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 Sun, 15 Sep 2019 20:50:44 -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 d5ccdbbe80bec680efebc72c2ed2c922 Who Cares What the Government Thinks? for 09/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/19/who-cares-what-the-government-thinks Thu, 12 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In 1791, when Congressman James Madison was drafting the first 10 amendments to the Constitution &#8212; which would become known as the Bill of Rights &#8212; he insisted that the most prominent amendment among them restrain the government from interfering with the freedom of speech. After various versions of the First Amendment had been drafted and debated, the committee that he chaired settled on the iconic language: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech."</p> <p>Madison insisted upon referring to speech as <i>the</i> freedom of speech, not for linguistic or stylistic reasons, but to reflect its pre-political existence. Stated differently, according to Madison &#8212; who drafted the Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights &#8212; because the freedom of speech pre-existed the government, it does not have its origins in government. The use of the article <i>the</i> reflects that pre-existence.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 12, 2019</p> 6d981fcbbc60188524d6c8666e8c5ea9 The Temptation of Tyranny for 09/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/19/the-temptation-of-tyranny Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Does the president of the United States have too much power?</p> <p>That question has been asked lately with respect to President Donald Trump's use of federal funds to construct 175 miles of sporadic walls along a portion of the 2,000-mile common border between Texas and Mexico. After Congress expressly declined to give him that money, Trump signed into law &#8212; rather than vetoed &#8212; the legislation that denied him the funds he sought and then spent the money anyway.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 05, 2019</p> 31e946e97aef9507f86b4ef9404e81e7 A Nonemergency of His Own Making for 08/29/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/19/a-nonemergency-of-his-own-making Thu, 29 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Late last week, President Donald Trump issued a tweet in which he purported to order American businesses to cease doing work with their employees and contract partners in China.</p> <p>He claimed he was exercising presidential powers pursuant to what he contended was the national emergency surrounding the trading relationship between the United States and China.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 29, 2019</p> e17bba6a5442dd2638abe26fbe7b2ea4 More Spying and Lying for 08/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/19/more-spying-and-lying Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government's authority to spy on all persons in America.</p> <p>The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 22, 2019</p> b0c583e227f619417972106ce5521de0 The Dangerous Urge To Do Something for 08/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/19/the-dangerous-urge-to-do-something Thu, 15 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When tragedy strikes, as it did in two mass killings earlier this month, there is always the urge to pressure the government do <i>something</i>. Governments are animated by the belief that doing something &#8212; any demonstrable overt behavior &#8212; will show that they are in control. I understand the natural fears that good folks have that an El Paso or a Dayton episode might happen again, but doing something for the sake of appearance can be dangerous to personal liberty.</p> <p>When the Constitution was written, the idea of owning arms and keeping them in the home was widespread. The colonists had just defeated the armies of King George III. The colonial weapon of choice was the Kentucky long rifle, while British soldiers used their army-issued version of Brown Bessies. Each rifle had its advantages, but the Kentucky (it was actually a German design, perfected and manufactured in Pennsylvania) was able to strike a British soldier at 200 yards, a startlingly long distance at the time. The Bessies were good for only about 80 yards.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 15, 2019</p> 0eb05fb7a098238b875c530d10b2c929 A Few Words About Guns and Personal Liberty for 08/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/19/a-few-words-about-guns-and-personal-liberty Thu, 08 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last weekend's mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have produced a flood of words about everything from gun control to mental illness to white nationalism. Most of those words have addressed the right to keep and bear arms as if it were a gift from the government. It isn't.</p> <p>The Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its preexistence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government &#8212; state and federal &#8212; from infringing upon it.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 08, 2019</p> b60ec5fdea9b362729ec82a2fe3e5878 The Longest Pleasure for 07/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/19/the-longest-pleasure Thu, 25 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Now hatred is by far the Longest pleasure;</p> <p>"Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure."