Well, that\’s you unqualified to be President then Mr. Gingrich

Newt Gingrich has pledged that on his first day as president he will set up a constitutional showdown by ordering the military to defy a supreme court ruling extending some legal rights to foreign terrorism suspects and captured enemy combatants in US custody.

The Republican contender told a forum of anti-abortion activists ahead of South Carolina\’s primary election that as president he would ignore supreme court rulings he regards as legally flawed. He implied that would also extend to the 1973 decision, Roe vs Wade, legalising abortion.

\”If the court makes a fundamentally wrong decision, the president can in fact ignore it,\” said Gingrich to cheers.

The oath is to uphold the Constitution. And it\’s the Supreme Court that decides, barring amendments to that Constitution, what that Constitution is.

Which leads to more than a little amusement. If there were a President Gingrich (God Forbid….and I\’m afraid that I can\’t see any in the current race (from any party) that I would actually want to have that office. Yes, even Ron Paul, there\’s some good stuff there but some very weird too) then he\’d be impeached as soon as one of these stand offs occured. And rightly so of course.

The amusement would come from the way in which it would be the outraged left which would lead the impeachment charge and, if he\’s tried and convicted and refuses to leave, then quite possibly removed from office by the military at the instruction of the Supreme Court.

You know, exactly what happened in Honduras and boy, didn\’t the US left complain about that?

24 comments on “Well, that\’s you unqualified to be President then Mr. Gingrich

  1. At least the US has a constitution to check the government, it doesn’t do a great job, just look at the PATRIOT Act, but it least it slows them down.

    With parliamentary sovereignty there is nothing to stop our politicians doing as they please.

  2. Well in all fairness, if that is the right word, he almost certainly doesn’t mean it. Rick Perry tried this earlier. Presumably Newt knows he is slowly losing and hopes to inject some spirit into his campaign by grand standing to the fringe of his own base. It didn’t help Perry, worst luck, and I doubt it will help him.

  3. “the US has a constitution to check the government”: that would be nice – it scarcely even impedes the Supreme Court: see Wade v Roe.

  4. The more I read and learn of the fundamentalist flat-earthers squabbling for the leadership of the GOP the more my head hurts.

  5. What’s weird about Paul? His reluctance to, as the saying goes “throw a crappy little country against the wall every ten years to show who’s boss”?

    Sound money? Small government? Ending drug prohibition? Constitutionalism?

    What’s the weird thing?

  6. Banning abortion?

    The loathing of the Federal Reserve?

    Extreme homeschooling (dangerous in the religious nutterdom of our ex-colonial cousins)?

    You should have to go to the risk and expense of suing polluters?

  7. He doesn’t have a policy to ban abortion.

    He’s absolutely right to loathe the Federal Reserve. Anyone who can’t see what’s wrong with central banking doesn’t understand economics, full stop.

    Homeschooling is an extremely good way to educate children, away from the day prisons forced on them by the State.

    You don’t like court systems? Got a better idea?

  8. Surreptitious Evil –

    That’s Gingrich, not Paul, who would ignore Roe v Wade. But regardless, you do know that overturning Roe v Wade is not the same as banning abortion, right? I know the BBC thinks they amount to the same thing, but then they seem to be pretty confused about America’s federal government system generally.

  9. From the “Ron Paul 2012” site:

    And as President, Ron Paul will continue to fight for the same pro-life solutions he has upheld in Congress, including:

    * Immediately saving lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.”

    * Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.”

    So, thanks but no thanks, gents. Seems pretty much like an abortion ban to me. And, of course, it’s not just Gingrich and Paul – Santorum is up for a ban (as you’d expect of a strict orthodox Catholic) and Romney is for overturning RvW.

    Homeschooling – good if the parents aren’t insane and have sufficiently wide and deep knowledge.

    Pollution? I’d prefer to have it regulated and, within certain limits, prevented, rather than have to take on an industrial giant and all of their lawyers. You may be much richer than me.

  10. So, not an abortion ban. Removing it from the federal jurisdiction that it never should have been placed under.

    Just out of interest, when do you think life begins?

    Now we’re onto “insane”. Is that how you consider religious belief, your previous justification for day imprisonment of children?

    We’re not discussing what you’d prefer, but whether Paul’s policies are “weird” or not. Considering environmentalists and their bureaucrats are now at the stage of defining carbon dioxide as a “pollutant”, it’s pretty clear that government environmental regulation just ends up with “insane”.

  11. Go read his site rather than just crowing about how wonderful he is.

    He wants to ban abortion. He calls it the “Sanctity of Life Act”. Except, of course, he wants to allow the individual states to continue with judicial execution. So life isn’t quite as sanctified as you might think (and, yes, an ex-employee has said he’s against the death penalty. He hasn’t.)

    Life begins? I’m actually quite happy with the ancient Catholic doctrine of quickening as a reasonable starting point – which can then be modified by modern medicine. Blastulas aren’t human yet.

