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 Tue, 06 Dec 2016 01:22:42 -0800 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 4c4ce5b8895eeac34bdf65fd218c5f5d Is Flag Burning Protected Speech? for 12/01/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/16/is-flag-burning-protected-speech Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion." &#8212; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Is flag burning protected speech? </span>This old issue returned front and center earlier this week after President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted that he found it so reprehensible, it should be criminal. He even suggested a punishment &#8212; loss of citizenship or one year in jail. Is the president-elect correct? Can the government punish acts that accompany the expression of opinions because the government, or the public generally, hates or fears the opinions?<p>Updated: Thu Dec 01, 2016</p> e8aa6bac067a799ae807a5edf791e21a What if the Government Is Not Worth Thanking? for 11/24/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/16/what-if-the-government-is-not-worth-thanking Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What if on Thanksgiving Day there is more to be fearful about than there is to be thankful for? What if our political season from hell is not over but merely transformed? <span class="column--highlighted-text">What if the election season through which we all just suffered is a portent of things to come?</span></p> <p>What if the election was decided not on issues but on emotions? What if most people who voted for president chose the candidate they hated less? What if people talked more about videotapes, emails, private behavior and public deception than they did about issues that arise under the Constitution? What if the videotapes and the emails aroused feelings of disgust that motivated millions of voters to make choices? What if those emotional choices led them to Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?<p>Updated: Thu Nov 24, 2016</p> 5e0905e83ed172732f83687fe1213b7c The Federal Bureau of Political Investigation for 11/17/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/16/the-federal-bureau-of-political-investigation Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When Hillary Clinton delivered a campaign post-mortem to her major supporters in a telephone conference call late last week, she blamed her loss in the presidential election on FBI Director James Comey. <span class="column--highlighted-text">She should have blamed the loss on herself. Her refusal to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state and her failure to grasp the nationwide resentment toward government by the forgotten folks in the middle class were far likelier the cause of her defeat than was Comey.</span></p> <p>Yet it is obvious that law enforcement-based decisions in the past four months were made with an eye on Election Day, and the officials who made them evaded the rule of law.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 17, 2016</p> 307506a039904981f3606ff405258298 The Forgotten Man for 11/10/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/16/the-forgotten-man Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The forgotten man decided the presidential election. Donald Trump persuaded the forgotten man to repose his anger and frustration and power into Trump's hands. Who is the forgotten man? What does he want from government? Why did he vote for Trump?</p> <p>When the tide began to turn against Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night, I planned to write this column about the unwarranted and unlawful injection of the FBI into the political process. At the time, I was seated with the Fox News number crunchers and generally was exposed to trends and vote totals &#8212; and the number crunchers' lucid explanation of them &#8212; long before they were revealed on-air. I am more an ideas guy than a numbers guy.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 10, 2016</p> a81c926e66476ab121e3599d0a642b1e J. Edgar Comey for 11/03/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/16/j-edgar-comey Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I had intended to use this final column before the presidential election to explain at length why I cannot vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and plan to vote for Gary Johnson for president. In a nutshell, big government is our biggest problem. It thrives on more debt, more taxes, more regulations, more war, a secretive deep state and less personal freedom. Both Clinton and Trump would grow the government. Only Johnson would shrink it.</p> <p>One of the most dangerous tendencies of big government is the generation of a police state &#8212; wherein laws, rules and procedures are primarily written and can often be bent to aid law enforcement when it is encroaching on our personal freedoms. We saw a terrifying example of that last week when FBI Director James Comey behaved as if he were his most infamous predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 03, 2016</p> 22be415519dbfc7782fb9494c26e76a8 What Happened to the FBI? for 10/27/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/16/what-happened-to-the-fbi Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 that the Department of Justice would not seek the indictment of Hillary Clinton for failure to safeguard state secrets related to her email use while she was secretary of state, he both jumped the gun and set in motion a series of events that surely he did not intend. Was his hand forced by the behavior of FBI agents who wouldn't take no for an answer? Did he let the FBI become a political tool?</p> <p>Here is the back story.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 27, 2016</p> fb2ff3d092a93e0b8f47227dc942e0aa What if Liberty Is Attached to Humanity? for 10/20/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/16/what-if-liberty-is-attached-to-humanity Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if the Declaration of Independence states that the purpose of government is to protect our natural rights? What if natural rights are the freedoms we enjoy without neighbors or strangers or government interfering? What if those freedoms are listed in part in the Bill of Rights? What if the government is supposed to keep its hands off those freedoms because they are ours, we have not surrendered them and we have hired the government to protect them?