Peter Ferrara


The genius of America's Founding Fathers is reflected in the innovative system of checks and balances they adopted for our government, to prevent abuse of power by any authority.

Congressional legislation is subject to veto by the President, and to review for constitutionality by the courts. The President and his Executive branch are subject to the laws passed by Congress, enforced by the courts, and presidential appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate. So are treaties. The President appoints the judges, subject to Senate confirmation.

And if those judges refuse to apply the law objectively as written, and instead engage in judicial activism making up their own law based on their own liberal/left values, then they are applauded by the liberal/left media and academia. The rest of us can go pound sand.

At least that is the view of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the bar association, and the law schools. They are the ultimate authority and rulers in America under this doctrine of judicial supremacy. Any other view is dangerous to our most fundamental liberties, they tell us (at least while the judges reflect their liberal/left views).

But not according to Newt Gingrich, the Founding Fathers, and American history. To these authorities, it is judicial supremacy that is dangerous to our most fundamental liberties.

Gingrich explained the historical checks and balances on the judiciary in our American system of government, in a brilliant speech to the Value Voters Summit last month. He accompanied that with a detailed campaign position paper released at the same time, entitled "Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution." These insights are reflected as well in Plank 9 of his new 21st Century Contract with America.

The currently reigning establishment counterauthorities cited above reject any such checks on their power. But in Gingrich they have a foe who has proven he knows how to beat the establishment, and has the guts to take them on.


Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis and a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute.