Constitution Principles and Gingrich Proposition

Posted: November 28th, 2013





Constitution Principles and Gingrich Proposition

Newt Gingrich’s propositions to have federal judges give reason for some of their decisions; in accordance with the United States Constitution is not a violation of any law. The congress is bestowed the responsibilities of approving judge appointment by the president, controlling numbers of Supreme Court Justices, and in this case, impeaching judges guilty of bribery, treason, misdemeanors, and high crimes (Wolfensberger, 7). In some cases, judges are sometimes intentionally involved in these kinds of wrongful acts when arriving at their final decisions. Therefore, it would be constitutionally fair to sanction a hearing from these judges to give reason for their misdemeanors. I therefore stand along with Gingrich’s proposition for federal judges to appear before the congress and defend or otherwise answer questions concerning judicial decisions that the congress does not agree with.

The constitution of the United States establishes that at any time the Supreme Court shall be vested with judicial powers, and inferior courts, in this case the Congress, have the mandate to establish and ordain the same. More so, the constitution upholds the definitions of cases regarding judicial power applications, including cases arising from treaties and laws of the United States (Wolfensberger 25). Judicial review implies congressional law review determining whether judicial decision are valid and conform to the constitution. However, the constitution does not grant the Congress full powers to assert judicial review responsibility. With regard to Article IV of the Supremacy Clause, “This constitution, and United States which shall be made in the pursuance thereof, and all treaties agreed upon, or which shall be conducted, within the authority of the United States, shall be deemed supreme in the land.”

Judges hailing from supreme courts, as well as federal courts, enjoy permanent life appointment (Shelley 31). The constitutions section 4 Article II asserts that the federal court judges can only be relieved off their duties by impeachment for bribery and treason, as well as other high crimes.  The United States constitution defines treason as giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies, or levying war against it. Bribery is the giving or acceptance of something of relevant value to influence the government conduct. However, the constitution does not define or explain part of high crimes. In essence, this grants the Congress with the mandate of impeaching judges and federal officials for political reasons, regardless of whether the officials have committed a true crime or not. Impeachment implies formally accusing a judge of committing an impeachable offense; in this case, presidential aspirant Gingrich is insinuating the same. If the judge or official in question is found guilty of contravening the law, he or she is liable for conviction granted by the senate (Shelley 45).

In addition, the American constitution prevents the congress from declaring attainder bills. An attainder bill is a judgment that passes punishment to an individual without trial. This constitutional provision protects jury trial rights in federal courts. Besides attainder bills, it is the right to jury trials in federal courts as declared by the constitution. Section 2 Article III states that all crime trials, with impeachment cases exempted, the jury shall be involved and such a trial shall be conducted in the state where the crime in question was committed. This provision in the constitution prevents elimination jury trials by the Congress (Wolfensberger 51).

Therefore, with the above findings on matters relating to the constitution and federal judge cases, Gingrich has a right to propose a hearing to be made on the judges, if he has sufficient reason to believe their actions were ultra vires.


Works Cited

Shelley, Mack. American Government and Politics Today. 2004005 ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2003. Print.

Wolfensberger, Donald. Congress and the People. Washington, DC, and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. Print.

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