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 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:40:53 -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 55acbd67c016000df109059712ab7a83 Hillary Clinton Short-Circuited? for 08/11/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/16/hillary-clinton-short-circuited Thu, 11 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>BY JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO</p> <p>FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016</p> <p><p>Updated: Thu Aug 11, 2016</p> 7889e7107f2cde4dd0e632144e58ce26 Lessons From the Deep State for 08/04/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/16/lessons-from-the-deep-state Thu, 04 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks &#8212; the courageous international organization dedicated to governmental transparency &#8212; exposed hundreds of internal emails circulated among senior staff of the Democratic National Committee during the past 18 months.</p> <p>At a time when Democratic Party officials were publicly professing neutrality during the party's presidential primaries, the DNC's internal emails showed a pattern of distinct bias toward the candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a marked prejudice toward the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders. Some of the emails were raw in their tone, and some could fairly be characterized as failing to respect Sanders' Jewish heritage.</p> <p>The revelation caused a public uproar during the weekend preceding the opening of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last week, and it caused the DNC to ask its own chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to resign. When she declined to do so, President Barack Obama personally intervened and implored her to leave. She submitted to the president's wishes, gave up her public role as chair of the convention and eventually resigned as chair of the DNC late last week.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 04, 2016</p> f6d0b61a2f347400f2c83c35baff03df Free Speech and Political Conventions for 07/28/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/16/free-speech-and-political-conventions Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>This summer, we have all witnessed the heavy hand of government intervening in the freedom of speech, as the behavior of the Secret Service at both the Republican convention in Cleveland and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia was troubling and unconstitutional.</p> <p>Though the First Amendment was originally written only to restrain Congress ("Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech"), it is now uniformly interpreted to restrict all government in America from abridging the freedom of speech.</p> <p>The reason this freedom is referred to as "the" freedom of speech is to reflect the belief of the Framers that the right to speak freely is pre-political. Stated differently, the freedom of speech is an integral aspect of our humanity. The government does not grant the freedom of speech; it is prohibited from interfering with it.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 28, 2016</p> 884238187529047e11a8f51334cb9fe4 What if the Fix Was In? for 07/21/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/16/what-if-the-fix-was-in Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What if the folks who run the Department of Political Justice recently were told that the republic would suffer if Hillary Clinton were indicted for espionage because Donald Trump might succeed Barack Obama in the presidency? What if espionage is the failure to safeguard state secrets and the evidence that Clinton failed to safeguard them is unambiguous and overwhelming?</p> <p>What if President Obama never really liked his former rival whom he appointed as his secretary of state? What if he had no real interest in seeing her succeed him because he and his wife simply could never trust her?</p> <p>What if, when Clinton suggested to the president that the U.S. wage a secret undeclared war against Libya, the president went along with it as a no-lose proposition? What if he assumed that if her secret war succeeded he'd get the credit and if her secret war failed she would get the blame?<p>Updated: Thu Jul 21, 2016</p> 97717717ded7582d44cdaf2909cf2e92 Hillary Clinton and Personal Honesty for 07/14/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/16/hillary-clinton-and-personal-honesty Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed his recommendation to the Department of Justice last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for espionage, he unleashed a firestorm of criticism from those who believe that Clinton was judged by different standards from those used to judge others when deciding whether to bring a case to a grand jury.</p> <p>The FBI investigation had a bizarre ending to it. FBI recommendations are never made public as this one was. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Comey's announcement. Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say. This is unheard of in the post-Hoover FBI.</p> <p>The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment. One was that "no reasonable prosecutor" would take the case. That is not a judgment the FBI gets paid to make. The FBI's job is to gather, present and evaluate facts and evidence, not predict what prosecutors might do with it. The other stated reason for recommending against indictment was that though Clinton may have been "extremely careless" in handling state secrets, she was not "grossly negligent," which is the standard required by the espionage statute.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 14, 2016</p> 2d0a1fc3dded8350b020292fecfe7947 The Department of Political Justice for 07/07/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/16/the-department-of-political-justice Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Is it worth impairing the reputation of the FBI and the Department of Justice to save Hillary Clinton from a deserved criminal prosecution by playing word games?