POLITICS
01/05/2012 01:11 pm ET | Updated Jan 05, 2012

Scott Brown Accuses Gingrich Of 'Pandering To The Right-Wing Extreme'

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) slammed GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in a Wednesday op-ed, criticizing the former House speaker's campaign pledge to take down "activist" judges.

"That Gingrich would make the courts tremble at the thought of retaliation from the president or whatever political party has the majority at the time is a very dangerous notion that threatens the founding principles of our government," Brown wrote in Wednesday's Boston Globe.

Last month, Gingrich said that, if elected, he would subpoena judges that hand down "radical" rulings and force them to explain themselves to Congress under the threat of impeachment. He claims he would order Capitol police to arrest judges who refused to comply.

Gingrich has also said that he would abolish entire courts, such as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers nine states and two territories in the western United States), that he saw as out of step with American values and would ignore Supreme Court decisions he disagreed with.

"Under Gingrich's scheme...judges would be deciding cases while constantly looking over their shoulder at the possibility of retaliation from politicians," Brown, who is up for reelection this fall, wrote. "Our system of checks and balances, the foundation of our constitutional order, would be undermined...The rule of law would be destroyed."

Brown continued, "Gingrich styles himself a historian, but he is either blissfully unaware that the Founding Fathers deliberately established our government with three co-equal branches of government, or he is fully aware of that elementary fact and yet is pandering to the right-wing extreme element in our own party."

As he prepares for a tough race against consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren (D) in historically liberal Massachusetts, the senator has repeatedly taken a stance against the more right-wing elements of his party. On Wednesday, Brown expressed support for President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move that drew harsh criticism from Republicans. Brown also denounced his House colleagues for holding up the payroll tax cut last month.

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