Newt’s war on the courts

posted at 5:00 pm on December 18, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Given Newt Gingrich’s rather curious comments on the judicial branch of the federal government during last week’s GOP debate in Iowa, and the fact that he has doubled – if not tripled – down on them since then, two serious questions remain. While they draw raucous applause from conservative debate crowds, are these even remotely viable proposals and, perhaps more to the point, is he even serious?

As to the first matter, there’s more than ample evidence that these latest products rolling off the production line at the idea factory that is Newt Gingrich may have skipped over the Quality Control station checkpoint. Should federal judges not serve for life? Should they be subpoenaed to explain their less than satisfactory decisions to Congress? Can the president simply ignore their decisions if he/she finds them unacceptable? To get the full history of these suggestions – which are actually far from new – attorney Doug Mataconis provides an extensive tutorial. As usual, it’s fairly long with a lot of material to go over, but you’ll find the history of court cases and historical vignettes which provide the backdrop to where we stand today. But for a shorter summary, Gerald Shargel dots the i’s and crosses the t’s.

What Gingrich ignored last night, and what was only noted briefly by Ron Paul, is that under Article III of the Constitution, federal judges are appointed for life. Only personal misconduct can result in impeachment and removal. A judge may not be removed because of decisions with which Republicans disagree. Gingrich should be smart enough to know that subpoenaing judges is neither legal nor workable. But this historian also knows that the Army-McCarthy hearings made for good television.

Doug himself concludes with some of the weightier consequences.

In his position paper, Gingrich engages in a wholesale attack on the structure of American government as established in the Constitution, and as it has existed for the past two centuries, proposing to replace it with a system where majorities are given even more control over the levers of state while minorities are increasingly denied access to the one branch of government most likely to protect them from a rapacious and oppressive majority. It is an attack on the Constitution, on the Rule Of Law, and on individual liberty. The fact that it received so many cheers last night is very disturbing.

There’s more to it than that, though. One of the classic episodes from American history where this question arose early on was the 1832 SCOTUS decision in Worcester v. Georgia, where the high court held that individual states didn’t have the right to seize Native American lands. Andrew Jackson, already engaged in a process of effectively purging the indigenous tribes from Georgia and Florida was incensed beyond consolation. Jackson is recorded as responding by saying, “Justice Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

It’s easy to write this off as a dusty trivia question from the early 19th century without pausing to consider just how terrifying that moment truly was. It wound up passing, but that period of executive revolt raised a question which has come up many times in our nation’s history during times of constitutional crisis. The Executive branch controls not only the military, but the civilian department responsible for law enforcement. What becomes of the courts if they can find no agent to enforce their decrees? Are they to pack up their black robes in hobo bindles and flee to Canada? At that point you may as well take down the tents, dim the lights and pack it in because the Great American Experiment has ended.

But none of this may wind up mattering very much in the case of Newt Gingrich, which brings us to the second question posed above. Is he really serious about this? To answer that one, I find myself reminded not of some historical figure from the early days of the nation, but the modern day master of bombast, Rush Limbaugh.

Some years ago, Ed Morrissey was discussing Rush with me and he provided a fairly lucid explanation for the man’s behavior. The vast majority of the time, he told me, Rush is pretty much just this guy who covers and comments on current events, politics and government news from a very conservative perspective. Sure, there’s the occasional story which enrages him and gets him shouting, but it’s nothing really out of line. But every once in a while he lets slip with something that gets the liberal blogosphere and the MSM setting their hair on fire. Depending on the comment, his critics will accuse him of being a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, or whatever the flavor of the week may be. But Rush always manages to somehow tiptoe the line so that it’s more of a dog whistle than an actual bark.

So does this mean that, deep down, Limbaugh is a racist or whatever? The answer is probably no, because what Rush is – first and foremost – is a showman and a businessman who knows that controversy is good, attracts more listeners and gets people talking about him. The same can be said for politicians trying to attract the high “ratings” of the voting public. As Shargel notes above, the Army-McCarthy hearings made for good television.

Still, as we find in a more recent update, Newt was back out on the trail today doing the Sunday morning shows and pitching the same ideas. And he manages to do it with a straight face.

Newt is hardly a stupid man, and he’s probably forgotten more American History than most of us will ever learn. He doubtless has not lost track of Article III. The more likely explanation is that this is something which was a designed play to create precisely this type of outraged conversation and earned media which keeps his name in the headlines without spending a dime of campaign money. And it doesn’t hurt that his most conservative primary voters and Tea Party enthusiasts, long frustrated with various decisions by the Supreme Court, eat it up with a spoon.

If Newt wins the nomination – and eventually the presidency – I expect this particular issue will be one that fades away down the memory hole as he becomes more busy with real world affairs. So maybe it was a crazy idea… crazy like a fox.

UPDATE: Karl adds his own thoughts on this subject in the Green Room.


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No branch of government should be able to govern or rule against the will of the people without the people having some way to reverse their decisions. The government has to be forced to understand that we know what is best for us.

mike_NC9 on December 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

While I agree that SC justices should have term limits, I do not think that it is a wise idea to hand over power from the judges to Congress. For the most part, I do not think that the SC has made that many bad decisions. I am sure there are more, but the only one I can think of at the moment is Roe V. Wade, but even then the only people who think that was a bad idea are people who are pro-life.

Whenever I hear GOP nominees like Rick Santorum saying that Lawrence V. Texas needs to overturned, or people like Rick Perry saying that Engel v. Vitale needs to be overturned, it makes me worried, because, in my own opinion, the courts made the right decisions in both of those cases, and wanting to overturn them does not make a lot of sense to me.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Newt is at least attempting to address the issue of a court system that is largely acting outside its Constitutional roles and checks and balances. Kudos for the attempt…

Yes, the courts have Constitutional authority to review cases as they impact Constitutional principles. However, the ability to use that power to basically write law and extend our Constitution with their decisions is a power they’ve pretty much created by themselves starting back with Marbury vs Madison sometime around the nation’s start.

IMHO, the solution to bring the Courts back into the Constitutionally preferred system of checks and balances is relatively simple — Just pass a law that all Judicial rulings that “create law” will sunset according to a formula of X years times the number of justices in the majority (X = 4 years?). Then provide a system of sunseting previous decisions by a similar process related to how long ago the ruling took place and size of majority. Sunset laws and rules have been used before in limited fashion and followed without issue. Just make them broader and long lasting.

For example, a one vote majority ruling might create the basis for how a law is interpreted for 4 years, but then, after four years, that ruling/law would sunset unless something was passed by the normal legislative process — written and passed by Congress, signed by the President.

Sunsetting judicial rulings by size of majority would create an orderly process to bring future, present and past judicial activism under control by eventually referring judicial rulings back to the legislative process, where laws are supposed to be written. It would do so without taking away the power of the Courts to make rulings, however it would also limit the courts ability to create what is essentially the Constitutional law without going thru the proscribed Constitutional amendment process.

Ideally, one might also contemplate if laws (and regulations) might also sunset according to the size of the Congressional majority supporting such laws so that something that passes by one vote doesn’t last for all time — they’d have to be reviewed. Again, this is nothing new — it’s commonly done…

Sunsetting Judicial Activism would create an orderly process that might also answer Jefferson’s contemplations of how each generation should have a significant role in shaping it’s own government and destiny.

Oh, yes, this means that sometime down the road the RvW ruling would sunset, as well as many other (conservative and liberal) activist rulings. It’s long past time that Congress stopped purposefully writing law that is so vague that it eventually (purposefully) ends up be ‘written’ by the courts…

The US Constitution defines a nation where the rule of law is supreme, but that shouldn’t mean that the Supreme’s write the law. Yes, there are undoubtably many on the left who would object to having limits put on the courts — time to get over it…

drfredc on December 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

If we’d elect leaders to actually defend our liberties, instead of erode them – the judges would mirror that philosophy.

fatlibertarianinokc on December 18, 2011 at 8:54 PM

While I agree that SC justices should have term limits, I do not think that it is a wise idea to hand over power from the judges to Congress. For the most part, I do not think that the SC has made that many bad decisions. I am sure there are more, but the only one I can think of at the moment is Roe V. Wade, but even then the only people who think that was a bad idea are people who are pro-life.

So the only people who think Roe was a bad idea are the people who think Roe was a bad idea? Uh… okay. You aren’t a fan of tautologies by any chance, are you?

Whenever I hear GOP nominees like Rick Santorum saying that Lawrence V. Texas needs to overturned, or people like Rick Perry saying that Engel v. Vitale needs to be overturned, it makes me worried, because, in my own opinion, the courts made the right decisions in both of those cases, and wanting to overturn them does not make a lot of sense to me.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I happen to think Lawrence v Texas was wrongly decided as was Engel v Vitale. The latter is left to the states by the 1st amendment, since it only addresses the Congress, and the former has no right to privacy that exists within the Constitution to support it. A right against unreasonable search and seizure does not equate to an ability to supercede state laws when it comes to personal conduct.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I and I alone will call the conservatives home and make Mitt Romney the 45th President of the United States. Then he will reward me for my loyalty with a cushy White House job.