</p> <p>What has become of the rule of law &#8212; no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements &#8212; when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?</p> <p>How hairsplitting can the FBI be in acknowledging "extreme recklessness" while denying "gross negligence" about the same events, at the same time, and in the same respect?<p>Updated: Thu Jul 07, 2016</p> 2a0d05def867b8068b725eede9907278 Illegal War and Disguised Truth for 06/30/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/16/illegal-war-and-disguised-truth Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The 800-plus-page report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi was released earlier this week. It slams former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her willful indifference to her obligation to repel military-style attacks on American interests and personnel at the U.S. Consulate and a nearby CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. She particularly failed to save the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues, all under her care and control while she was secretary of state.</p> <p>The report also slams Clinton for her repeated lies about the cause of the attacks. After she told her daughter in an email that the Benghazi consulate had been attacked by an organized terrorist group using heavy military hardware, she told her colleagues at the State Department that the attacks were a spontaneous overreaction by locals to an American-made internet video about the Prophet Muhammad.</p> <p>After telling that lie, she sent another email, this one to the Egyptian foreign minister, repeating what she had truthfully told her daughter.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 30, 2016</p> 85ffd01732f7d1eeb252d3646d69c09c 'No Fly, No Buy' Means No Freedom for 06/23/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/16/no-fly-no-buy-means-no-freedom Thu, 23 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The people in the government who want to control our personal choices are the enemies of freedom. And the enemies of freedom can be very clever and seductive.</p> <p>Last week, these folks, manifesting their lust to keep us dependent upon the government by rejecting the natural right to self-defense, coined a clever phrase: "No fly, no buy." It sounds rational, yet it rejects core American values.</p> <p>The phrase was pounded home to average Americans during a one-sided 15-hour televised marathon on the floor of the Senate orchestrated by the gun control crowd. The essence of the argument was that stricter laws regarding gun sales would have prevented the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In gun control advocates' dream world, the self-loathing Islamic State-inspired killer, willing to take 49 innocent lives, would somehow have been unwilling to violate restrictive gun purchase laws; and his obedience to those laws would have saved lives.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 23, 2016</p> d169aba4714e8e2b31778bd1f1fa9cd3 In Defense of Self-Defense for 06/16/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/16/in-defense-of-self-defense Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Most of the mass killings by gun in the United States in recent years &#8212; Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino and now Orlando &#8212; took place in venues where local or state law prohibited carrying guns, even by those lawfully licensed to do so. The government cheerfully calls these venues "gun-free zones." They should be called killing zones.</p> <p>As unspeakable and horrific as is the recent slaughter in Orlando, it has become just another example of the tragic consequences of government's interfering with the exercise of fundamental liberties. After a while, these events cease to shock; but they should not cease to cause us to re-examine what the government has done to us.</p> <p>We know from reason, human nature and history that the right to defend yourself is a natural instinct that is an extension of the right to self-preservation, which is itself derived from the right to live. Life is the great gift from the Creator, and we have a duty to exercise our freedoms to preserve life until its natural expiration. But the lives we strive to preserve should not be those actively engaged in killing innocent life.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 16, 2016</p> c0946ba13be3f4c1851cab2f6fbd0633 Wake Up, America! for 06/09/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/16/wake-up-america Thu, 09 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling in their final round in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump is arguing that Clinton should be in prison for failing to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state, the same FBI that is diligently investigating her is quietly and perniciously seeking to cut more holes in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.</p> <p>That amendment &#8212; which requires the government to obtain a search warrant issued by a judge based upon some evidence of criminal wrongdoing, called probable cause, before the government can search persons, houses, papers or effects &#8212; is the linchpin of the right to privacy, famously referred to by Justice Louis Brandeis as the right to be let alone.</p> <p>The Fourth Amendment has a painful yet unambiguous history. The essence of that history is the well-documented and nearly universal Colonial revulsion to the British use of general warrants.