Let's fast forward to March, 2013.
In response to crippling protests of Occupiers shutting down ports and key rail facilities, Congress has passed the Freedom to Ship Act, declaring Occupy Wall Street a terrorist organization and authorized indefinite detention for Occupiers actively blockading foreign and domestic freight shipments. As part of the bill, Congress takes the lead of President Gingrich in denying the jurisdiction of the court system in assessing the constitutionality of the Freedom to Ship Act. The 9th Circuit declares Freedom to Ship unconstitutional within hours of Gingrich's signiture.
By June of 2013, 75,000 Occupiers are occupying space in detainment facilities (concentration camps, as NPR and CNN like to call them) Also in June, a 5-4 Supreme Court majority concurred with the 9th, with Justice Kennedy noting that "the Court has had the implied right of judicial review of a law's constitutionality going back to Marbury V Madison over 200 years ago."
President Gingrich tells the Supreme Court to do an unnatural act with itself-
The executive and legislative branches can explicitly and emphatically reject the theory of judicial supremacy and undertake anew their obligation to assure themselves, separately and independently, of the constitutionality of all laws and judicial decisions.
Back to December 2011 and present reality. That quote above comes from page 6 of Newt's position paper on the courts. The original starts with "First, the executive..." and I left off the "First" for dramatic effect.
Would the detainees from the Freedom to Ship Act have grounds to appeal being stuck in Gitmo North? Based on what we're used to, yes, but Freedom to Ship would be a constitutional application of congressional and presidential power if I am reading Newt correctly.
I'm not sure if AGs Mukasey and Gonzales are "conservatives" as they were cast last night during the debate, but they both did serve in the Dubya administration and both think the Newt position paper is "dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle"
I tend to agree. Using our mythical Freedom to Ship Act to detain Occupiers like Club Gitmo folks would be perfectly constitutional under Newtonian rules. Under Newtonian rules, any law is constitutional if a majority of Congress and the president say it is. That means, effectively, that Congress can amend the Constitition by a simple majority if it tells the courts to take a flying leap at a rolling donut as part of the bill.
Getting rid of courts you don't like would be perfectly constitutional, since Congress has that power in the Constitution. Dissolving the Ninth Circuit and restocking a replacement with less liberal judges would be constitutional. Ignoring the courts altogether would seem unconstitutional, since judicial review is the one way to keep a majority of Congress and a president from ruling unchecked by the Constitution.
Absent judicial review, there would be nothing keeping a president from seizing dictatorial control if he or she had a majority of congress and Newtonian rules. Picture a Hugo Chavez with a majority of Congress; you want a Supreme Court with teeth to prevent a Czar Chavez.
That's not to say that we'd be getting a Czardine in Newt. The folks who would follow... I'm not so sure. That's why Newt might be too dangerous to get in the White House, and I was leaning towards voting for him at this point.
Freddie's understandable. His infidelities are forgivable. Newtonian rule courts are dangerous to civil liberties both right and left.