Judge Andrew P. Napolitano from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:38:25 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Judge Andrew P. Napolitano from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/judge-andrew-p-napolitano-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano 7e4b6b74eba2e1094cbd3271004aa139 Freedom for the Speech We Hate for 08/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/17/freedom-for-the-speech-we-hate Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last weekend, serious violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a group of white supremacist demonstrators was confronted by a group of folks who were there to condemn the message the demonstrators had come to advance. The message was critical of the government for removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public place.</p> <p>For some, Lee is associated with the military defense of slavery. For others, he is associated with the military defense of the right of states to leave the union &#8212; a union they voluntarily joined. For the organizers of the Charlottesville rally, the removal of the statue provided a platform to articulate crudely their view that the Caucasian race is somehow morally superior to every other.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 17, 2017</p> 13a545823f456bd13ab821f2383d747c Sanctuary Cities and the Rule of Law for 08/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/17/sanctuary-cities-and-the-rule-of-law Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Earlier this week, the Trump Department of Justice told the mayor of Chicago that it would cease funding grants to the Chicago Police Department that had been approved in the Obama administration because Chicago city officials were not cooperating with federal immigration officials.</p> <p>The DOJ contended that Chicago officials were contributing to lawlessness by refusing to inform the feds of the whereabouts of undocumented foreign-born people, thereby creating what the feds derisively call a "sanctuary city," and Chicago officials have argued that their police officers and clerical folks are not obligated to work for the feds.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 10, 2017</p> 87bb677b9fc121e68c377b8dfa46b8fd What if Some Spies Are Bad Guys? for 08/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/17/what-if-some-spies-are-bad-guys Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if the federal government captures in real time the contents of every telephone call, email and text message and all the fiber-optic data generated by every person and entity in the United States 24/7/365? What if this mass surveillance was never authorized by any federal law?</p> <p>What if this mass surveillance has come about by the secret collusion of presidents and their spies in the National Security Agency and by the federal government's forcing the major telephone and computer service providers to cooperate with it? What if the service providers were coerced into giving the feds continuous physical access to their computers and thus to all the data contained in and passing through those computers?<p>Updated: Thu Aug 03, 2017</p> 61a57d12dd4d2b8ddcfb7156c42651ce President Trump and His Department of Justice: A Clash That Should Not Be for 07/27/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/17/president-trump-and-his-department-of-justice-a-clash-that-should-not-be Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>During the past two weeks, President Donald Trump has made no secret of his unhappiness at the management of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Actually, Trump seems most agitated at the growing parts of the DOJ that are not under Sessions' management.</p> <p>He is also angry that the trail of the well-known evidence of the crimes of his former opponent Hillary Clinton seems to have been vacated by the DOJ.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 27, 2017</p> c316e726591303e783d813df59e4358e Was Donald Trump Jr.'s Russian Meeting a Criminal Act? for 07/20/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/17/was-donald-trump-jrs-russian-meeting-a-criminal-act Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, The New York Times revealed that in June 2016, Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and chief confidant; Paul Manafort, Trump's then-campaign chief executive; and others met secretly at Trump Tower with a former Russian prosecutor and a former Soviet counterintelligence agent to discuss what negative (most likely computer-generated) information the Russians might have to offer them about Hillary Clinton.</p> <p>Within days of the meeting, the elder Trump announced publicly that he would soon release a litany of reasons why Clinton was unqualified to be president and that they would include new allegations about Clinton and Russia. The new allegations did not come.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 20, 2017</p> bc406f4e6b66a7bded192f913d62d72d Trump, Immigration and the Supreme Court for 06/29/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/17/trump-immigration-and-the-supreme-court Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Earlier this week, after nearly uniform rejections by judges all across the country, President Donald Trump achieved a court victory in the persistent challenges to his most recent executive order restricting the immigration of people into the United States from six predominately Muslim countries. Lower federal courts had consistently ruled that the president's behavior was animated by an anti-Muslim bias &#8212; a bias he forcefully articulated during the presidential election campaign &#8212; concluding that what appeared to be, on its face, a travel ban based rationally on national security needs was in reality a "Muslim ban" based on religious fear, prejudice or hatred.</p> <p>The Supreme Court unanimously saw it differently. Here is the back story.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 29, 2017</p> 4cea9cd17f678c53abb1da62fce3af49 Is President Trump the Subject of a Criminal Investigation? for 06/22/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/17/is-president-trump-the-subject-of-a-criminal-investigation Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I was surprised last weekend when one of President Donald Trump's lawyers told my colleague Chris Wallace twice on "Fox News Sunday" that the president is being investigated by the FBI and then told him twice that he is not. This same lawyer repeated the "not being investigated" argument on a half-dozen other Sunday shows but did not repeat the "is being investigated" remark.</p> <p>This produced substantial consternation in the news media and at the White House, since the president himself had tweeted over the weekend that he is being investigated for firing FBI Director James Comey by the same person &#8212; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein &#8212; who recommended Comey's firing and that the investigation is a "witch hunt."