Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich caught some flak a few weeks ago when he said the federal judiciary was out of control and that some federal judges needed to be impeached.
A writer for The Atlantic website took Gingrich to task, and bolstered his argument by citing Decatur resident Anne Emanuel's new biography of a federal judge during the Civil Rights era.
In a piece titled "Judge-Bashing Comes to the 2012 GOP Race," Andrew Cohen said conservative politicans have been trying to score points by attacking federal judges for years.
Anne Emanuel's important new book, Elbert Parr Tuttle, Chief Jurist of the Civil Rights Revolution, reminds us that some legal conflicts are destined to come down to a judge and an angry mob. Tuttle was the Eisenhower appointee who, as the Chief Judge of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, consistently put into practice, in the Deep South, the Supreme Court's lofty promise of school desegregation.
Cohen concludes by saying, "The names of the judges change. So do the causes they rule upon. But the destructive assaults upon the judiciary remain the same."
Emanuel, a law professor at Georgia State University who clerked for Tuttle, said she had no idea Cohen planned to refer to her book. She's no fan of Gingrich.
"Newt Gingrich's attacks on the federal judiciary undermine the Constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and the rule of law itself," she said in an email. "To my mind, those precepts represent the core genius of the founding fathers. Apparently he thinks he is wiser than they were."
Cohen also mentions the Tuttle biography in a column about his favorite books of 2011.