Gingrich’s recent stump speeches include an admonition that if he was President he would “instruct the national security officials to ignore the Supreme Court on issues of national security.” His startling proposition leads inexorably to the possibility that as potential leader of the Executive branch of government he could also decide to ignore the Legislative branch, a step that would surely lead to anarchy.
Gingrich focuses on several recent court cases including the California court’s decision to overturn the results of Proposition 8, the “definition of marriage” referendum wherein eight million Californians voted against same-sex marriage.
He also highlights the “prayer” decision of federal Judge Biery of Texas who blocked a prayer at Medina Valley High School graduation ceremonies. Judge Biery cited a shopping list of court decisions that struck down religious activities, like prayer, for breaching the First Amendment which promises freedom of religion, speech, the press and the right to lawful assembly.
Judge Biery’s four-page Reasons include orders striking the words “Invocation” and “Benediction” from the ceremony program, to be replaced by “Opening Remarks” and “Closing Remarks”. Besides banning the prayer, the Court ruled that the words “prayer” and “amen” could not be mentioned, although a speaker could state his or her own personal beliefs so long as they were not proselytizing.
A higher Court overturned this decision, a perfect illustration of how the judicial branch operates.
On a recent “Face the Nation” appearance, Gingrich suggested that federal judges be subpoenaed to explain their decisions and remarked that subpoenas may have a “sobering effect on judges’ assessment of their powers”. To suggest that the United States abandon the rule of law and the independence of its judiciary is to turn judges into “puppets” of the government, joining countries like Russia, Iran and others whose systems of justice are rife with corruption.
He also articulated his response to stubborn judges: “All right, in the future the Court can meet, but it will have no clerks. By the way, we aren’t going to pay the electric bill for two years. And since you seem to be rendering justice in the dark, you don’t seem to need your law libraries either.”
Mr. Gingrich’s inflammatory proposals to change the function of the judiciary advances governance based on political preferences and denies the role of an independent bench as part of the constitutional balance of America.
No, he’s not kidding!
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang