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Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Newt Previews Speech on Ousting Activist Judges

October 06, 2011

Originally posted on

By Kathie Obradovich

Newt previews his upcoming speech that will detail his promise to get rid of judges who trample American values.

In a phone interview today, he said he'll release a paper on Friday that delves into what he considers the founding fathers' intention that the president and Congress could oust errant judges. He's also scheduled to speak Friday at the Values Voters summit in Washington, D.C.

"I think it will be one of the more important speeches of the campaign because it is establishing a discussion about the Constitution and the courts in the way it has not been done in probably 100 years," he said.

He said he'll detail an idea that he attributes to Alexander Hamilton, that the president and Congress can simply abolish courts to get rid of judges who trample on American values.

He said he had been thinking about the issue ever since the 9th Circuit Court ruled in 2002 that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. He described the ruling as anti-religion and anti-American.

"The more I thought about it, the more it struck me that the standard conservative idea, which is somehow we'll appoint conservative judges, can't have been what the founding fathers had in mind," he said.

He said Hamilton wrote that the judicial branch would not pick a fight with the executive and legislative branches, because it would lose. He said he'll lay out a series of steps that Congress and the president can take, "and suggest that we do not have to accept radical judges and we do not have to accept radical judgments." He said Americans can use the existing constitutional powers of the two elected branches to correct the court.

He said he envisions Congress being able to call a judge before a congressional hearing to explain the reasoning behind a ruling. "And if it's not satisfactory, the second step would be to abolish his court. Zero it out in the appropriations bill," Gingrich said. He said a new court could be created and a new judge appointed.

"You don't have to go through an impeachment. You can just say this guy shouldn't be a judge," he said.

I asked if that would lead to rulings aimed at appeasing whoever happened to have the political majority in Congress. "Yes," he said. "But at some level you want that," he said. You have to have 60 senators, 218 House members and the president to say a judge is fundamentally wrong, he said, which means there needs to be a broad national consensus. Judges should be sensitive to that, he said.

Newt Gingrich, Gingrich Campaign Press Release - Newt Previews Speech on Ousting Activist Judges Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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