Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Gingrich versus Biery

Newt Gingrich made reference to a Texas judge's order in his victory speech after the 2012 South Carolina GOP presidential primary (PBS video).

Savoring his win of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Newt Gingrich brought up a Texas judge’s comments in a court order as part of his contention that the legislative and executive branches of government should remove judges perceived as abusing their power and acting out of sync with the nation’s culture.

Gingrich urged voters to check out a position paper on his campaign website about "the balance of power, putting the judiciary back in its proper role and eliminating dictatorial religious bigots such as U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in San Antonio, who issued a ruling that … not only could the students not pray at their graduation, if they used the word ‘benediction,’ the word ‘invocation,’ the word ‘God,’ asked the audience to stand or asked for a moment of silence, he would put the superintendent in jail."    
Did Biery say all that?

Biery’s court order said some of what Gingrich described, though significantly, it did not say the superintendent would go to jail if the order was violated. We rated Gingrich’s claim Half True. Read our full fact-check here.