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Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Newt Gingrich and Power

By Bill O'Reilly

As the frontrunner, Newt Gingrich was under attack last night in the debate. Especially by Michele Bachmann who criticized him on abortion and taking money from Freddie Mac. We'll deal with that a bit later on.

Mr. Gingrich offered a robust defense on most issues. But one of his explanations may have landed him in big trouble. The issue is how Gingrich would deal with federal judges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: You have proposed a plan to subpoena judges to testify before Congress about controversial decisions that they make. In certain cases you advocate impeaching judges or abolishing courts all together.

Two conservative former attorneys general have criticized your plan saying it alters the checks and balances of the three branches of government. They used words like "dangerous, outrageous and totally irresponsible". Are they wrong?

NEWT GINGRICH, GOP CANDIDATE: I testified in front of sitting Supreme Court justices at Georgetown Law School and I warned them. You keep attacking the core base of American exceptionalism and you are going to find an uprising against you which will rebalance the judiciary. I would be prepared to take on the judiciary if, in fact, it did not restrict itself in what it was doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now, that is a direct threat on the Supreme Court of the United States. Many Americans do sympathize with the Speaker's position. Some federal courts like the 9th down in San Francisco have absolutely attacked the fundamental traditions of this country, there's no question about it.

But as you may know the Ninth Circuit of Appeals is often overturned by the Supreme Court. However some Americans, including this one, are rightly concerned that judicial activism, not the Constitution is dictating how we all must live.

But, and this is huge, who would decide if the federal courts overreach? The president? Do you want Barack Obama to have that kind of power? Do you want Newt Gingrich to have that kind of power? Congress, those people who often get elected by securing votes through entitlement spending. You want them to be firing judges with whom they disagree?

Look, the system is not perfect. But you can't give judicial power to a politician. And that is what Newt Gingrich seems to want. The Speaker looked to Abraham Lincoln.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: Lincoln repudiates the Dred Scott Decision in his first inaugural address in 1861 and says no nine people can make law in this country. That would be the end of our freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Now as the co-author of "Killing Lincoln" I know much about the man. He did rhetorically condemn some judicial decisions such as justifying slavery in the Dred Scott decision.

But he made no move against the Supreme Court. He did issue the most famous executive order in history "The Emancipation Proclamation" directly challenging the court. But the justices did not overturn Lincoln and they could have.

Newt Gingrich is correct when he says that federal judges must be held accountable. But it can't be legislated. The court of public opinion, intelligent legal challenges to rulings and expertly written laws can all blunt judicial craziness.

But stuff like Roe v. Wade is the price we pay for checks and balances in a raucous democracy.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots.

With U.S. troops leaving Iraq, two "View" ladies got into it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Many experts feel that this was an ill-advised war, that it was incorrect to go into the wrong country. They had nothing to do with 9/11. And people still believe that to this day. I -- my heart breaks for those kids who went there. And I'm happy that they're home.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": You believe that they were there with an important mission, right?

BEHAR: Well, listen...

HASSELBECK: How would you like to come back and someone tell you, well, that was a waste, you know? It's really hard to hear that coming home after serving tour after tour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Ms. Hasselbeck is correct when she says American troops did noble things in Iraq. Remember, the troops don't make policy. So Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a patriot.