<p>Updated: Thu Jul 25, 2019</p> 93ff3fcd4d3f1d3813b4452eebec47a6 The Limits of Free Speech for 07/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/19/the-limits-of-free-speech Thu, 18 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>During the past week, President Donald Trump excited two bitter public controversies by sending and publishing two highly inappropriate and offensively incendiary tweets.</p> <p>The first of these was aimed at four female members of Congress &#8212; each a person of color, and, as members of Congress, each an American citizen. Yet the president said they should go back to the countries from which they came. The second tweet was aimed at Google, which the president argued should be investigated for treason. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 18, 2019</p> edc93fb60beff6309ace13082b993202 The Constitution, the Census and Citizenship for 07/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/19/the-constitution-the-census-and-citizenship Thu, 11 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Late last month, the Supreme Court ruled on a challenge to a question that the Commerce Department announced it would add to the 2020 census. The census itself has been mandated by the Constitution to be taken every 10 years so that representation in the House of Representatives could be fairly apportioned to reflect population changes.</p> <p>Over the years, the folks who prepare the census developed an appetite for peering into the personal lives of everyone living in America, and Congress &#8212; which has the same mentality as the Census bureaucrats &#8212; permitted this. So, the Census Bureau began adding personal questions in the census itself.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 11, 2019</p> a092c7c08180f12b836571a4377df2e7 The Myth of Independence Day for 07/04/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/19/the-myth-of-independence-day Thu, 04 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Declaration of Independence &#8212; released on July 4, 1776 &#8212; was Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece. Jefferson himself wrote much about it in essays and letters during the 50 years that followed.</p> <p>Not the least of what he wrote offered his view that the Declaration and the values that it articulated were truly radical &#8212; meaning they reflected 180-degree changes at the very core of societal attitudes in America. The idea that farmers and merchants and lawyers could secede from a kingdom and fight and win a war against the king's army was the end result of the multigenerational movement that was articulated in the Declaration and culminated in the American Revolution.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 04, 2019</p> 58b8eb9f6974e96faad93eeff9222349 Trump and Health Care Transparency for 06/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/19/trump-and-health-care-transparency Thu, 27 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many of my media colleagues have been lauding President Donald Trump for signing an executive order earlier this week directing the federal Department of Health and Human Services to require health care providers to inform patients in advance of the true costs of medications and services.</p> <p>The gist of the president's order seems universally pleasing. Who doesn't want to know from a health care provider &#8212; your physician, an emergency facility or a hospital &#8212; what the likely cost will be to you and what the actual cost of medications was to the provider? We all would like to know that. But does the president have the constitutional authority to order it? In a word: No.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 27, 2019</p> 7158a6df993d0abb162a3bc4f459ed76 Can Government Punish Twice for the Same Crime? for 06/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/19/can-government-punish-twice-for-the-same-crime Thu, 20 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"...nor shall any person be subject for the same offense</p> <p>to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb..."<p>Updated: Thu Jun 20, 2019</p> 8d7f926b40b66560c7bd9efdd5f272f9 Trashing the Constitution Again for 06/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/19/trashing-the-constitution-again Thu, 13 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>While the eyes of the political and media classes were on President Donald Trump as he commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day in the United Kingdom and in France last week, and then as we all watched for progress in the tariff war Trump started with Mexico, the Department of Justice was quietly trying to persuade a federal judge in Chicago to abandon first principles with respect to citizenship and sentencing.</p> <p>The DOJ filed a motion asking a federal judge to strip the American citizenship of one Iyman Faris. Faris, who was born in Pakistan, has been a naturalized American citizen since 1994. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. His fellow "conspirators" were FBI agents pretending to be foreign and domestic terrorists willing to work with him.