Michelle? Michelle is that you? Michelle of Pawlenties rejection, of Perrys Gardasil, of Herms 999 indiscretions, and now after having heaped effusive praise upon him when he helped her, the Michelle of Newt is a lobbyist?
Michelle? Romneys tool? Is that you? Mini me?

ConcealedKerry on December 18, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Full exposition of this issue, from this week’s gangbang victim himself, here.

spiritof61 on December 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM

So the only people who think Roe was a bad idea are the people who think Roe was a bad idea? Uh… okay. You aren’t a fan of tautologies by any chance, are you?

I could have worded my statement a lot better, yeah

I happen to think Lawrence v Texas was wrongly decided as was Engel v Vitale. The latter is left to the states by the 1st amendment, since it only addresses the Congress, and the former has no right to privacy that exists within the Constitution to support it. A right against unreasonable search and seizure does not equate to an ability to supercede state laws when it comes to personal conduct.

If you believe that gay people should be fined/put in prison for having consensual sex that harms nobody, then why not go ahead and make adultery illegal as well? Both of them are based solely on religious law, so, why not? Why not outlaw divorce as well? And outlaw premartial sex? Where does it end?

As for Engel v. Vitale, I would argue that a school that is run by the government and teachers who are government employees cannot force students to pray to a certain god of a certain religion, because that is the government giving special treatment to a certain religion, which the 1st amendment prohibits.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 9:02 PM

While I agree that SC justices should have term limits, I do not think that it is a wise idea to hand over power from the judges to Congress. For the most part, I do not think that the SC has made that many bad decisions. I am sure there are more, but the only one I can think of at the moment is Roe V. Wade, but even then the only people who think that was a bad idea are people who are pro-life.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Kelo v New London, love much?

Archivarix on December 18, 2011 at 9:04 PM

This is a Harvard Law School educated lawyer writing. I understand where Newt is coming from. With all due respect, Jazz Shaw, you don’t.
Phil Byler on December 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM

With that degree and all, you’ll note that Newt took a pass on employing the judicial inquisition scheme when he was in office. Jazz is correct in that this just was Newt being Newt, throwing out some nonsense red meat bait to get some attention to combat the start of the usual “Flavor Of The Month” slip in the polls.

whatcat on December 18, 2011 at 9:07 PM

If you believe that gay people should be fined/put in prison for having consensual sex that harms nobody, then why not go ahead and make adultery illegal as well? Both of them are based solely on religious law, so, why not? Why not outlaw divorce as well? And outlaw premartial sex? Where does it end?

Can laws that you find personally immoral be Constitutional?

Anyway, did someone just drop the H bomb a few posts back? Did you know you’re talking to the guy who sleeps with Gisele and just sacrificed a male virgin named Tim. So what I say really matters.

ZGMF_Freedom on December 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM

The lazy Supremes also couldn’t be bothered by the probability President Zero citizenship isn’t natural born.

viking01 on December 18, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Fair enough on the Roe bit.

I happen to think Lawrence v Texas was wrongly decided as was Engel v Vitale. The latter is left to the states by the 1st amendment, since it only addresses the Congress, and the former has no right to privacy that exists within the Constitution to support it. A right against unreasonable search and seizure does not equate to an ability to supercede state laws when it comes to personal conduct.

If you believe that gay people should be fined/put in prison for having consensual sex that harms nobody, then why not go ahead and make adultery illegal as well? Both of them are based solely on religious law, so, why not? Why not outlaw divorce as well? And outlaw premartial sex? Where does it end?

Were it up to me, I’d sooner see adultery illegal than sodomy. With adultery not only do you have the abuse of another human being by violating the Kantian imperative (i.e. by treating a person as a means to an end rather than an end in and of themselves), but you also have the violation of contractual terms arranged via marriage vows.

I also favor the elimination of no-fault divorce, although I do favor it when there’s spousal abandonment and abuse — things where one spouse can clearly be faulted and subjected to criminal penalties. I think we’ve made a mockery of marriage by not insisting that people take their vows seriously. It’s what has enabled cultural rot to a large degree in this country.

As for fornication, I’d again consider that a Kantian imperative violation. I’d be willing to make that illegal too. I grant you that these positions put me out of the mainstream of American thought and strictly in the Social Conservative camp. I can live with that.

As for where it ends, I think it ends once you stop having Kantian imperative violations and violations of promises / contracts.

As for Engel v. Vitale, I would argue that a school that is run by the government and teachers who are government employees cannot force students to pray to a certain god of a certain religion, because that is the government giving special treatment to a certain religion, which the 1st amendment prohibits.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 9:02 PM

If you read the first amendment though, it says that Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion. From what I can see, that leaves it under the purview of the states by the 10th amendment.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:12 PM

While I agree that SC justices should have term limits, I do not think that it is a wise idea to hand over power from the judges to Congress. For the most part, I do not think that the SC has made that many bad decisions. I am sure there are more, but the only one I can think of at the moment is Roe V. Wade, but even then the only people who think that was a bad idea are people who are pro-life.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Kelo v New London, love much?

Archivarix on December 18, 2011 at 9:04 PM

And Grutter v. Bollinger.

Rational Thought on December 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Newt being Newt, throwing out some nonsense red meat bait to get some attention to combat the start of the usual “Flavor Of The Month” slip in the polls.

whatcat on December 18, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Wrong again. He’s been working on and debating this stuff for years.

Listen: If you hate Newt, don’t trust him, are supporting someone else, etc., that’s fine. But please acknowledge that these are serious proposals that address a constitutional problem, one that could easily develop into a real constitutional crisis (think DOMA). The guy is full of ideas, and that’s a good thing. I think the Republican Party as a whole would benefit by a serious debate on topics like this, whether he’s the eventual nominee or not.

spiritof61 on December 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM

I think this is the best thread yet on the unfitness of Newt. If Republicans are stupid enough to nominate this loose cannon the election will be about him and his zany ideas rather than Obama’s record.

The comments which I found especially helpful were:

whatcat at 5:50
VorDay and McDuck at 6:03
MjBrutus at 6;04 and 6;07
rockmom at 6:09
SgtJones at 6:19

Some of the comments are so devastating to Gingrich’s fitness that it’s not surprising that Punchenko to try to deflect attention from the topic under discussion with his tiresome idea of humor.

Basilsbest on December 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM

To whatcat: No, Newt is not just throwing out red meat. Quite to the contrary, Newt is serious. He has been discussing this point in his speeches for years. What brought it to a head were the national security cases in the last decade when Newt has not been in Congress. Stanford Law Dean Kramer’s book came out in around 2005.

President Gingrich will have a confrontation with the Supreme Court aimed at restoring the balance among the elective branches of the federal government and the fedeal judiciary. It is serious business that as Speaker he was not in a position to engage. As President, it is a different matter.

Phil Byler on December 18, 2011 at 9:17 PM

So does this mean that, deep down, Limbaugh is a racist or whatever? The answer is probably no, because what Rush is – first and foremost – is a showman and a businessman who knows that controversy is good, attracts more listeners and gets people talking about him.

Pathetic. Leaving open the possibility that Rush is a racist because he is able to make the liberals rage is just a weak attempt to hide your contempt/hatred for the man. Liberals are notoriously easy to tweak, and repeated success at doing so is hardly logical evidence of any identifiable racism. Does anyone think Rush would still be on the air if he’d made a remark such as: “My grandmother was a typical black person”, followed up by a negative stereotype of blacks??

PROBABLY not.

Hannibal on December 18, 2011 at 9:18 PM

One other thing – perhaps the threat of having to explain their
actions would prevent some of them from some of the wacky decisions
they make, mostly for political reasons, disregarding the rule of law and the constitution.

Amjean on December 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

They already do, in their rulings and written opinions. Why do people not get this?

Dante on December 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Mostly gobblygook; I can write an opinion about my business and
after reading it you wouldn’t know beans about it after I used
our industry’s nomenclature.

I think a public question and answer period would be helpful
in certain cases where the courts go against the will of the
people – example: eminent domain rights

Amjean on December 18, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Some of the comments are so devastating to Gingrich’s fitness that it’s not surprising that Punchenko to try to deflect attention from the topic under discussion with his tiresome idea of humor.

Basilsbest on December 18, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Hey, I’m just another Meghan McCain Republican for Mitt Romney and his managerial excellence.

We need a cool, calm, and capable manager of U.S. decline who won’t throw out ridiculous ideas like overhauling the judiciary. We also need someone, like Mitt, who will work with Democrats to get things done that is good for the country. Personally, I’m hoping Mitt raises taxes, closes loopholes, and gets the gaping budget in the hole fix.

So please, stop lumping my solid endorsements for Romney as “humor”. We’re on the same team, Basil. We’re on the same team.

Romney 2012.

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Yikes.