    Some of Paul’s policies are, indeed, weird. But, hey, get your green card, abandon your virtual Tanzania and go and vote for him.

  12. “Virtual Tanzania”? Sorry, that one went right over my head. Anyway, can’t vote for him. I’m English.

    Does the SOLA actually ban abortion? It seems to me to define life. It’s then up to you whether you want to have laws that allow the killing of inconvenient people. That seems fair enough to me. I myself would tend to agree with you on the quickening definition, but the reality is that whatever criteria for baby-killing you use, it’s not going to be cut and dried.

    Considering most of his opponents on both sides of the spectrum want to continue murdering people in other countries for vague policy ideals, I’m not entirely sure what definition of “weird” you’re using.

  13. “He wants to ban abortion. He calls it the “Sanctity of Life Act”. Except, of course, he wants to allow the individual states to continue with judicial execution. So life isn’t quite as sanctified as you might think (and, yes, an ex-employee has said he’s against the death penalty. He hasn’t.)”

    So? In my book there’s a moral distinction to be drawn between executing a murderer and killing a baby.

  14. It seems to me to define life. It’s then up to you whether you want to have laws that allow the killing of inconvenient people.

    In a common law jurisdiction, perhaps, but not necessarily in a jurisdiction where people have constitutional rights that trump the decisions of lawmakers.

    In my book there’s a moral distinction to be drawn between executing a murderer and killing a baby.

    I think anyone sensible would agree that infanticide is somewhat worse than killing a murderer, and that both are significantly worse than destroying a clump of cells.

  15. john b – “I think anyone sensible would agree that infanticide is somewhat worse than killing a murderer, and that both are significantly worse than destroying a clump of cells.”

    Not if I get to define sensible.

  16. Surreptitious Evil – “I’m actually quite happy with the ancient Catholic doctrine of quickening as a reasonable starting point – which can then be modified by modern medicine. Blastulas aren’t human yet.”

    In what sense aren’t Blastulas human? Can you please define for me what it is to be human that would give a precise definition? How many weeks, precisely, does it take for a human blastula to become human?

  17. “The amusement would come from the way in which it would be the outraged left which would lead the impeachment charge and, if he’s tried and convicted and refuses to leave, then quite possibly removed from office by the military at the instruction of the Supreme Court.”

    Actually the real amusement could be otherwise – we are probably looking at a Republican majority. What if they don’t impeach him?

    Or if they do, he does what Franklin Roosevelt threatened to do and just adds new members of the Supreme Court until he has an unimpeachable majority?

    Both of those could be far more amusing.

    Ultimately America too has an unwritten Constitution. The number one article seems to be an agreement not to push things to extremes. I don’t think Newt is that extreme, but if he was, the Supreme Court might fold first – it did in the fact of FDR’s threats.

  18. “and that both are significantly worse than destroying a clump of cells.”

    Executing a convicted murderer is morally worse than terminating an innocent foetus? I disagree.

  19. Executing a convicted murderer is morally worse than terminating an innocent foetus? I disagree.

    That’s your right. My right is to look at you as if you’re a raving lunatic. A murderer is conscious and sentient. A blastula isn’t.

  20. PaulB – “SMFS: there is no precise point.”

    And there’s the problem. We will go on looking the other way while doctors continue to kill organisms that look a lot like humans, that can certainly feel pain, that could survive, as normal human beings outside the womb (with enough intensive care), all because on the one hand we are too squeamish to apply rigorous thinking to the problem and on the other we don’t want to look like bad people.

    22john b – “That’s your right. My right is to look at you as if you’re a raving lunatic. A murderer is conscious and sentient. A blastula isn’t.”

    A murderer has made a conscious and sentient decision to kill. With malice aforethought. A blastula has not.

    Not that we are talking about blastulas. Most abortions are in the first trimester but a significant number are not. About ten percent in the UK are in the second trimester. About one percent beyond that.

  21. It’s interesting to me how people get so dogmatic about a “right to abort”. It is hard to see where such a right comes from. At what point does a person earn their right to life? Consider the “conscious and sentient” criterion.

    A person in a coma is neither conscious nor sentient. We keep them alive presumably because they have a capacity to become conscious and sentient in the future, and this wuld seem to be born out by the corollary that once it has been established that they have no possibility of becoming conscious and sentient, we let them die. So surely, that potential must be taken into account with a foetus, must it not?

    Abortionists seem to claim consistently that only the mother has rights in this issue. Anti-abortionists claim that both beings in the situation have rights, which is more consistent at least. It’s especially odd considering that this is one of those “conflict of rights” problems that the Left normally love (e.g. Monbiot and his thou shalt not cut down a tree because other people have a right to enjoy it type stuff) and yet in this case it is particularly the Left who insist that only the interests of the mother be considered; and one is balancing an entire life (the foetus) against nine months of inconvenience (the mother), the latter of which is basically due to her own negligence in most cases.

    But apparently it’s “weird” to be anti-abortion. That strikes me as itself a trifle weird.

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