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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Santorum Discusses Shrinking Federal Court

Ex-Pennsylvania senator says he’s open to considering reducing jurisdiction of the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

photo of Naureen Khan
December 28, 2011

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – One of Iowa’s newest top-tier candidates, Rick Santorum, on Wednesday took on an issue that previous Hawkeye State front-runner Newt Gingrich has often discussed -– reining in so-called “activist” federal judges.

Santorum said he has had “a lot of interesting discussions” with friends in the legal world about whether entire courts could be eliminated -- a controversial idea that Gingrich has tossed out in recent speeches. Instead, the former Pennsylvania senator suggested he is more open to considering narrowing the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco and covering nine Western states, has long been a target for conservatives who accuse it of liberal bias.

 

“What might be possible to do is to take the Ninth Circuit and shrink it and put all the Ninth Circuit judges in California and maybe Hawaii for good measure ... I think that could be done and I believe that would send a very strong signal, and that is, follow the Constitution and if you don’t follow the Constitution, we’re not going to make life easy for you,” Santorum said.

Santorum also continued his criticism of Rep. Ron Paul, who along with Mitt Romney is ahead of Santorum in Iowa in a new CNN poll. He said the Texas Republican “would run to the left of President Obama on national security. He’s on the Dennis Kucinich wing” –- a reference to the liberal anti-war Ohio Democrat.

 

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