Russell and Duenes

Newt Gingrich and the Courts Flap

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Great piece, with sensible proposals, but Andy McCarthy over at National Review Online. McCarthy’s discussion of the primacy of the political process in resolving matters related to the judiciary is worth reading in its entirety. McCarthy writes,

Gingrich deserves credit for forcing the vital issue beneath all of this, an issue that every GOP candidate ought to address. The Supreme Court has long purported to be the final authority on what the law is. It was one thing to take that position when the judges had a modest understanding of their role: namely, to resolve cases between litigants, without the grandiosity that would impose those rulings on every American. As Gingrich points out, however, for the last half-century, the Court has regarded itself as a permanent constitutional convention. This is the absurdity: The Constitution says it cannot be amended absent an elaborate process involving supermajorities of Congress and the states — but the courts have somehow convinced us that a 5–4 shakeout from nine unelected lawyers can do the trick. So the question for the candidates is, who is the sovereign? Who gets the final word on what the law is? Hint: The first three words of the Constitution are not, “We the Judges . . . ”

Gingrich is, predictably, getting fried by the media over some of the “trees” in his proposal, while they miss the “forest.” As with many things today, it would be nice if there were to be a serious and calm debate over many of the issues he’s raising. But that would be asking a lot in these days of political demagoguery and distraction.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

December 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

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