A Crisis of Legitimacy
by Newt Gingrich
With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.
I was drawn back into public life by the Ninth Circuit’s 2002 decision that held that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. Today’s decision is one more example that the American people cannot rest until we restore the proper rule of the judicial branch and bring judges and the Courts back under the Constitution.
The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People”; it does not begin with “We the Judges.” Federal judges need to take heed of that fact.
Federal judges are substituting their own political views for the constitutional right of the people to make judgments about the definition of marriage.
The country has been here before. In 1856, the Supreme Court thought it could settle the issue of slavery once and for all and impose a judicial solution on the country. In 1973, the issue was abortion and once again a Supreme Court thought that it could impose a judicial solution on the country once and for all.
Judicial solutions don’t solve contentious social issues once and for all.
Should the Supreme Court fail to heed the disastrous lessons if its own history and attempt to impose its will on the marriage debate in this country by affirming today’s Ninth Circuit decision, it will bear the burden of igniting a constitutional crisis of the first order.
The political branches of the federal government, as well as the political branches of the several States, will surely not passively accept the dictates of the federal judiciary on this issue. An interventionist approach by the Court on marriage will lead to a crisis of legitimacy for the federal judiciary from which it may take generations to recover.
Newt Gingrich is the former Speaker of the House and current GOP candidate for President. He issued the preceding statement following yesterday’s decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturning California’s Proposition 8.