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Channeling Jefferson, Gingrich Rails on 'Dangerous Despotism' of Courts Channeling Jefferson, Gingrich Rails on 'Dangerous Despotism' of Court...

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Channeling Jefferson, Gingrich Rails on 'Dangerous Despotism' of Courts

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich defended his attacks on courts, arguing in a Tuesday-morning USA Today op-ed that the founding fathers never intended for the judiciary to have the final say on the constitution.

The former Speaker of the House cites Thomas Jefferson who described a government in which judges were the ultimate arbiters on constituional questions as "the despotism of an oligarchy."


Gingrich cited Dred Scott v. Sanford, which condoned slavery, Korematsu v. United States, which allowed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and Roe v. Wade, which established the current precedent for legal abortion, as examples of the court abusing its power.

Gingrich’s solution? Allow those elected—to Congress and the presidency—to block court decisions.

“With Madison, Jefferson and Lincoln, and millions of Americans today, I know that the ultimate guardian of the people's liberties must be the people themselves,” Gingrich wrote.

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