Newt's Courting the Demise of Citizens United

Mark J. Fitzgibbons
Newt Gingrich's campaign has a position paper, "Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution," that is creating some controversy. I just started, and am still, reading it. Just in the first 20 pages, I've cheered wildly one moment, then booed the next. 

At page 20 I found my "hold-the-presses" moment. A paragraph in the section, "Setting Limitations on Federal Court Jurisdiction," reads:

Article III, section 2, clause 2 provides that "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make". This power, along with Congressional power to create and abolish all lower federal courts, provide for a powerful check on the judiciary. Acting together, the legislative and executive branches can therefore limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts through ordinary legislation. This legislation would remove the power of the courts to hear certain types of cases that the executive and legislative branches believe that the federal judiciary has simply gotten wrong in the past. (Emphasis added.)

That paragraph begins by quoting Article III, section 2, clause 2 out of context.  Article III, Sec 2 begins: "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States . . ."

My first reaction to a proposal "to remove the power of the courts to hear certain types of cases that [an Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis] believe that the federal judiciary has simply gotten wrong in the past," is that they would have acted to limit the courts' authority to hear First Amendment cases involving elections, such as Citizens United.

That proposal is both unconstitutional and unwise.

Newt Gingrich's campaign has a position paper, "Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution," that is creating some controversy. I just started, and am still, reading it. Just in the first 20 pages, I've cheered wildly one moment, then booed the next. 

At page 20 I found my "hold-the-presses" moment. A paragraph in the section, "Setting Limitations on Federal Court Jurisdiction," reads:

Article III, section 2, clause 2 provides that "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make". This power, along with Congressional power to create and abolish all lower federal courts, provide for a powerful check on the judiciary. Acting together, the legislative and executive branches can therefore limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts through ordinary legislation. This legislation would remove the power of the courts to hear certain types of cases that the executive and legislative branches believe that the federal judiciary has simply gotten wrong in the past. (Emphasis added.)

That paragraph begins by quoting Article III, section 2, clause 2 out of context.  Article III, Sec 2 begins: "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States . . ."

My first reaction to a proposal "to remove the power of the courts to hear certain types of cases that [an Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis] believe that the federal judiciary has simply gotten wrong in the past," is that they would have acted to limit the courts' authority to hear First Amendment cases involving elections, such as Citizens United.

That proposal is both unconstitutional and unwise.