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 09, 2016</p> babfcd158954d2c195ab0a8062f4ef2f Hillary on the Ropes for 06/02/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/16/hillary-on-the-ropes Thu, 02 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Late last week, the inspector general of the State Department completed a yearlong investigation into the use by Hillary Clinton of a private email server for all of her official government email as secretary of state. The investigation was launched when information technology officials at the State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry learned that Clinton paid an aide to migrate her public and secret State Department email streams away from their secured government venues and onto her own, non-secure server, which was stored in her home.</p> <p>The migration of the secret email stream most likely constituted the crime of espionage &#8212; the failure to secure and preserve the secrecy of confidential, secret or top-secret materials.</p> <p>The inspector general interviewed Clinton's three immediate predecessors &#8212; Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice &#8212; and their former aides about their email practices. He learned that none of them used emails as extensively as Clinton, none used a private server and, though Powell and Rice occasionally replied to government emails using private accounts, none used a private account when dealing with state secrets.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 02, 2016</p> ba00eafea90bc35dfc2ed8dffb4fe1a7 The Contagion of Government Lying for 05/26/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/16/the-contagion-of-government-lying Thu, 26 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p><i> "Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy." &#8212; Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) </i></p> <p>Last week, this column chronicled the startling admissions of lying by White House senior adviser Ben Rhodes. Rhodes readily acknowledged to The New York Times that he lied to the public and to members of Congress during the negotiations that produced the recent Iranian nuclear deal so as to temper the "irrational" fear that some senators and representatives had of the mullahs who run the government in Iran.</p> <p>He was asked &#8212; not subpoenaed &#8212; to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his lying, and he refused to show up, claiming his lies were protected by executive privilege. Because he spoke publicly about this, he has no privilege, yet nothing further happened. The committee gave up the ghost.<p>Updated: Thu May 26, 2016</p> 99720211a353f505694f00e1fd901e1b Who Answers for Government Lies? for 05/19/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/16/who-answers-for-government-lies Thu, 19 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Here is a quick pop quiz. What happens if we lie to the government? What happens if the government lies to us? Does it matter who does the lying?</p> <p>Last year, the Obama administration negotiated an agreement with the government of Iran permitting Iran to obtain certain materials for the construction of nuclear facilities. It also permitted the release of tens of billions of dollars in Iranian assets that had been held in U.S. banks and that the courts had frozen, and it lifted trade sanctions. In exchange, certain inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities can occur under certain circumstances.</p> <p>During the course of the negotiations, many critics made many allegations about whether the Obama administration was telling the truth to Congress and to the American people.<p>Updated: Thu May 19, 2016</p> 84cc76cdd6428defe45c9e1e5fde183e A Perfect Storm for 05/12/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/16/a-perfect-storm Thu, 12 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The bad legal news for Hillary Clinton continued to cascade upon her presidential hopes during the past week in what has amounted to a perfect storm of legal misery. Here is what happened.</p> <p>Last week, Mrs. Clinton's five closest advisors when she was Secretary of State, four of whom remain close to her and have significant positions in her presidential campaign, were interrogated by the FBI. These interrogations were voluntary, not under oath, and done in the presence of the same legal team which represented all five aides.</p> <p>The atmosphere was confrontational, as the purpose of the interrogations is to enable federal prosecutors and investigators to determine whether these five are targets or witnesses. Stated differently, the feds need to decide if they should charge any of these folks as part of a plan to commit espionage, or if they will be witnesses on behalf of the government should there be such a prosecution; or witnesses for Mrs. Clinton.<p>Updated: Thu May 12, 2016</p> 875629d4b43014350fe77a2615133814 Hillary's Secret Weapon for 05/05/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/16/hillarys-secret-weapon Thu, 05 May 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Last weekend, Hillary Clinton dispatched her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to offer a defense of her alleged espionage. The espionage allegations against her are that in order to escape public and Obama administration scrutiny, she had all of her emails as secretary of state diverted from a secure government server to a non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, and, in so doing, failed to protect state secrets in at least 2,200 instances during her four-year tenure.</p> <p>The essence of her husband's defense is that the secrets were not secrets when she saw them and the investigation of her is all "a game."</p> <p>We know that the FBI is getting closer to Hillary Clinton, because Bill Clinton had not addressed her email issues publicly before last weekend. The defense he offered belies the facts and the law.