<p>Updated: Thu Jun 22, 2017</p> 5b8745b3d5d1375321d0671d40089176 The Consent of the Governed for 06/15/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/17/the-consent-of-the-governed Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, when former FBI Director James Comey gave his long-awaited public testimony about his apparently rough-and-tumble relationship with President Donald Trump, he painted a bleak picture. The essence of Comey's testimony was that the president asked him to drop an investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn &#8212; Trump's former national security adviser &#8212; and then asked him to do so in return for keeping his job as FBI director and then fired him for not obeying his order.</p> <p>On the other hand, Comey confirmed that the president personally, as of the time of Comey's firing, was not the target of any FBI criminal investigation. It was not clear from the Comey testimony whether this exoneration was referring to salacious allegations made by a former British intelligence agent of highly inappropriate and fiercely denied personal behavior a few years ago in a Moscow hotel room or whether the exoneration was with respect to widely reported allegations that the 2016 Trump campaign may have helped Russian intelligence agents in their efforts to manipulate the outcome of the presidential election.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 15, 2017</p> ac77c3118026887bd12572b4bcf7aa69 Once in a While, a Good Leak for 06/08/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/17/once-in-a-while-a-good-leak Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last weekend, the FBI arrested an employee of a corporation in Augusta, Georgia, that had a contract with the National Security Agency and charged her with espionage. Espionage occurs when someone who has been entrusted to safeguard state secrets fails to do so. In this case, the government alleges that the person to whom state secrets had been entrusted is 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner, who had a top-secret national security clearance.</p> <p>The government claims that Winner downloaded and printed a top-secret NSA report, removed the printed version of the report from her employer's premises, and then mailed it to The Intercept, a highly regarded international media outlet that exposes government wrongdoing.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 08, 2017</p> f163fd56d211491dbe8c9c7c34a370c4 Spying on You, Spying on Me, Spying on the President for 06/01/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/17/spying-on-you-spying-on-me-spying-on-the-president Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"The makers of our Constitution ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone &#8212; the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." &#8212; Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928</p> <p>After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Senate's Church Committee had attempted to grasp the full extent of lawless government surveillance in America during the LBJ and Nixon years, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA declared that it provided the sole source for federal surveillance in America for intelligence purposes.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 01, 2017</p> 04a52977d95885273e0090a97ada6058 Is President Trump in Trouble? for 05/25/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/17/is-president-trump-in-trouble Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The bad news for President Donald Trump keeps coming his way, notwithstanding a generally bravura performance on the foreign stage this past week in Riyadh, Jerusalem and Vatican City. Yet while he was overseas, his colleagues here in the United States have been advising him to hire criminal defense counsel, and he has apparently begun that process. Can the president be charged with obstructing justice when he asks that federal investigations of his friends be shut down?</p> <p>Most legal scholars agree that the president cannot be prosecuted while in office and that the appropriate remedy for presidential criminal wrongdoing is impeachment.<p>Updated: Thu May 25, 2017</p> 399dccc18eb75139a14f2ef8de9d1210 Donald Trump's Seven Days in May for 05/18/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/17/donald-trumps-seven-days-in-may Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In a period of seven days this month, President Donald Trump fired James Comey as director of the FBI and was accused of sharing top-secret intelligence data with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador to the United States, the latter a known Russian spy.</p> <p>The Comey firing was clumsy and rude. Comey learned of it from FBI agents in Los Angeles who noticed reports of it on television monitors that they could see while he was speaking to them. The White House initially claimed Comey had been fired because of his poor judgment in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, in which he announced that she would not be indicted even though there was ample evidence to indict her and then reopened the case two weeks before Election Day even though there was no evidence to justify doing so.<p>Updated: Thu May 18, 2017</p> d49447f800d266b2905b9f5febb2e972 The House of Representatives Endorses Obamacare for 05/11/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/17/the-house-of-representatives-endorses-obamacare Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives crafted a partisan compromise bill that endorsed and reinforced the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. This was done notwithstanding claims to the contrary by President Donald Trump and the House Republican leadership, who want us to believe that this bill, if it becomes law, will effectively repeal and replace Obamacare.</p> <p>Obamacare is a stool with four problematic legs. The constitutional leg is the premise that the federal government has the lawful power to regulate the delivery of health care. The legal leg is the premise that the federal government is obliged to provide health insurance to everyone in America. The economic leg commands that everyone in the U.S. purchase and maintain health insurance. And the Orwellian leg says that every physician in the U.S. shall retain all patient records digitally and that federal bureaucrats shall have access to all those records.<p>Updated: Thu May 11, 2017</p> c04259ac5f289f13efa695db38f82149 More Spying and More Lying for 05/04/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/17/more-spying-and-more-lying Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Late last week, President Donald Trump told CBS News that domestic surveillance of American citizens should the "No. 1" topic of inquiry until we can find out "what the hell is going on" with it. Also late last week, the National Security Agency &#8212; the federal government's 60,000-person-strong domestic spying agency &#8212; announced that it would voluntarily hold back on its more aggressive uses of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.