What if Obama wins re-election and HE DECLARES WAR ON THE COURTS?

fatlibertarianinokc on December 18, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Then you wouldn’t notice the difference from someone who chewed out SCOTUS over the Citizens United v FEC decision on national TV.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM

You didn’t like it when Obama did that, right?

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Stanford Law Dean Kramer’s book came out in around 2005.

Phil Byler on December 18, 2011 at 9:17 PM

This Kramer sounds like a real Stalinist to me. I better wait to hear what Glenn Beck says about this guy before I give any consideration to your argument.

Romney ’12

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Wrong again. He’s been working on and debating this stuff for years. (1.)

Listen: If you hate Newt, don’t trust him, are supporting someone else, etc., that’s fine.(2). But please acknowledge that these are serious proposals that address a constitutional problem, one that could easily develop into a real constitutional crisis (think DOMA). The guy is full of ideas, (3). and that’s a good thing. I think the Republican Party as a whole would benefit by a serious debate on topics like this, whether he’s the eventual nominee or not.
spiritof61 on December 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM

1. The fact he’s been working on how to conduct a war against the judiciary for years makes his goofy ideas worse, not better.

2. I don’t hate Newt. I hate Obama. I am concerned that Newt’s Narcissism will bring us 4 more years of Obama.

3. Newt is full of a lot of bad ideas. He is deficient in his appreciation of unintended consequences (Freddie Mac being a case in point). That’s a trait we more commonly associate with liberals. Perhaps it’s because he’s a historian that Newt is better at looking behind than ahead.

Basilsbest on December 18, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Newt being Newt, throwing out some nonsense red meat bait to get some attention to combat the start of the usual “Flavor Of The Month” slip in the polls.
whatcat on December 18, 2011 at 9:07 PM

He’s been working on and debating this stuff for years.

As I noted – he certainly didn’t think this scheme would work when he himself was in office. It’s purely dog whistle stuff as his numbers are eroding and Romney’s are rising.

Listen: If you hate Newt
spiritof61 on December 18, 2011 at 9:14 PM

When a candidate says something goofy you don’t have to “hate” him/her to point out the fact that it is goofy. It’s just how Newt rolls, e.g. on the Ryan Plan, “The former House speaker and candidate for the GOP presidential nomination called it “radical change” and “too big a jump.” I don’t think we really need to play the entire Newt’s Bombastic Bloopers DVD to get the general idea here.

whatcat on December 18, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Conservatives, please reject Gingrich and Romney and get behind the only conservative in the field that has the record to beat Obama, Gov. Rick Perry.

Some have written him off but he is no stranger to being written off. He will shock many in Iowa.

OT: Perry in his element

Rick Perry told worshipers at the First Wesleyan Church here Sunday morning that they should disregard “the politically correct police” who say the separation of church and state means faith has no place in public life.

“As a matter of fact, you are Biblically charged to take your values into the public arena,” the Texas governor told 90 worshipers.

“You will be criticized, but do not be intimidated,” he added. “Somebody’s values are going to decide the issues of the day, whatever they may be. Whatever policies are being discussed … somebody’s values are going to be installed, if you will, and the question is going to be ‘whose values?’ Is it going to be those of us of faith? Or is it going to be somebody else’s values?”

Perry instead spoke at length about Isaiah 6:8, the chapter in which the prophet Isaiah volunteers to serve God. He said that he read the book in his hotel room Saturday night.

“Here am I,” Perry said, relaying the story and raising his hand as he spoke. “Send me.”

He received a standing ovation. He didn’t speak from the pulpit but stood at ground level in the sanctuary, speaking without notes from a wireless microphone.

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:32 PM

The Constitution says absolutely nothing about lifetime appointments for federal judges – Article III sets the terms for federal judges as during “good behavior.” Getting rid of the lifetime crapola would be a good start.

Make the black-robed tyrants subject to an Approve/Disapprove vote every four years or so as is done in most states where state judges are appointed.

Why should one branch of government be completely out of reach of the electorate?

I doubt if nine demi-gods is what the Founders intended.

Congress has all sorts of powers in the constitution regarding federal courts – set terms, limit jurisdiction, abolish the lower ones if they wish, impeachment. Problem is Congress has powers, but lacks courage.

Horace on December 18, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Conservatives, please reject Gingrich and Romney and get behind the only conservative in the field that has the record to beat Obama, Gov. Rick Perry.

Some have written him off but he is no stranger to being written off. He will shock many in Iowa.

OT: Perry in his element

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:32 PM

FYI, threadjacking to promote your guy makes people want to vote against your candidate. And I’m a Perry supporter!

ZGMF_Freedom on December 18, 2011 at 9:35 PM

drfredc on December 18, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Your solution is to have the law of the land changing every 4 years so that Americans cannot plan for the future?

How about letting states have a tiny amount of the power back that the 17th Amendment took away. Allow states to have an effective post confirmation veto on Judges.

Amendment:
Every X number of years, all the states gather to hold a vote of confidence for each and every judge that they are under the Jurisdiction of. For Supreme Court Justices, it would be all 50 states and for a judge to remain seated they would need to get 50% +1 votes of confidence or 26 states to agree that they are doing their job properly. For district judges, it would be 50%+ of those states under their specific jurisdiction. For the 7th District Court for instance, it would be Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana voting for each judge, and any 2 would suffice to keep their seat on the bench. For the 5th, it would be Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi voting.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 9:35 PM

For the most part, I do not think that the SC has made that many bad decisions. I am sure there are more, but the only one I can think of at the moment is Roe V. Wade, but even then the only people who think that was a bad idea are people who are pro-life.

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Buck v. Bell was an abomination.

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I still have no idea who you are actually for other than your definetlyout to replace obama(thank god)

gerry-moderate republican-mittbot-hoping to understand Punchenko

gerrym51 on December 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Yikes.

What if Obama wins re-election and HE DECLARES WAR ON THE COURTS?

fatlibertarianinokc on December 18, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Then you wouldn’t notice the difference from someone who chewed out SCOTUS over the Citizens United v FEC decision on national TV.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM

You didn’t like it when Obama did that, right?

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Only because Obama was wrong on the substance of the matter, not because SCOTUS itself was attacked.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:37 PM

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Says conservative things, feels progressive things, when it comes to the fight, is in his element when he is throwing around arguments like, “you must not have a heart”, ‘We Could Have Prevented This Disease … But We Just Didn’t Have The Gumption.’, ‘Relegated The Lives Of Our Young Women To Social Darwinism … This Is Shameful.’, ‘A Debate Which Affects Real Lives Has Been Hijacked By Politics And Posturing.’, ‘They Have Had An Opportunity To Eliminate The Leading Cause Of The Second Most Common Cancer In Women.’, ‘Critics Cannot Legitimately Point To Science Or Medicine To Back Up Their Claims.’

If only he would fight for conservative policies as feircely as he fights for progressive ones, he would be a valuable person to promote for our Nominee as president.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Phil Byler

A Harvard educated lawyer? Oh, my! Do we have to completely kneel on both knees or can we get by with just genuflecting?

TheRightMan

“Perry raised his hand…” Ricky raised his hand all by himself? Wow! Second look at Perry. He must really be on the come-back trail.

Giddy-up!

Horace on December 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Gingrich is taking risks to open discussions about systemic problems in our republic. He’s a provocative agent of change. Romney is using these risks as a way of framing his own weakness and risk-aversion as “stability.” As he has done with Perry’s risks. Or with anybody who would pioneer any risky and rewarding idea. There is something palpably craven about this. He is attacking not only than the candidate in question but the intellectual possibilities of conservatism — and all out of fear. Romney is banking on a fearful electorate browbeaten by the establishment into accepting the failed old RINO formula. Gingrich is banking on a serious-minded electorate willing to grasp the intention of his ideas, examine the rationale behind them and concur with him in the their necessity. It’s a worthy risk.

rrpjr on December 18, 2011 at 9:45 PM

FYI, threadjacking to promote your guy makes people want to vote against your candidate. And I’m a Perry supporter!

ZGMF_Freedom on December 18, 2011 at 9:35 PM

And you think they’re doing me a favor by choosing to vote for Perry?

In case you haven’t noticed, there is nothing like threadjacking the primary election threads. Stories about Newt sometimes leads to comments about Romney or Bachmann or even “Marco” Huntsman.

If someone here is so thin-skinned that they refuse to vote for Perry because his supporter threadjacked a Gingrich thread at Hot Air, you know what?

They deserve every minute of pain that an Obama second thread will bring. I trust by 2016, threadjacks will be the least of their worries.

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Only because Obama was wrong on the substance of the matter, not because SCOTUS itself was attacked.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:37 PM

So in principle you wouldn’t mind if Obama declared war on conservative justices?

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Correction to my comment @ 9:50pm:

They deserve every minute of pain that an Obama second thread term will bring. I trust by 2016, threadjacks will be the least of their worries.