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 13, 2019</p> c5c271dde652d0eb531971b8d9c97023 Mueller Stirs the Pot for 06/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/19/mueller-stirs-the-pot Thu, 06 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, special counsel Robert Mueller &#8212; who had been appointed by the Department of Justice two years earlier to investigate the nature and extent of Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and to determine, if those attempts did occur, whether the Russians had any willing American collaborators in the Trump campaign &#8212; came to the cameras and announced his resignation. He also underscored some of his findings and did so in such a manner as to gin up House Democrats in their march toward impeachment.</p> <p>Since his nine-minute statement and his subsequent resignation, he has been praised by many in the political class averse to President Donald Trump, and harshly condemned by the president. He was even criticized by his longtime friend and former boss, Attorney General William Barr. Praised and criticized for what?<p>Updated: Thu Jun 06, 2019</p> 7f553a39cfeabea8bebc8b9f547059f3 What Happened to the Freedom of Speech? for 05/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/19/what-happened-to-the-freedom-of-speech Thu, 30 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Congress shall make no law...</p> <p>abridging the freedom of speech,<p>Updated: Thu May 30, 2019</p> 6d8bf88f6daf3b37de081afcf75ec6cf To Impeach or Not to Impeach for 05/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/19/to-impeach-or-not-to-impeach Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"If the president does it,</p> <p>that means it is not illegal."<p>Updated: Thu May 23, 2019</p> 8f45de0d6ded99d3c81f32100d08ab85 Once Upon a Time in America for 05/16/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/19/once-upon-a-time-in-america Thu, 16 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There was a time in American history &#8212; nearly all of it up to the presidency of Woodrow Wilson &#8212; when the federal government followed basic constitutional norms. With some unique and discrete exceptions, like the Civil War, Congress wrote the laws, the president enforced them, whether he agreed with them or not, and the judiciary interpreted them and assessed their compatibility to the Constitution. This is the separation of powers.</p> <p>My late friend Justice Antonin Scalia often argued that the constitutionally mandated separation of powers is the most uniquely American and liberty-insuring aspect of the Constitution. James Madison, who essentially wrote the Constitution, believed that tension and jealousy between the three branches would enhance personal freedom by preventing the accumulation of too much governmental power in the hands of too few. But he publicly worried about that accumulation, and the branch he feared the most was the presidency.<p>Updated: Thu May 16, 2019</p> 15311a578f1fd2ee4c61d687f038b2c5 Did the Attorney General Deceive Congress? for 05/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/19/did-the-attorney-general-deceive-congress Thu, 09 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, now faces a likely contempt citation for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena and for misleading Congress. This is about the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Isn't the investigation now complete? How did the attorney general's veracity become an issue and thereby extend the life of the investigation?</p> <p>Here is the backstory.<p>Updated: Thu May 09, 2019</p> 3f441bfce8a81103d963c338f22082d8 Can the Attorney General Defend Presidential Obstruction? for 05/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/19/can-the-attorney-general-defend-presidential-obstruction Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>One should expect fireworks this week as Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Judiciary Committees of both the House and the Senate about the investigation and the report of special counsel Robert Mueller regarding Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election. By now, most folks know that the interference was substantial but don't seem to care much.</p> <p>We know from Mueller's report that Russian intelligence agents engaged in sophisticated cyber warfare against the United States, and we did very little to resist them. The Russians were physically here. They engaged via email and text with many Americans. They ran popular political rallies. They attempted to alter vote tallies. They received internal polling data from the Trump campaign, with which they communicated 127 times in 16 months.<p>Updated: Thu May 02, 2019</p> 90f858415c0736db0c759eed77342a90 Did the President Obstruct Justice? for 04/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/19/did-the-president-obstruct-justice Thu, 25 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When the Department of Justice designated Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign in May 2017, Mueller's initial task was to determine if there had been a conspiracy &#8212; an illegal agreement &#8212; between the campaign and any Russians to receive anything of value.</p> <p>When former FBI Director James Comey informed Mueller that he believed Trump fired him because he had declined Trump's order to shut down the investigation of Trump's campaign and of his former national security advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Mueller began to investigate whether the president had unlawfully attempted to obstruct those investigations.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 25, 2019</p>