<p>Updated: Thu May 05, 2016</p> b6fd294e4db17a3345087ad10f69792c Fruit of the Poisonous Tree for 04/28/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/16/fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree Thu, 28 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Would all of our lives be safer if the government could break down all the doors it wishes, listen to all the conversations it could find and read whatever emails and text messages it could acquire? Perhaps. But who would want to live in such a society?</p> <p>To prevent that from happening here, the Framers ratified the Fourth Amendment, which is the linchpin of privacy and was famously called by Justice Louis Brandeis "the right to be let alone &#8212; the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." He wrote those words in his dissent in the first wiretapping case to reach the Supreme Court, Olmstead v. United States, in 1928.</p> <p>Roy Olmstead had been convicted for bootlegging on the basis of words he used in overheard telephone conversations. Because he had used a phone at his place of work that the government had tapped without breaking and entering his workplace, the high court ruled &#8212; despite the fact that the government had not obtained a warrant &#8212; that he had no right to privacy. Brandeis dissented.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 28, 2016</p> 0090a34d2e364d4efe7f2eeeecb17115 The President, the Court and Immigration for 04/21/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/16/the-president-the-court-and-immigration Thu, 21 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 2014, President Barack Obama signed 12 executive orders directing various agencies in the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security to refrain from deporting some 4 million adult immigrants illegally present in the United States if they are the parents of children born here or legally present here and if they hold a job, obtain a high-school diploma or its equivalent, pay taxes and stay out of prison.</p> <p>Unfortunately for the president, the conditions he established for avoiding deportation had been rejected by Congress.</p> <p>In response to the executive orders, 26 states and the House of Representatives sued the president and the recipients of the orders, seeking to prevent them from being enforced. The states and the House argued that the president effectively rewrote the immigration laws and changed the standards for the deportation of unlawfully present adult immigrants.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 21, 2016</p> 6aa6c0bb044d37732535ba5675577675 Obama Damns Hillary With Faint Praise for 04/14/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/16/obama-damns-hillary-with-faint-praise Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>President Barack Obama's recent remarks to my Fox News colleague Chris Wallace about Hillary Clinton's email issues were either Machiavellian or dumb. It is difficult to tell from them whether he wants the mountain of evidence of her criminal behavior presented to a federal grand jury or he wants her to succeed him in the White House.</p> <p>He cannot have both.</p> <p>His efforts to minimize his former secretary of state's diversion of emails from government-secured servers to her own non-secure home server by calling it "careless" may actually harm her in the eyes of the public or even serve as a dog whistle to the FBI. That's because carelessness is a species of negligence, and espionage, which is the failure to safeguard state secrets by removing them from their proper place of custody, is the rare federal crime that can be proved by negligence &#8212; to be precise, gross negligence.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 14, 2016</p> 819f805ec1231960fab01c6479bb28c6 What if the Minimum Wage Increase Is a Fraud? for 04/07/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/16/what-if-the-minimum-wage-increase-is-a-fraud Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>What if the latest craze among the big-government crowd in both major political parties is to use the power of government to force employers to pay some of their employees more than their services are worth to the employers?</p> <p>What if this represents an intrusion by government into the employer-employee relationship? What if this consists of the government's effectively saying that it knows the financial worth of employees' services better than the employers and the employees do?</p> <p>What if the minimum wage, now on the verge of being raised to $15 per hour everywhere in the land, is really the government's using threats of ruin and force to transfer wealth? What if the $15-per-hour figure is based on a political compromise rather than on free market forces or economic realities?<p>Updated: Thu Apr 07, 2016</p> 8ab8c0f999b6e78ab7c11e4264afc5c3 The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase for 03/31/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/16/the-clinton-investigation-enters-a-dangerous-phase Thu, 31 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The FBI investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's failure to protect state secrets contained in her emails has entered its penultimate phase, and it is a dangerous one for her and her aides.</p> <p>Federal law enforcement sources have let it be known that federal prosecutors and the FBI have completed their examination of raw data in the case. After the FBI acquires raw data &#8212; for example, the nature and number of the state secrets in the emails Clinton failed to protect or the regular, consistent, systematic nature of that failure &#8212; prosecutors and agents proceed to draw rational inferences from that data.</p> <p>Then they proceed to corroborate those inferences, looking for other sources to support or even to contradict them. With one exception, all of this work has been done with neutral sources of evidence &#8212; documents, email metadata, government records and technical experts.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 31, 2016</p>