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:50 PM

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Perry instead spoke at length about Isaiah 6:8, the chapter in which the prophet Isaiah volunteers to serve God. He said that he read the book in his hotel room Saturday night.

“Here am I,” Perry said, relaying the story and raising his hand as he spoke. “Send me.”

Oh isn’t that just rich. Perry read the bible in his room Saturday night and was so moved he offered himself up for election as the bible character did.
WOW!
I saw this guy when he spoke on abortion look to the heavens and invoke God. It was pure phoney pandering and looked as such. Not even a good actor and a piss poor panderer except for a few easily duped.

my God resides not in the heavens but in all things but especially inside my heart I need no guidance from Rick Perry.

ConcealedKerry on December 18, 2011 at 9:55 PM

theoddmanout on December 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

The Supreme Court has made a number of bad decisions in its history. Roe is probably the most best example from the modern era, but there were certainly some poor major decisions in days gone by like Plessy and others related to the race issue.

On a side note, the current Court is one of the more interesting in the nation’s history. Besides the obvious shift to the right, one of the key differences between having O’Connor and Kennedy as the swing justice is that Kennedy is willing to go along with (or author) significant decisions that can have a major effect on the law, politics, and life. Thus, we’ve seen decisions involving the 2nd Amendment and its incorporation, money and speech as in Citizens United, expansion of the Gitmo line of precedent that started when O’Connor was still there, etc. O’Connor was generally much more cautious no matter which side she was on. She preferred limited, narrow rulings that didn’t fundamentally alter the landscape.

It is this side to the current Court that I suspect will frustrate many on both the Left and the Right for years to come. Such a Court may be quite willing to strike down Obamacare or same-sex marriage bans.

McDuck on December 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Only because Obama was wrong on the substance of the matter, not because SCOTUS itself was attacked.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:37 PM

So in principle you wouldn’t mind if Obama declared war on conservative justices?

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Not if he was right on the substance of his “war” with cases of judicial abuse that he could cite which he was right on by a strict reading of the constitution — but therein lies the problem for Obama.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM

In case you haven’t noticed, there is nothing like threadjacking the primary election threads. Stories about Newt sometimes leads to comments about Romney or Bachmann or even “Marco” Huntsman.
TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Yeah, it’s a “stream of thought” thing and pretty common to see “compare-contrast” type comments from diff people re:their candidate.

whatcat on December 18, 2011 at 9:58 PM

In light of Punchenko’s latest shilling for Romney, I have retaken a hard look at Romney and Gingrich and i’ve decided that we must support Newt for the following reasons

1) Unlike Romney who has never been in washington and has no idea how washington works, Gingrich has been there for 30 years, and has the inside on how things work in washington, the longer you are in washington the more it makes sense to nominate you, because you really KNOW the problem, too bad Robert KKK is not alive anymore because he would have been even a better choice then Gingrich, since he was in DC a little longer then even one of the founding fathers…Ron Paul

2) Since Romney only supported a state insurance mandate, there is reason to believe that the federal people will not vote for someone who discriminates against the federal people, But Newt supports the mandate for the federal people as well, so they would vote for him in droves

3) We all know about Newt’s affairs, and we can be sure that there is no more affairs to worry about, after all how many affairs can one man have, and he is already 68 years, However with Romney we don’t know yet if he had an affair, and even if he didn’t he still has 4 years left to reach Newt’s age in order to be sure he didn’t have any affair, which is why nominating Romney is a very risky thing to do,

4) How is Romney going to fight Pelosi when he never even talked to her???? With Newt we know he can outsmart Nancy, he even sat with her once on the same couch!!! are you telling me he doesn’t know Pelosi inside out?

5) While Romney has never tried to get the the black vote, Newt has an inside track there, Rev. Sharpton will deliver for him at least 20% of the black vote, and we all know that if the republicans win 20% of the black vote Obama is finished,

6) How can we trust Romney to select the right people to control the local immigration boards?? after his history of outsourcing jobs to China, he might even outsource the illegals back to Mexico!!!!! With Newt we can be sure he will hire people in the spirit of FDR/Roosevelt/ Wilson etc… to properly enlist a new generation of good american illegals,

Also how will Romney be able to figure out who is here only 20 years, and goes to Church etc… with Newt since he is older then Romney he probably knows more illegals that are here for 25 years, so he will know who to make legal

How any one can still support Romney after all the evidence that Newt is a much stronger candidate is beyond me, no wonder Gingrich knows he will be the nominee,

They don’t call us the stupid party for nothing, we can win this thing with Newt, and i hope my party will do the right thing

OrthodoxJew on December 18, 2011 at 10:00 PM

So let me sum things up as I see them. For an actual conservative, Gingrich would probably be even worse than Hillary, but not as bad as Obama. Is this a good argument for making him our nominee?

RasThavas on December 18, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Some of us tend to forget that as bad as Obama is, it could be much, much worse. For one thing, he might have been competent.

So before people vote to replace him with another big-gov progressive like Newt or Romney, remember that what this country really needs is less government and more freedom and liberty.

FloatingRock on December 18, 2011 at 10:00 PM

If only he would fight for conservative policies as feircely as he fights for progressive ones, he would be a valuable person to promote for our Nominee as president.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Don’t you wish Gingrich could fight for conservative policies half as fiercely as Perry does?

But you know? The alternate universe where you reside is a strange place indeed.

- A place where Gingrich is good but Perry is bad for conservatives.

- A place where Gingrich’s ‘humane’ comment is okay but Perry’s ‘have no heart’ comment still rankles you.

- A place where Cain’s ‘brain-empty’ moment did not point to him being dumb bur Perry’s ‘brain-freeze’ moment does.

- A place where Gingrich’s adulteries can be forgiven but Perry’s apology for the Gardasil EO with a parental opt-out can never be accepted.

etc…

I do pray for you that you learn to see beyond your bitterness and have enough discernment to make the right choice. Because you get to live with it for the next four years.

:)

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Maybe I’m an optimist (though no one has ever accused me of that!), but I continue to believe that whomever the Republican president is in 2012, he will have enough of a sense of history to understand that his can be a consequential presidency, or he can be a place holder until a democrat is elected again in 2016. The next president has an opportunity to repair this nation, an opportunity, frankly, that Obama squandered because he so abhors capitalism. I think both Romney and Newt understand this, though Newt probably more so. Maintaining the status quo is not going to make for an important presidency, is not going to save the nation and lift up its people, and thanks to the disaster that has been the Obama regime, neither is a continued drive toward socialism. That leaves a conservative presidency as the only other choice. I think either Romney or Newt will pick that route.

Rational Thought on December 18, 2011 at 10:04 PM

In his two volume tome, “Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution” Edwin Vieira, PhD, JD Harvard, makes it clear with overwhelming documentation that the Judiciary’s rulings are not supreme and that was not the way our Founders constructed our Constitution. A ruling by the SCUS was meant to affect only the two parties in the particular case and not to write new law as the SCUS now often does. Vieira also makes the case that justices swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and can be removed for failing to do so and not just for committing some felony or treason.

He also makes clear that there were five independent parties to the political power allocated by the states to their agent, our Federal government. These were the Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, The States, and “We The People.” In effect, judicial review, a methodology chief justice John Marshall snuck into the Supreme Court legal process, leads to judicial supremacy and is not a Constitutional function of the SCUS.

Further, the whole process of “stare decisis” as it is now practiced is a fraud because some of the most outrageous rulings ever issued by the court like, Wickard vs Filburn, ignored that concept entirely for the convenience of the court and like-minded politicians. The SCUS today almost never curtails Federal power because it seldom includes/reviews case law before 1937 when a number of awful decisions by justice Roberts of “A switch of Five saves Nine” fame and others completely overturned case law that had been consistent for 150+ years. And this started decades before with arrogant judicial proclamations, like that of progressive justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Missouri vs Holland in 1920 when, paraphrasing he said courts, the president, and congress should not be bound by “original intent.”

A lot of people, who have educated themselves beyond the indoctrination provided by government schools, now understand that the Federal government including the executive and judicial branches has thoroughly swept beyond any legal authority that is theirs to constitutionally exercise and need to have this power terminated.

Newt is much more correct than not to raise these issues. We have needed to have this public discussion for decades. And if he continues and is sincere in what he is saying, he will have my full support and I expect the support of many others. You wouldn’t get this from a “Romney” because I expect he is more or less totally ignorant of our judicial history on these matters.

Falcon46 on December 18, 2011 at 10:11 PM

At least the other Republican candidates haven’t named FDR as their role model. That is one more worrisome thing about Newt Gingrich. Business uncertainty may not improve as we watch him announce his latest fix for government, the universe, and everything every other week.

VorDaj on December 18, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Blockquote>Basilsbest on December 18, 2011 at 9:30 PM

OK THEN BLOCKHEAD….WHO’S GOT BETTER IDEA’S??