</p> <p>That section permits the NSA to capture communications between foreigners and Americans without a warrant from any court, even though the NSA has its own secret court that has granted well over 99 percent of applications for spying brought to it.<p>Updated: Thu May 04, 2017</p> 934b9dda2d1c99341c2344402d315a62 The FBI and Hillary, Again for 04/27/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/17/the-fbi-and-hillary-again Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last weekend, The New York Times published a long piece about the effect the FBI had on the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, Donald Trump won a comfortable victory in the Electoral College while falling about 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.</p> <p>I believe that Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate who failed to energize the Democratic Party base and who failed to deliver to the electorate a principled reason to vote for her. Yet when the Times reporters asked her why she believes she lost the race, she gave several answers, the first of which was the involvement of the FBI. She may be right.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 27, 2017</p> f6d06aec4fb72a04f9cd4020bef5e10f What if We Don't Really Govern Ourselves? for 04/20/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/17/what-if-we-dont-really-govern-ourselves Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if our belief in self-government is a belief in a myth? What if the election of one political party over the other to control Congress changes only appearances? What if taxes stay high and regulations stay pervasive and the government stays oppressive and presidents fight wars no matter what the politicians promise and no matter who wins elections? What if the true goal of those whom we elect to Congress is not to be our agents of self-government or even to preserve our personal liberties but to remain in power by getting re-elected?</p> <p>What if they use government to aid their own re-elections by bribing us with our own money &#8212; the rich with bailouts, the middle class with tax breaks and the poor with transfer payments?<p>Updated: Thu Apr 20, 2017</p> 83222b4903463c69d26cdf2b71236651 The Missiles of Holy Week and the Rule of Law for 04/13/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/17/the-missiles-of-holy-week-and-the-rule-of-law Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The history of the world is the history of violence. I had planned to write this column about the most critical act of violence in human history and its superhuman aftermath &#8212; the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter, which celebrates His resurrection in a few days, is the centerpiece of all Christian belief. Without the risen Christ, we are doomed. Only with Him can we be saved. An old Irish priest told me in my youth that Easter means there is hope for the dead. And if there is hope for the dead, there is hope for the living.</p> <p>But the living must do more than just hope, because governments continue to crush hope with violence, irrespective of moral and legal norms. Last week, as Holy Week was approaching, the United States launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield because President Donald Trump was morally repulsed at the use of poison gas in Syria in the days preceding.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 13, 2017</p> c35f44c6a8de528ebabb78f5d6e8837f A Hole in the Constitution for 04/06/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/17/a-hole-in-the-constitution Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The issue of federal government surveillance of Americans has largely occupied Washington politicians and the media since President Donald Trump first accused the administration of his predecessor of spying on him while he and his colleagues worked at Trump Tower in New York City during the presidential election campaign and during the presidential transition.</p> <p>Trump's allegations were initially dismissed as a diversionary tactic to get the attention of the media and the interest of the public off allegations made against the Trump campaign that it conspired with agents of Russian intelligence to facilitate Russian interference with the presidential election. Even some very smart colleagues of mine dismissed Trump's allegations, arguing that no one in Washington found them believable.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 06, 2017</p> 9d5fe66cc9e16515a395bcb5b946a1a8 Is Health Care a Right or a Good? for 03/30/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/17/is-health-care-a-right-or-a-good Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The political fiasco that unfolded last week as President Donald Trump and the Republican House leadership failed to pass legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, is attributable as much to the failure of politics as it is to the failure of politicians to understand the constitutional role of the federal government.</p> <p>Republicans could not muster a majority in the House, which they control, because a determined small group of them want to remove the federal government from the regulation of health care and believe that the replacement for Obamacare that House leaders have offered would keep too much of it in place. The president and his allies have argued that their bill would invalidate enough of Obamacare to return free choices to health care and to fulfill their campaign promises. Neither side has prevailed.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 30, 2017</p> 359bc66bdbe0790aa5ca2b5f1ba70a0a Questions for Judge Gorsuch for 03/23/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/17/questions-for-judge-gorsuch Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have spent this past week watching the Senate Judiciary Committee interrogating U.S. Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is President Donald Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The vacancy was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than 13 months ago. The Supreme Court is currently generally divided between four liberals and four conservatives. As a justice, Gorsuch would probably break many ideological ties.</p> <p>During the hearings, Republican senators are doing their best to associate Judge Gorsuch with the popular-in-death Justice Scalia, and Democratic senators are doing their best to try to pin down Gorsuch by making him commit publicly to positions on hot-button issues, such as abortion, gun rights and the use of unrestricted money in political campaigns. Gorsuch has accepted the Republican sobriquets and declined to answer Democratic inquiries with specificity. So, are the hearings of any real value?<p>Updated: Thu Mar 23, 2017</p>