Will does it in his usual, inimitable fashion. In this case, he is nailing Gingrich for Gingrich’s thoroughly irresponsible suggestions on how to rein in federal courts.
Make no mistake: Federal courts should indeed be reined in. Gingrich is hardly alone among conservatives in making that rather broad, entirely accurate diagnosis. But his prescriptions are the constitutional equivalent of quack medicine from an unlicensed doctor.
Congress and the president have failed to exercise their rights to remove subject areas from the courts’ jurisdiction. They have failed to write laws carefully enough to foreclose wild judicial interpretations. They have failed to adequately fight for confirmation of qualified conservative judicial nominees, and failed to make the case against unethical, unqualified, imperialist nominees of the Left. Yet these, and a few other mechanisms, are the proper, constitutional remedies for the problem of an out-of-control judiciary. Gingrich’s proposals, though, are, by common agreement among most respected conservative analysts, way out in left field. Gingirch’s proposals amount to an open invitation to a horrendously imperial presidency, with no consistent check on how and when the president could “ignore” the Supreme Court. The proposals are profoundly unconservative.