AND DON’T LOAD YOUR RESPONSE WITH “CONSTITUTION” OR “CUT THIS CUT THAT”….IT’S GETTING OLD.
AMERCIA NEEDS BOLD SOLUTTIONS…..NOT JUST A BUNCH OF RIGHT TALKING POINTS….YEA WE GET IT FOR THE HUNDRETH TIME!!
FOR THE LIFE OF ME…..EXCEPT PAUL AND NEWT….I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HEPP THE OTHERS WILL DO TO GET HIS NATION BACK FROM THE MARXIST!!!IN THE DEBATES….THEY BORE ME TO DEATH EXCEPT LOONEY PAUL AND THE ONE WITH BRAINS NEWT…
GET A GRIP PEOPLE!!!

coach1228 on December 18, 2011 at 10:19 PM

So what you’re saying is that any check on the judicial branch compromises the judicial’s branch to act as a check. Pray tell, who then is the check on the judicial branch in your mind? Who prevents them from becoming tyrants in black robes?

Lack of enforcement power mainly. Not only would the judicial branch have to clearly exceed its authority to become a dictatorial body, but the executive branch would have to go along with it.

Basically, if you have the federal courts writing laws wholesale, and the executive branch goes along with it ignoring congress, then the whole system is broken anyway. If thats the case, then it doesn’t matter what checks and balances you put in place. Features such as these are only effective so long as they are widely honored.

So what is your solution? Direct legislative elections? We only have 3 branches of government. Would you propose a fourth?

Who says I need to provide a solution? It was never my intent to do so. There are potential solutions, such as sun-setting judicial decisions like another commenter suggested. But I’m not going to waste too much time throwing out solutions to national problems on an internet comment board. All I intend to do is to explain why Newt Gingrichs proposed solution is dangerous, and directly oppositional to conservative ideas.

True. But both the President and the Congress regularly face the voters, and would need to worry about the opposition making hay of them wasting time on “unimportant” issues.

So its okay to attack the judiciary as a means to potentially rewrite the constitution, so long voters yay-or-nay the abuse afterward?

And not all attacks against the judiciary are unwarranted. The American people had the opportunity for a referendum on FDR, and they decided to stick with him. Do I agree with you about the Commerce clause? Absolutely. Do most Americans though? That’s another question. That’s why you hold elections. I have no problem running on a set of ideas and policies, and if we lose, I can accept that. Otherwise voting becomes pointless.

Two points.

First, there have been extraordinarily few direct attacks on the judiciary in or the authority of the judiciary in the history of the country. They have all effectively ended badly. So while in theory an attack on the judiciary may one day be warranted, statistics suggest that as a whole it is bad for the nation.

Second. Once again, its okay to attack the judiciary as a means to potentially rewrite the constitution, so long voters yay-or-nay the abuse afterward?

I’m sorry, but I must disagree vehemently. We do not live in a direct democracy, we are a representative democracy. Safeguards and various checks and balances were put in place in the very first place, as a means of giving us at least some protection against fickle voters giving away their freedoms in a moment of passion.

Think of Kelo v New London. Do you really think that would be a losing issue for the GOP?

Who cares if attacking the judiciary is a political winner or not? Even if it proved popular, if it endangered our freedoms I’d rather oppose it and lose than to give liberals an opening.

As I said above, there are no other branches of government, and if you’re going to do things legally to implement a check on the judiciary and not simply abide by a might-makes-right paradigm, then you need to act within a legal framework: the government.

Yes, but you can have checks without directly handing more power to the other branches of government, as other commentators have already pointed out.

Look, this isn’t a little tiny tweak to existing laws we’re talking about here. This would fundamentally upset the balance between the various branches of the federal government. The idea is dangerous, and should not be handled lightly.

On it being unrealistic to expect control of government for an extended period, the Democrats had Congress for 40 years before Gingrich, and FDR had the presidency for 4 terms. Rare? Sure. But not impossible.

I’d rather work on getting moderates to convert to conservatism than work on forging alliances with them, outside of that being a transitionary step.

There were extenuating circumstances for both FDR’s reign and the democrats period of congressional dominance. For the sake of brevity I’m just going to say we’re unlikely to see such extended periods of dominance again anytime soon.

And no I’m not just dismissing you, this is a popular topic of discussion among political strategists.

Besides that, if we did ever get such a period of conservative dominance, wouldn’t it render checks on the judiciary largely pointless? Or at least pointless as far as the conservative moment is concerned.

PS

Somebody asked me when there was ever a conservative-moderate alliance.

Well starting in the late 1970′s and lasting early into the 00′s, the majority of all major policy decisions were made on a largely center-right basis. Even during periods where the GOP lacked the presidency, or when democrats had great congressional power. Liberals were a somewhat weaker part of the democratic party during this period, so most decisions ended up being at least slightly right of center.

At least in comparison to the policy decisions we’ve seen since 2007 anyway. Starting around 2002 or so, policy decisions started drifting more towards the left, and were really kicked into overdrive when the democratic party took over the house and senate.

That said, while this alliance did last, it failed in many respects. Particularly in the area of entitlements.

The short of it is, that while a conservative moderate alliance can work, there also needs to be strong advocacy for thoroughly conservative policies.

WolvenOne on December 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM

If only he would fight for conservative policies as feircely as he fights for progressive ones, he would be a valuable person to promote for our Nominee as president.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Don’t you wish Gingrich could fight for conservative policies half as fiercely as Perry does?

Fought Bush Sr on the reneging of “Read my lips, no new taxes.” pledge.
Co-authored the contract with America, and fought so hard to get it all passed his own party’s progressive big government power hungry members teamed up with their closer ideological allies, the democrats, to have him sanctioned with false ethics violations charges, over 80 of them, not a one of which was ever proven, and proceeded to sanction him for a filing error just to have something to hurt him with.

Gingrich fights the right fights and wins them for America. First Republican House Majority in 40 years. The most transforming entitlement reform in America’s history, welfare reform. The first Balanced Budgets in decades. Telecommunications reform which opened up the market place of ideas for innovation in the telecomunications market.

But you know? The alternate universe where you reside is a strange place indeed.

Alternate to your made up one.

- A place where Gingrich is good but Perry is bad for conservatives.

Never said Perry was bad. He is just simply not good enough.

- A place where Gingrich’s ‘humane’ comment is okay but Perry’s ‘have no heart’ comment still rankles you.

There is a huge difference between saying, “Let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship” and saying, if you do not agree with me, then “I don’t think you have a heart”. A very big difference in the argument.

- A place where Cain’s ‘brain-empty’ moment did not point to him being dumb bur Perry’s ‘brain-freeze’ moment does.

Since this is addressed to me, I guess you forgot that I actually stated that it endears him a bit to me. I have those happen a few times a year where I get stuck looking for a word that I know well.

- A place where Gingrich’s adulteries can be forgiven but Perry’s apology for the Gardasil EO with a parental opt-out can never be accepted.

Newt Gingrich’s adulteries are not going to affect the accomplishments he has in office. He has since then had a change of nature that seems real to me. Perry still to this very day still thinks that the government should have the power to force little girls to take an anti-sexually-transmitted-disease vaccine, he just should have done it by educating the heathens and then getting the legislature to cover his back by voting for it before he signed it.

etc…

I do pray for you that you learn to see beyond your bitterness and have enough discernment to make the right choice. Because you get to live with it for the next four years.

:)

TheRightMan on December 18, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I do get to live with it, but my choice is not about the next messily 4 years. My thoughts go out towards 20 years from now, when I turn over the country to my first born. I will live with my choices today, and want those choices today to end up leaving a better country to her no in 2016, but in 2030. Short term gains are not always lasting, especially when the gains are much like savings in government bills, just simply cutting the amount of damage over the next 4 years, but in years 6,7, 8 and forward the costs skyrocket.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Not if he was right on the substance of his “war” with cases of judicial abuse that he could cite which he was right on by a strict reading of the constitution — but therein lies the problem for Obama.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Honestly, I think you would mind if a Democratic Congress started to haul conservative justices before all kinds of committees.

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Newt Gingrich what a joke. We’re lucky the democrats haven’t taken his ideas and run with them yet. Say goodbye to the rule of law.

Swerve22 on December 18, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Really though, why is it OK for Newt to do it if we don’t think it’s OK for Obama to do it?

Swerve22 on December 18, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Whenever I hear a passionate defense of the glory and greatness of our judicial system and why it floats on some cloud that must not be touched by mortal man…I think of…

Dred Scott.

William Eaton on December 18, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Stick a fork in Newt. This is the last straw.

Ruiner on December 18, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Really though, why is it OK for Newt to do it if we don’t think it’s OK for Obama to do it?

Swerve22 on December 18, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Wouldn’t it be Boener?

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Stick a fork in Newt. This is the last straw.

Ruiner on December 18, 2011 at 10:48 PM

YAWN!

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 10:50 PM

The judiciary and the legislation they come up with is fine in my book. I don’t want to even see a cross while driving down the highway let alone see one during some archaic festival celebrating the Winter Solstice.

SAVE OUR JUDGES!

