One question for Newt: Will the cops be wearing jack boots?
GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich said Congress has the power to dispatch the Capitol Police or U.S. Marshals to apprehend a federal judge who renders a decision lawmakers broadly oppose.
Gingrich says if there is broad opposition to a court decision, Congress should subpoena the ruling judge to defend his or her action in a hearing room.
When asked if Congress could enforce the subpoena by sending the Capitol Police to arrest a judge, Gingrich assented.
"If you had to," Gingrich said. "Or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall."
Gingrich made his remarks during a Sunday appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" where he defended his position that the president has the power to eliminate federal courts to disempower judges who hand down decisions out of step with the rest of the nation.
Gingrich cited the 9th Circuit's decision that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional as an example of a decision drastically out of step with the values of the country.
"Separate but equal" doesn't mean much to Mr. Gingrich. Making judicial decisions a matter of politics -- i.e., subject to the "popular will" -- is a horrible idea. The law is not a campaign document. It has structure and meaning beyond the vagaries of politics. Punishing judges who interpret the law as they have sworn to do would destroy an independent judiciary and make it the slave of the transient passions of congress or the president.
It's this kind of thing that should frighten conservatives about Gingrich.