Tonight I’m watching “Horrible Bosses.” Tomorrow I will be rooting for Tom Terrific and the Patriots for the first time since the infamous “tuck-rule” game.
What are you up to?
Newt Gingrich is giving fair warning to judges and courts across the country: If he becomes president, the judiciary won’t reign supreme.
The former House Speaker and current Republican presidential front-runner convened a conference call with reporters on Saturday to expand on his call for Congress to subpoena judges or even abolish courts altogether if they make wrong-headed decisions. Those arguments from Gingrich at Thursday’s debate in Iowa drew scrutiny and criticism from his rivals.
Far from distancing himself from the issue, however, Gingrich said he was “delighted” that it came up and directed reporters to a 28-page white paper on the judiciary on his website.
Then, in what amounted to a 35-minute seminar on constitutional history, Gingrich argued that the judicial branch has grown far more powerful than the nation’s founders ever intended and said it would be well within the president’s authority as commander in chief to ignore a Supreme Court ruling that he believed was incorrectly decided.
He cited four examples in presidential history, including Abraham Lincoln, whose administration, Gingrich said, refused to enforce the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court on slavery and then actively flouted it by emancipating the slaves with an executive order.
“They just ignored it,” Gingrich said. He said the principle applied most recently to the 2008 Supreme Court decision finding that the Bush administration had exceeded its constitutional authority in handling suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“A commander in chief could simply issue instructions to ignore it, and say it’s null and void and I do not accept it because it infringes on my duties as commander in chief to protect the country,” Gingrich said of the Guantanamo ruling.
Gingrich, a former history professor, also stood by his statement that Congress could abolish certain courts altogether, although he clarified that it should be a last resort to counteract judicial overreach.
“There are many remedies, there are a number of steps,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that’s the only recourse or even should be the primary recourse. There are a number of in-between steps.”
He added later in the call: “I think it’s important to say, that’s the last choice, that’s the last place you’d want to go.”
When pressed as to whether a president could ignore any court decision he didn’t like, such as if President Obama ignored a ruling overturning his healthcare law, Gingrich said the standard should be “the rule of two of three,” in which the outcome would be determined by whichever side two of the three branches of government were on.
He also indicated it would be rare for a president or Congress to challenge or ignore a court decision, and said in more than 99 percent of cases “you want the judiciary to be independent, you don’t want the Congress or anybody to be able to rewrite cases, per se.”
Another branch would step in, Gingrich said, when a judge or a court makes a decision that is “strikingly at variance with America.”
“I think it’s important to have a discussion: Do we have a balance of power between the three branches, or do we have a judicial supremacy in which they can dictate to the rest of us?” he asked. “I think the country will overwhelmingly conclude you do not want a court which is capable of dictating.”
Newt’s a man of ideas. Most of them are bad.
The federal judiciary is the smallest of the three branches of government. They don’t make law, they interpret it. They don’t control their budget and other than bailiffs they have no power to enforce their rulings. The controversial part of their job is interpreting the U.S. Constitution.
Their rulings have been inconsistent and often frustrating, and occasionally newer courts have reversed earlier rulings. But with rare exceptions their rulings have been obeyed. If the executive and legislative branches disagree with the judiciary they can amend the Constitution. If a judge abuses his/her power he/she can be impeached.
In a nation ruled by law, it is only natural that judges will have the final say. Our system works. Not perfectly, but it works.
One last thought – if you look through all the SCOTUS rulings where they ruled a law unconstitutional, they were acting as a brake and/or limit on government power. They didn’t tell the other branches of government what to do, the court told them what NOT to do.
MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts seizes on Mitt Romney’s use of the phrase “Keep America American.” The network claims the phrase plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan slogan of “Keep America American.” According to left-leaning news outlets, the “Keep America American” expression was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.
Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using a similar phrase in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.
UPDATE: On tonight’s edition of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews apologized for the “irresponsible” and “incendiary” attack on Mitt Romney.
UPDATE: Al Sharpton, on his show tonight, gave his seal of approval for MSNBC to apologize. Sharpton says he believes Romney deserved the apology because he has also been a “victim” of half-truths.
Okay, here’s the deal:
MSNBC does it’s usual schtick and finds a tenuous (at best) connection between a Republican and racism, then pushes the story. Normally they don’t walk it back or apologize, but this time they did. They did it toot sweet too, and had one of their big guns make the apology on the air.
What’s wrong with this picture?
All year long Mitt Romney has been the presumptive front-runner and the GOP establishment candidate. The GOP has an interest in protecting their favored candidate so it would not be surprising if FOX News behaved that way.
But this is MSNBO – The Obama network. Normally, part of their job is sliming those who oppose Obama. Except they aren’t really loyal to Obama, they are part of the corporatist oligarchy and are loyal to their employers. They helped make Obama POTUS because that’s what their employers wanted.
Their employers want a Potemkin election next year. If the two candidates are Obama and Romney (aka Oromneybama) the corporatists can’t lose.
That’s why all candidates except Oromneybama are fair game. It’s been “pile-on Newt” for the past couple weeks. Before Newt it was Herman Cain. If Ron Paul does well in Iowa you can expect to see some of his old racist newsletters making headlines.
Four years ago Barack Obama was the media favorite. This year Romney is the other media favorite.
Editors’ note: This posting contains multiple, serious factual errors that undermine its premise. Mitt Romney is not using “Keep America American,” which was once a KKK slogan, as a catchphrase in stump speeches, as the posting and headline stated. In a YouTube video that the posting said showed Romney using the phrase, Romney actually used a different phrase, “Keep America America.” Further, the video that the blog posting labelled “Mitt Romney 2012 Campaign Ad” is not actually a Romney campaign ad. The video itself states “Mitt Romney does not actually support this ad.” The posting cited accounts of Romney saying “keep America American” at an appearance last week. Independent video from the event shows him saying “Keep America America.” The Post should have contacted the Romney campaign for comment before publication. Finally, we apologize that the posting began by saying “[s]omeone didn’t do his research” when, in fact, we had not done ours.
Romney’s isn’t the first campaign mishap that came out of a borrowed slogan. While a candidate’s political slogan can be key to an effective campaign — as President Obama’s “Yes We Can” slogan was — many politicians have shown by example how precarious slogans can be if you don’t do your research.
When former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced his presidential run earlier this year, he launched his official campaign Web site using the slogan “Win the future.” It was a phrase used in some variation or another 11 times by Obama in his State of the Union speech this year.
Uh, I don’t think Obama can claim dibs on that phrase. Newt used “Winning the Future” for the title of a book he wrote six years ago, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t invent it either.
BTW – I am having problems accessing the intertoobz this morning. It’s like I’m using an early 90′s dial-up modem and a Commodore 64 PC. I plan to talk more about the whole Romney/KKK fiasco when I get things straightened out.