Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s controversial ideas for the federal judiciary – recall that he said he’d ignore adverse Supreme Court decisions and even arrest subpoenaed judges and have them hauled before Congress to explain themselves – have gotten the attention of American Bar Association President William T. Robinson, III. And he clearly isn’t a fan of Gingrich’s plans.
“[H]is headline-grabbing proposals represent more than just campaign rhetoric,” Robinson wrote in an in an op-ed in the Des Moines Register last week, days ahead of the Iowa caucuses . “They seek to undo more than 200 years of constitutional democracy and undermine the one safe haven Americans have to resolve a dispute: our courts.”
Aside from the separation of powers issues Gingrich’s proposal poses, Robinson said Gingrich’s plan threatens to undermine the judiciary at a time when elected officials should be buttressing the government’s third branch.
“The judiciary isn’t a powerful interest group. Courts cannot raise money or marshal voters, unlike Gingrich,” Robinson wrote. “Our courts are easy targets because judges do not respond to these attacks. They are, by design, not supposed to react to the whims and passions of politicians.”