Rick Santorum have talked about abolishing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Santorum said that he would "sign a bill tomorrow to eliminate the 9th Circuit," adding, "That court is rogue. It's a pox on the western part of our country." I don't recall prominent candidates for presidential nominations Democratic or Republican ever talking in such tones.

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Reply Chemerinsky on Newt: Today's LA Times [View all]
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2011 OP
suffragette Dec 2011 #1
gratuitous Dec 2011 #2
Laelth Dec 2011 #4
11 Bravo Dec 2011 #9
snagglepuss Dec 2011 #11
Laelth Dec 2011 #3
WCGreen Dec 2011 #5
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2011 #7
hifiguy Dec 2011 #6
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2011 #8
hifiguy Dec 2011 #10