Newt Gingrich issued a bold proposal on reining in the federal judiciary that is about 90 percent terrific and 10 percent . . . not so much. In the latter category is the idea of having Congress issue subpoenas to federal judges who hand down constitutionally invalid rulings. The former Speaker and his supporters undermine the tremendous good the overall plan could do by continuing to harp on the wayward notion of coercing judicial testimony.
Typical is the National Legal Foundation’s Stephen W. Fitschen, who has taken to the pages of the Washington Times to defend the subpoena proposal — specifically chastising former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and me for our naysaying. It is hard to tell whether Mr. Fitschen’s basic problem is that he does not know the difference between a fact and an opinion, or that he has not read Newt’s proposal. After noting Judge Mukasey’s reported assertion that Congress may only subpoena judges “to consider legislation,” and my contention that congressional subpoenas to judges would violate “separation-of-powers principles,” Fitschen writes:
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