Romney ’12

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 10:52 PM

The only way to turn back the kind of judicial activism we’ve seen over the past 30 years is if this country has some kind of miraculous resurgence in civic education. Schools no longer teach what is in the Constitution, and haven’t for a long, long time. They also do not teach the concept of co-equal branches of government. Unless that changes, and it isn’t likely to, we’ll continue to have worse and worse court rulings until the Constitution will mean nothing at all. It’ll just be an antiquated document in a museum somewhere in Washington. Allowing the radical left to take over our schools was the singular more destructive thing to happen to this country and the cause of freedom. I see no way to correct it.

Rational Thought on December 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Your posts are always funny.

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Newt is right.
.
Remember the abomination of Vaughn Walker overriding the voters with his own radical agenda which overturned decades of accepted American law.
.
Why does this idiot have the right to overturn the will of the majority? What ever happened to democracy?

FactsofLife on December 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Let me also say that anyone who thinks out judicial system is not already politicized is living in some sort of alternate reality. Federal judges are political and they have been so for a very long time. They were appointed by politicians who made sure the people they appointed viewed the world as they did.

William Eaton on December 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Stick a fork in Newt. This is the last straw.

Ruiner on December 18, 2011 at 10:48 PM

I wish that would happen. He is staying in this thing because our guy Romney keeps saying stupid stuff that gives the mouth-breathers hope that they can rob him of the nomination. In South Carolina, for instance, Romney spoke glowingly of Romneycare and climate change. Now why do you have the bring that up in South Carolina, of all places? Doesn’t he know they all think Jesus rode dinosaurs 3,000 years ago!

Romney ’12: He’s for science and stuff.

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 10:56 PM

I support strict legislation requiring the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals “justices” wear Groucho Marx glasses at all times.

viking01 on December 18, 2011 at 10:58 PM

The only way to turn back the kind of judicial activism we’ve seen over the past 30 years is if this country has some kind of miraculous resurgence in civic education. Schools no longer teach what is in the Constitution, and haven’t for a long, long time. They also do not teach the concept of co-equal branches of government. Unless that changes, and it isn’t likely to, we’ll continue to have worse and worse court rulings until the Constitution will mean nothing at all. It’ll just be an antiquated document in a museum somewhere in Washington. Allowing the radical left to take over our schools was the singular more destructive thing to happen to this country and the cause of freedom. I see no way to correct it.

Rational Thought on December 18, 2011 at 10:54 PM

I think the state of California does a fine job teaching US Civics, thank you very much, and it isn’t the role of Washington to tell them otherwise.

As small government conservatives, we need to allow L.A. and San Francisco to keep teaching their students the virtues of Mexican history and political evolution; the importance of multicultural understanding; and the need to embrace the politics of other world peoples. What we don’t need is Washington importing its view that westward expansion on the Atzlan peoples was a good thing and that is exactly — EXACTLY! — what you’re going to get with a Gingrich-led Department of Education (which he voted for!)

Hands off my Chicano Studies textbook, Noot!

Romney ’12

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Newt’s paper, for those of you that actually read it and think, is a very reasonable argument to get back to the point where Courts are not allowed to subvert the Constitution and take position more powerful than the other two branches of government.

The idea that it is Constitutional for some lowly federal judge to tell a whole state that the voters don’t have a right to make decisions of for their state in areas that are clearly not implicating salient Constitutional rights is crazy.

This is just another reason that supports Newt as by far the best candidate for pres

georgealbert on December 18, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Not if he was right on the substance of his “war” with cases of judicial abuse that he could cite which he was right on by a strict reading of the constitution — but therein lies the problem for Obama.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Honestly, I think you would mind if a Democratic Congress started to haul conservative justices before all kinds of committees.

Gelsomina on December 18, 2011 at 10:44 PM

So let me get this straight. I have known myself all of my life. I possess the remarkable ability to read my own mind (you could say I’m self-psychic). Outside of reading some comments online, you haven’t known me a day of my life. And on this basis, you honestly think you are in a better position to make a determination as to my state of mind than I am? That strikes me as both delusional and arrogant.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 11:19 PM

Gingrich specifically points out that the effort would be from the executive AND both houses of congress with the backing of the american people.

Unlike what lawyers convince themselves, the power is not in the hands of the courts and judgements based on false information or blatent activsim are not protected.

Gingrich is 100 percent correct.

LeeSeneca on December 18, 2011 at 11:23 PM

This is just another reason that supports Newt as by far the best candidate for pres

georgealbert on December 18, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Ha! Luckily for us, George, the unelected fourth branch of government is going to stop the guy you are trying to elect to the second branch of government from tampering with the unelected third branch of government. The march of progress continues unabated!

SAVE OUR JUDGES! STOP NOOT, NOW!

Romney ’12

Punchenko on December 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM

How many people have the troll Punchenko on ignore by now?

Ruiner on December 18, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Lack of enforcement power mainly. Not only would the judicial branch have to clearly exceed its authority to become a dictatorial body, but the executive branch would have to go along with it.

So you’d be find with a Jackson approach. They’ve made their decision, now let them enforce it?

Basically, if you have the federal courts writing laws wholesale, and the executive branch goes along with it ignoring congress, then the whole system is broken anyway. If thats the case, then it doesn’t matter what checks and balances you put in place. Features such as these are only effective so long as they are widely honored.

True. This is also exactly what I think the problem is.

Who says I need to provide a solution? It was never my intent to do so. There are potential solutions, such as sun-setting judicial decisions like another commenter suggested. But I’m not going to waste too much time throwing out solutions to national problems on an internet comment board. All I intend to do is to explain why Newt Gingrichs proposed solution is dangerous, and directly oppositional to conservative ideas.

Gingrich’s solution doesn’t strike me as anything but conservative. I’d also say that it’s a rather weak counterargument to say that you don’t need to provide any solutions of your own. It reminds me of a protest I once saw in Britain. They had a protester and a British reporter. The reporter asked the protester what he was protesting. The protester said capitalism. The reporter then asked what he wanted to replace it with. The protester was dumbfounded. To have a complaint suggests that you have a better idea. Otherwise it’s hollow.

So its okay to attack the judiciary as a means to potentially rewrite the constitution, so long voters yay-or-nay the abuse afterward?

Legally it’s not okay because you’d still have a contradiction, but in the end, what’s the entire point of the legal framework of the constitution and all of the process anyway? To provide a government that acts as a civil servant to the people.

First, there have been extraordinarily few direct attacks on the judiciary in or the authority of the judiciary in the history of the country. They have all effectively ended badly. So while in theory an attack on the judiciary may one day be warranted, statistics suggest that as a whole it is bad for the nation.

If there are “extraordinarily few” then statistics should also suggest that your results aren’t statistically significant. On your second point, I addressed that objection above.

Who cares if attacking the judiciary is a political winner or not? Even if it proved popular, if it endangered our freedoms I’d rather oppose it and lose than to give liberals an opening.

Inaction can also be a threat.

Yes, but you can have checks without directly handing more power to the other branches of government, as other commentators have already pointed out.

Subpoena power doesn’t require any additional power. It requires using the power that is already there. The same goes for impeachment.

Look, this isn’t a little tiny tweak to existing laws we’re talking about here. This would fundamentally upset the balance between the various branches of the federal government. The idea is dangerous, and should not be handled lightly.

By simply using existent powers?

There were extenuating circumstances for both FDR’s reign and the democrats period of congressional dominance. For the sake of brevity I’m just going to say we’re unlikely to see such extended periods of dominance again anytime soon.

And no I’m not just dismissing you, this is a popular topic of discussion among political strategists.

WolvenOne on December 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I’d agree with you there. No reason not to try, though.

Stoic Patriot on December 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Newt has a 90% Lifetime ACU rating.

MA Mitt, ?, unrated. But self-admitted moderate, progressive [!], ‘non-partisan’. “Absolutely!” continues to be his response to pride on his collab with TKennedy on Romneycare. Repeat: “absolutely!,” see repulsive video of bill’s signing.

Another critical key, this ‘John Anderson’ (1980) type R is untrustworthy on the Sup Court. And, if you look for his ‘word’ on Sup Court (or Ocare), the ghwb ‘read my lips’ intensity (“since 1970 when my Mother came out for choice” — again, see repulsive video, by gawd) in which he advocated choice in 2002 shows his ‘word’ is zactly worth 0, zero, zilch, zip(po), zot (this alone should be a disqualifier for office, come on). Yes, his ‘word’ = 0, and he may nominate gHwb David Souter (’90 to ’09) type judges that tack not just a little, but FULLY, to the left.

Many argue that he “probably” will sign Ocare’s repeal. Wrong. He will guide the legislation.

Ocare is ready-made near his dream “to get everyone in the U.S. insured” (see ’08 R debates).

A full repeal will NOT be coming to his desk. He will “fish out the bad parts,” and go ahead, though, and add more bad parts then he fishes out.

Back off Romney, unless you want a dedicated 3rd party challenge. Palin? Yes.