</p> <p>What if the reason some of our rights are listed in the Bill of Rights was the fear the colonists had after the American Revolution that the new government here might become as destructive of freedom as the British king and Parliament &#8212; whose government they had just kicked out &#8212; were before the Revolution? What if it is impossible to list completely the freedoms that all people enjoy by reason of our humanity? What if the Framers &#8212; who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights &#8212; understood that?<p>Updated: Thu Oct 20, 2016</p> b293446587ae8567eb89e5356ae1f967 Can the Media Reveal Stolen Truths? for 10/13/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/16/can-the-media-reveal-stolen-truths Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It seems that at every turn during this crazy presidential election campaign &#8212; with its deeply flawed principal candidates (whom do you hate less?) &#8212; someone's personal or professional computer records are being hacked. First it was Hillary Clinton's emails that she had failed to surrender to the State Department. Then it was a portion of Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns, showing a $916 million loss he claimed during boom times. Then it was those Clinton emails again, this time showing her unacted-upon doubts about two of our Middle Eastern allies' involvement in 9/11 and her revelation of some secrets about the killing of Osama bin Laden.</p> <p>The reason we know about these leaks is the common thread among them &#8212; the willingness of the media to publish what was apparently stolen. Hence the question: Can the government hold the press liable &#8212; criminally or civilly &#8212; for the publication of known stolen materials that the public wants to know about? In a word: No.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 13, 2016</p> 23e0dc4471733aeba6212b90dfd35362 What if Trump and Clinton Have the Same Core Beliefs? for 10/06/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/16/what-if-trump-and-clinton-have-the-same-core-beliefs Thu, 06 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if the most remarkable aspect of this presidential election is not how much the two principal candidates disagree with each other but how much they actually agree?</p> <p>What if they are both statists? What if they both believe that the government's first duty is to take care of itself? What if they both believe in the primacy of the state over the individual? What if, in clashes between the state and individuals, they both would use the power of the state to trample the rights of individuals?<p>Updated: Thu Oct 06, 2016</p> 3d2cdf811d55475b85cbb899a9e2dee5 She Clobbered Him (Don't Shoot the Messenger) for 09/29/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/16/she-clobbered-him-dont-shoot-the-messenger Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In this weekly column and in my on-air work at Fox News, I have characterized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a crook and as the "Queen of Deception." I have argued that there is enough credible evidence in the public domain to indict, prosecute and convict her of espionage, perjury, misleading Congress, public corruption, providing material assistance to terrorist organizations and obstruction of justice.</p> <p>I can point to five times when she lied under oath. I know of FBI agents who believe that their hands were tied by the Obama administration in the criminal investigation of her. And I know of American intelligence agents who firmly believe that Americans died because Clinton failed to keep state secrets secure.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 29, 2016</p> 2066d636d73e830486bbc514a29d196e Due Process Is Vital to Freedom for 09/22/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/16/due-process-is-vital-to-freedom Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i> "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." &#8212; Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution </i></p> <p>The clash in American history between liberty and safety is as old as the republic itself. As far back as 1798, notwithstanding the lofty goals and individualistic values of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the same generation &#8212; in some cases the same human beings &#8212; that wrote in the First Amendment that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which punished speech critical of the government.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 22, 2016</p> 717a3aabd77351296bbf24f7274a4d6e What Is the FBI Hiding? for 09/15/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/16/what-is-the-fbi-hiding Thu, 15 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Earlier this week, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress took the FBI to task for its failure to be transparent. In the House, it was apparently necessary to serve a subpoena on an FBI agent to obtain what members of Congress want to see; and in the Senate, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee accused the FBI itself of lawbreaking.</p> <p>Here is the back story.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 15, 2016</p> 59a039553bf3402dd95e85886775e0e1 Hillary Clinton and the FBI for 09/08/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/16/hillary-clinton-and-the-fbi Thu, 08 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On Sept. 2, the FBI released a lengthy explanation of its investigation of Hillary Clinton and a summary of the evidence amassed against her. It also released a summary of Clinton's July FBI interrogation.</p> <p>The interrogation was in some respects standard and in others very troubling. It was standard in that she was confronted with emails she had sent or received and was asked whether she recalled them, and her judgment about them was challenged. The FBI was looking for gross negligence in her behavior about securing state secrets.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 08, 2016</p> 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>