Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich declared Thursday that he would work to abolish federal judges if he didn't agree with their "anti-American" or "dictatorial" rulings.
At a GOP debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly noted that at least two conservative former attorneys general had blasted Gingrich's "dangerous" and "totally irresponsible" plan because it would alter the balance of powers.
"It alters the balance because the courts have become grotesquely dictatorial, far too powerful," Gingrich admitted. "I've been working on this project since 2002 when the Ninth Circuit court said that 'one nation under God' is unconstitutional in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I decided that if you had judges that were so radically anti-American that they thought 'one nation under God' was wrong, they shouldn't be on the court."
"Like Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and FDR, I would be prepared to take on the judiciary if, in fact, it did not restrict what it was doing," he added.
As for those conservative former attorneys general, Gingrich wanted to know if they had studied "Jefferson, who in 1802 abolished 18 out of 35 federal judges?"
"I would suggest to you, actually as a historian, I may understand this better than lawyers, and as lawyers, those two attorneys general are behaving exactly like law schools which have overly empowered lawyers that they can dictate to the rest of us," he insisted.
Watch this video from Fox News, broadcast Dec. 15, 2011.