It’s Newt, or Perry.

anotherJoe on December 19, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Newt can’t help saying stupid, outrageous, and anti-conservative things. It’s only a matter of time between them. In this he has never changed.

Gingrich was an assistant college professor, sure, at West Georgia College, but was denied tenure. He is the average person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like. The idea that he is some sort of deep thinker is hilarious.

He would be a disastrous nominee, and there is no evidence based on experience that he would be a good President. He was run out of the Speaker’s chair by the conservatives in the House Republican Caucus.

People have such short attention spans.

Adjoran on December 19, 2011 at 12:35 AM

Mitt, the obvious Trojan Horse

anotherJoe on December 19, 2011 at 12:56 AM

I think stupid rulings by judges SHOULD BE ignored.

We’ve put WAY TOO MUCH power into the courts. It needs to be removed.

wildcat72 on December 19, 2011 at 12:58 AM

I don’t know if Newt’s way is the best way or not, but we need to do something, and we need to do it soon.

29Victor on December 18, 2011 at 5:14 PM

That is indeed the summation of it all. We have federal judges who claim the power to decide the Constitution says something that it clearly doesn’t say at all, and absolutely everyone is bound to obey them.

Roe v. Wade is an obvious example. The Constitution says exactly zero about abortion, but somehow these men presumed to tell us that the Constitution didn’t allow any restrictions on abortion.

And we’ve already had courts tell us that the Constitution requires same-sex marriage, even though the Constitution in fact says absolutely nothing about marriage at all. Obviously, then, laws about marriage are reserved to the states and to the people.

The end state is intolerable. We are told that the Constitution means whatever 5 out of 9 Supreme Court justices agree that it means. If they suddenly decide that Congress is not allowed to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts, then Congress is not allowed to do it, even though the Constitution clearly states that Congress has jurisdiction of the federal courts.

This is not a hypothetical case. Congress passed laws giving military courts the power to try terrorists, and prohibiting jurisdiction of those cases to any federal courts, with the exception of the D.C. Circuit Court being allowed to act as a Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court then turned around and declared that detainees at Gitmo had the right to file habeas corpus claims. Even though they had no jurisdiction in the matter at all, they arrogated to themselves the right to flatly contradict the Constitution in the guise of ‘interpreting‘ the Constitution.

Eventually, we will see the spectacle of a Constitutional Amendment passed on one subject or another, then declared unConstitutional by the Supreme Court. Yes, declaring a Constitutional Amendment unConstitutional is complete nonsense, but it will happen on one pretext or another.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 19, 2011 at 1:24 AM

GM take over by Obowma…

… current shareholders take it in the a%s.

Judge stands by and offers lotion…

(crickets)

Seven Percent Solution on December 19, 2011 at 1:24 AM

What exactly “good Behavior” might mean is not elaborated upon or detailed at all. Might overstepping one’s boundaries be defined as a breach of “good Behavior”? It depends on who is doing the interpreting now, doesn’t it.

You don’t seem to understand how this works. If a federal judge is ruling on a matter of federal law (or the Constitution) he is, ipso facto, within his boundaries.

theodore on December 18, 2011 at 5:33 PM

It’s actually trivial to come up with an exception to your confident assertion.

The federal judge is ruling on a matter of federal law or the Constitution because a) that is his job, and because b) he is authorized by Congress to do so, which is c) authorized by the Constitution to set up a federal court system.

So far all well and good. Now if that judge ignores what that law or Constitution actually says in his ruling, then he is out of his boundaries, because he is not ruling according to the law. If the judge ignores the jurisdiction that Congress gave him as a federal judge, then he would also be outside of his boundaries.

The law has lots of boundaries. It’s not that hard to believe a judge would exceed one or more of them.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 19, 2011 at 1:40 AM

Herman Cain puts his hand on a women’s leg (supposedly anyway) and he is driven out. Gingrich wants to put a jackboot on the United States Constitution’ neck and some “conservatives” still want him to be President. Absolutely astounding.

VorDaj on December 18, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Been sprinkling a bit too much hyperbole on your cereal?

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 19, 2011 at 1:56 AM

He would be a disastrous nominee, and there is no evidence based on experience that he would be a good President. He was run out of the Speaker’s chair by the conservatives in the House Republican Caucus.

People have such short attention spans.

Adjoran on December 19, 2011 at 12:35 AM

he’ll never be the nominee…he’s a pseudo-intellectual at best and an impostor/fraud at worst…

jimver on December 19, 2011 at 2:43 AM

Much content cut from previous discussion with Stoic Patriot, for the sake of brevity.

Okay, a few points.

First, while the congress has the power to supeana anybody, they can really only do so for the sake of considering legislation. Yes they could in theory just say they’re doing so to consider new legislation, but that’d be entirely dishonest.

So it may be an existing power, but unless you concede to dishonest use of it you would have to give the congress more power in how they could use it.

Second, Gingrich also talks about impeaching justices whose decisions are unpopular, or whom are not liked by the executive and legislative branches. Merely making unpopular decisions however, is not traditionally considered grounds for judicial impeachment. Again, it wouldn’t be a new power in the strictest sense of the word, but it’d change how this power could be used in such a way as to effectively make it a new power.

Regardless whether these are truly new however, they’d still undermine judicial independence. And, as much as I am frustrated by some unpopular decisions, sometimes the unpopular thing is the right thing to do.

Finally, there are simpler, less harmful ways to fix the problems with the judicial branch.

First, do away with life long terms. Fixed terms of any length, even thirty years, would dramatically increase the turnover rate of federal judges.

Second, and more importantly, elect conservatives that will appoint conservative judges. Even a slight up-tick in the number of conservative judges on the federal level would dramatically alter the landscape after a decade.

I mean, seriously, it doesn’t matter WHAT steps you take. If you don’t appoint judges that wish to uphold the constitution, no check is going to stop them.

WolvenOne on December 19, 2011 at 3:01 AM

<than a deeply confident man like Gingrich, or Perry, or Santorum.

rrpjr on December 18, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Ginrgrich is not confident, he’s just an arrogant jerk and a liar, there’s a world of difference between confidence and arrogance.

Romney has also never grown past the father-pleasing or father-proving stage. He’s running for president in part to please and prove himself to his father. He’s the overweening “good son.” Very problematic stuff.

oh, my, the HA resident Freud is just back from a short incursion in Romney’s head and here to elighten us, mortals (alas, again, and unsolicited!) on the latter’s father figure issues and who knows, possibly Oedipus complexes…such psychanalitical depth and prowess should have earned you a spot on Dr Phil :-)…

jimver on December 19, 2011 at 3:20 AM

So its only judicial activism when you do not agree with the decision??

libfreeordie on December 18, 2011 at 6:42 PM

i put forth two cases today that shows judical activist decisions,but since it wasnt rov – wade or a second admendment case,hotair consitition pundits had nothing disparging to say about these cases.are we selective here at hotair?do we only care when liberals abuse the judicial system.is are “it’s for their own good,” more important than a liberal view of ” it’s for their own good?” i used to beleive it was just liberals that were the problem,but after futher review,conservatives are right their with them,destroying the constitution and rule of law. alot of coservatives think their ” do gooding” is more important than a liberals “do gooding,”except conservatives hate liberal “do gooding,” i will fight you as hard as a fight against rogue liberals!!!!

svs22422 on December 19, 2011 at 3:51 AM

I expect this particular issue will be one that fades away down the memory hole as he becomes more busy with real world affairs. So maybe it was a crazy idea… crazy like a fox.

No. Just another reactionary spewing unconstitutional nonsense. This is sad hallmark of kind of people running this year and conservatives should not let it slide.

lexhamfox on December 19, 2011 at 4:19 AM

I guess we can’t really get mad at Obama for ignoring supreme court rulings he doesn’t like then. Newts sword cuts both ways – there’s a reason we have checks and balances.

This guy Newt is an embarrassment to conservatism. He doesn’t represent me.

Ruiner on December 19, 2011 at 5:07 AM

Nothing would put the fear of God back into these judges quicker than a President who told them.You people in the Judicial your job is to rule on laws based only on the Constitution not to make law .If you try to make law then you can bring you army and try too in force it.Now i know full well this would be a radical act.But a lot of our courts are slowly taking our rights away.I think the last president to do something like this was Andrew Jackson.

logman1 on December 19, 2011 at 5:55 AM

Herman Cain puts his hand on a women’s leg (supposedly anyway) and he is driven out. Gingrich wants to put a jackboot on the United States Constitution’ neck and some “conservatives” still want him to be President. Absolutely astounding.

VorDaj on December 18, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Wow.

JellyToast on December 19, 2011 at 6:58 AM

First, while the congress has the power to supeana anybody, they can really only do so for the sake of considering legislation. Yes they could in theory just say they’re doing so to consider new legislation, but that’d be entirely dishonest.

So it may be an existing power, but unless you concede to dishonest use of it you would have to give the congress more power in how they could use it.

