Newt Gingrich came out strongly for jury trials before illegal immigrants can be deported in the December 3 presidential forum sponsored by Fox News' Mike Huckabee. But the former House Speaker has refused to favor jury trials of American citizens accused of terrorism.
During the forum Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked Gingrich if his proposal to create neighborhood boards to legalize the residency status of illegal immigrants would undermine the rule of law. Gingrich's campaign website proposes the following proposal to make illegal immigrants legal residents: "Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs."
Gingrich, who is the Iowa frontrunner (25 percent) in a Des Moines Register poll over second place Rep. Ron Paul (18 percent), replied that he wanted the local committees to be analogous to jury trials.
That is what we do in a jury trial. That's the whole point. That's why the founding fathers who distrusted judges insisted on juries. Because ultimately, in a free society, the citizens have to bear responsibility for their own culture and their own society. And ultimately, they are — I believe they are — more trustworthy. If you ask me would I trust a jury or a Washington bureaucrat, I would rather have my fate decided by a jury of my peers than have my fate decided by a Washington bureaucrat.
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Photo of Newt Gingrich: AP Images