Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich threatened on Sunday to have U.S. judges arrested if they disagreed with his policies as president [my emphasis], ratcheting up his attacks on the judiciary as he tries to halt a slide in his campaign.
"I got into this originally because of two things: the steady encroachment of secularism through the courts to redefine America as a non-religious country and the encroachment of the courts on the president's commander-in-chief powers, which is enormously dangerous," Gingrich said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Gingrich has said that, as president, he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief. [again, my emphasis] He said on "Face the Nation" he would subpoena a judge if the jurist disagreed with him, and send police "if you had to or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshall" if necessary to bring the judge in.
If you're wondering if this is actually as batshit crazy as it sounds, well, here's The Telegraph (UK):
Two former attorneys general from President George W. Bush’s administration blasted the views Mr Gingrich espoused in a 28-page document entitled “Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution".
Michael Mukasey told Fox News that Mr Gingrich’s proposals were “dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall, and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle".
His predecessor Alberto Gonzales said: “I would tread very, very carefully down the road with this notion that ’okay, this judge has rendered a decision that we think is very unpopular and we’re not happy with it so we’re going to try to impeach this judge."
Note that these aren't Democrats. These are right-wing Republicans from the most ideologically conservative administration America has ever seen, and even they think that Newt has lost his marbles.
But as both articles note, this kind of talk is very, very popular with the Republican base.