To provide an analogy, consider a pencil. A pencil is designed with the intent, but not the requirement, that it be used as a writing implement. However, it can also be used to poke and slice through packaging tape to open a cardboard box. If one opens cardboard boxes with a pencil, that doesn’t make the use of the pencil dishonest. It makes the use of an existent thing in a way not conceived of before. I don’t see that as innately abusive in much the same way that I don’t see using a subpoena for matters other than legislation innately abusive.

Second, Gingrich also talks about impeaching justices whose decisions are unpopular, or whom are not liked by the executive and legislative branches. Merely making unpopular decisions however, is not traditionally considered grounds for judicial impeachment. Again, it wouldn’t be a new power in the strictest sense of the word, but it’d change how this power could be used in such a way as to effectively make it a new power.

And that’s where I think you’re painting Gingrich with too broad a brush. He’s said you go after Constitutional violations, not arbitrarily. Is it possible Congress could do that? Sure. But is it possible that the courts can impose arbitrary whim? Sure. Still, let’s not misconstrue what Gingrich is talking about.

Regardless whether these are truly new however, they’d still undermine judicial independence. And, as much as I am frustrated by some unpopular decisions, sometimes the unpopular thing is the right thing to do.

A judiciary that has grown so independent that it operates independently of the law is nothing more than a dictator in black robes. The Roe decision was one example. Kelo was another. SB1070 another still. The ’07 decision on carbon emissions yet another. There’s a plethora of instances where the judiciary is simply making crap up.

First, do away with life long terms. Fixed terms of any length, even thirty years, would dramatically increase the turnover rate of federal judges.

I’d be up for term limits. I like that idea.

Second, and more importantly, elect conservatives that will appoint conservative judges. Even a slight up-tick in the number of conservative judges on the federal level would dramatically alter the landscape after a decade.

WolvenOne on December 19, 2011 at 3:01 AM

Also true, yet that has provided difficulties itself. We’ve elected self-proclaimed conservative presidents only to end up getting Souters and Day O’Connors on the court. We also had to browbeat Dubya so that we didn’t get Miers.

Ultimately, the reason I favor subpoena power being used is that it provides Congress with an immediate response to bad judicial decision-making rather than letting it go unaddressed for an extended duration and then become inflated as the oh-so-important “stare decisis” in the minds of the lawyers. I’ve always regarded that as a pitiful excuse to say, “We made a bad decision in the past, so we have to keep making bad decisions in the future.”

Stoic Patriot on December 19, 2011 at 7:32 AM

The Constitution is the supreme law, not the Supreme’s making law. All three branches of government take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to uphold what the Supreme court tries to write into the Constitution.

So I see absolutely nothing wrong with one equal branch telling another – come here to explain how your action is aligned to the Constitution.

And to be honest – the power of those 3 branches are supposed to be less than the powers granted to the States to which is less than the power of its People under whom they all serve.

A federal judge that abrogates a clear states right power under his stretch of an ‘interpretation’ (i.e. Marriage) should be called out to defend it to those directly accountable to the People. Such “interpretations” should have an expiration so that the People, through their representatives, can write the laws that bind them, or the States can learn to get of their rears and use the power granted to them to amend the Constitution if it so requires it.

The damn Founders were truly exceptional. They made the President nominate judges, Congress provide consent on appointments, maintain the purse strings for the Judiciary and gave the power to impeach to the lower branch to which is ruled upon within the upper branch.

Nothing in that design would make subpoenaing a Judge to present his/her assertions to Congress something that is foreign to the Framer’s intent – quite the opposite really.

rgrovr on December 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM

oh, my, the HA resident Freud is just back from a short incursion in Romney’s head and here to elighten us
jimver on December 19, 2011 at 3:20 AM

It’s not hard. You can do it too, with a little effort. In my case, where I grew up you couldn’t throw a stick and not hit an overachieving, insecure, brownnosing little Harvard pri*k like Romney. Though I’m not sure Dr. Phil would get it.

rrpjr on December 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Count me among those more positive about Newt’s statements:
http://wannabeanglican.blogspot.com/2011/12/about-newts-war-on-courts.html

In short, the three branches of federal government are to check and balance each other. But Presidents and Congresses have dropped the ball on checking the Judiciary. So I am heartened to hear Newt’s willingness to put rogue judges in their place.

WannabeAnglican on December 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

The damn Founders were truly exceptional. They made the President nominate judges, Congress provide consent on appointments, maintain the purse strings for the Judiciary and gave the power to impeach to the lower branch to which is ruled upon within the upper branch.

Nothing in that design would make subpoenaing a Judge to present his/her assertions to Congress something that is foreign to the Framer’s intent – quite the opposite really.

rgrovr on December 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM

\
You forgot one very important detail in the checks and balances that the founders had that we do not. The states themselves had the power to appoint the upper branch, which protected the constitution from being trampled.

Constitutional historian of conservative values on December 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

You forgot one very important detail in the checks and balances that the founders had that we do not. The states themselves had the power to appoint the upper branch, which protected the constitution from being trampled.

Constitutional historian of conservative values on December 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Damn you 17th Amendment. Damn you straight to hell!!

rgrovr on December 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

astonerii on December 18, 2011 at 9:35 PM

NOW you’re interested in voting???

People like you should get no vote.

astonerii on October 4, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Oh. Never mind.

Apologize.

runawayyyy on December 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Newt is right that there’s something wrong in the judiciary, but I think his approach is deeply flawed. One of the things I think he suggested was that 2 of the 3 branches should be able to effectively override the third, and should be able to do so without a Constitutional amendment.

This would be a disaster. As evidence, I refer you to the FDR reign. See, having checks and balances among three co-equal branches is useless if all 3 branches agree to subvert the Constitution (equally).

Saying you now only need 2 of the branches to subvert the Constitution seems….counterproductive to me.

On the other hand, demanding that they only rule on the constitutionality of a given law seems well within the powers of Congress to enforce. Any time the courts decide to write law themselves, they can be safely ignored as exceeding their mandate. But no one will, and this is the problem. My suggestion encompasses the upcoming obamacare debate, and all the court would have to do is say “yes, it’s constitutional” to meet my standard of validity. It will be another example of all 3 branches ganging up on us, removing our rights, and yet completely constitutional.

runawayyyy on December 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

SHOW for sure

bumsteaddithers on December 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Previous commenters have remarked that Jackson, Lincoln and TR ignored court rulings. Specifically, in Lincoln’s case, there is the Emancipation Proclamation, effectively nullifying Dred Scott, and Ex parte Merryman, where Lincoln continued to suspend habeus corpus, a decision by Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal circuit court judge.

bophame on December 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

To provide an analogy, consider a pencil. A pencil is designed with the intent, but not the requirement, that it be used as a writing implement. However, it can also be used to poke and slice through packaging tape to open a cardboard box. If one opens cardboard boxes with a pencil, that doesn’t make the use of the pencil dishonest. It makes the use of an existent thing in a way not conceived of before. I don’t see that as innately abusive in much the same way that I don’t see using a subpoena for matters other than legislation innately abusive.

This isn’t a very good analogy. The law is not a physical tool, it is an abstract construct whose use and purpose relies strictly on the authority we assign to it. A pencil, regardless of how it is used, is limited in its number of uses by its shape and properties. Law on the other hand can potentially be redefined to grant any authority, and to authorize any abuse.

This is why changing the law, and changing how congress can exercise its rights, must only be done with exceeding amounts of caution. The unintended consequences can be dire if a mistake is made.

Additionally, giving the congress implicit permission to use a power in a manner it was never intended, “is,” dishonest, particularly when the law wasn’t actually changed to give them this power. Simply put, I do not believe the ends justify the means in this particular case.

And that’s where I think you’re painting Gingrich with too broad a brush. He’s said you go after Constitutional violations, not arbitrarily. Is it possible Congress could do that? Sure. But is it possible that the courts can impose arbitrary whim? Sure. Still, let’s not misconstrue what Gingrich is talking about.

Yes, but elected officials are almost never able to do things which are, “unpopular.” So the net effect is that they would only go after judges that made unpopular decisions. How Gingrich would like to use such powers is largely immaterial against how it would actually be used. Prior conduct of congress in this case, gives us a pretty good idea how such powers would be used.

And once again, I must point out that the popular position isn’t always the right one. Some degree of judicial independence must be preserved for this reason and this reason alone.

WolvenOne on December 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

And we’ve already had courts tell us that the Constitution requires same-sex marriage, even though the Constitution in fact says absolutely nothing about marriage at all. Obviously, then, laws about marriage are reserved to the states and to the people.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 19, 2011 at 1:24 AM

You do realize then by your own argument that Section 3 at least of DOMA is therefore blatantly unconstitutional? If “laws about marriage are reserved to the states and to the people” with no Federal input, then DOMA is a clear violation of not just the 14th Amendment but also the 10th Amendment. In which case the Feds would have to respect those same-sex marriages performed in states wherein they are legal.

JohnAGJ on December 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM

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