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 Wed, 02 Dec 2020 15:51:47 -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 5d4d6a2f59160e52fd4ac35f638c9d14 The First Freedom for 12/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/20/the-first-freedom-d88d7 Thu, 03 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"<i> But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. </i>" &#8212; Supreme Court of the United States, November 25, 2020</p> <p>When teaching law students about the Bill of Rights, professors often ask on the first day of class which is the first freedom protected by the First Amendment. The students invariably answer, "freedom of speech." It is not. If the framers were trying to tell us which freedom is the first among equals, they did so by listing the religion clauses ahead of the freedom of speech.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 03, 2020</p> 18a89ef0a8901b1213be467839ab772a Thanksgiving 2020 for 11/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/20/thanksgiving-2020 Thu, 26 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"<i>Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are equal or make believe that they are not</i>." &#8212; Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)</p> <p>What if the government's true goal is to perpetuate its own power? What if the real levers of governmental power are pulled by agents and diplomats and by bureaucrats and central bankers behind the scenes? What if they stay in power no matter who is elected president or which political party controls either house of Congress?<p>Updated: Thu Nov 26, 2020</p> eb778281218fdc298f64cda9536d9860 Here We Go Again for 11/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/20/here-we-go-again-1d298 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"<i>Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because the law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.</i>" &#8212; Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)</p> <p>As if nanny state governors had been sleepwalking through the tyrannical shutdowns and their disastrous consequences last spring and summer, as if they were ignorant of the economic destruction of those they barred from going to work or operating their businesses, as if they thought it is lawful to assault natural rights and constitutional guarantees, these same governors are now beginning another wave of interferences with personal liberty.</p> <p>Slowly, over the past 10 days, while the eyes of the public and the media have been on the counting of votes in the presidential election and the ensuing allegations and litigations, governors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut and New York have threatened to impose or have begun to impose their unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and illogical efforts to shut down society in order &#8212; they claim &#8212; to rid the land of the COVID-19 virus.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 19, 2020</p> d8dc626732134a3737de6e01f94fce0d Gina's Last Kiss for 11/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/20/ginas-last-kiss Thu, 12 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"<i>I hold it true, whate'er befall;</i></p><i> <p>I feel it when I sorrow most.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 12, 2020</p> bebacf955171314fcd67a52a44a7fcfd The Government's Lust to Spy for 11/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/20/the-governments-lust-to-spy Thu, 05 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In 2019, agents of the federal and state governments persuaded judges to issue 99% of all requested intercepts. An intercept is any type of government surveillance &#8212; telephone, text message, email, even in-person. These are intercepts that theoretically are based on probable cause of crime, as is required by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.</p> <p>The 2019 numbers &#8212; which the government released as we were all watching the end of the presidential election campaign &#8212; are staggering. The feds, and local and state police in America engaged in 27,431,687 intercepts on 777,840 people. They arrested 17,101 people from among those intercepted and obtained convictions on the basis of evidence obtained via the intercepts on 5,304. That is a conviction rate of 4% of all people spied upon by law enforcement in the United States.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 05, 2020</p> 4d82216d5ee10b8216a255e179420cd7 Thoughts on the Divided States of America for 10/29/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/20/thoughts-on-the-divided-states-of-america Thu, 29 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>During the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, the British-born-turned-American political philosopher, wrote of his adopted country, "These are the times that try men's souls." He was referring to the hard choices that were facing the colonists.</p> <p>History is filled with hard choices. They are often made hard by fear &#8212; fear of making the wrong choice, fear of chaos, fear of loss.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 29, 2020</p> c1087a79059081544ffa1170bbaaa71d A Brief History of Court Packing for 10/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/20/a-brief-history-of-court-packing Thu, 22 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Since the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the determination of President Donald Trump to fill her Supreme Court seat before Election Day with the traditionalist Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the concept of court packing has reared its head. The phrase "court packing" is a derogatory reference to legislation that alters the number of seats on the Supreme Court to alter its perceived ideological makeup.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The origins of modern court packing are from the depression era when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to expand the court from nine to 15</span> by adding a new justice for every sitting justice who declined to retire upon reaching his 70th birthday. FDR offered the plan in the spring of 1937, shortly after he was inaugurated to his second term. He had just been reelected in a landslide and was frustrated that much of his legislation had been invalidated by the Supreme Court as beyond the powers of the federal government.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 22, 2020</p> 6bd0c3549c7cab1ebcecec1aa66a8744 What If We Ignore the Government? for 10/15/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/20/what-if-we-ignore-the-government Thu, 15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if we all start a return to normal life now that the government says the worst of the pandemic is behind us? What if we all make conscious choices to move about as before or to stay sheltered, based on our own exercise of our own informed free wills and not on the basis of governmental edicts? What if each of us decides if it is healthier to breathe in fresh air from outside or recycled air from under a mask?</p> <p>What if massive numbers of us make these decisions on our own?<p>Updated: Thu Oct 15, 2020</p> 7f81642efd3db037fd75333a65c7ce7f Finally, Freedom in Michigan for 10/08/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/20/finally-freedom-in-michigan Thu, 08 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"<i>If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned.</i>" &#8212; Justice George Sutherland (1862 to 1942)</p> <p>Late last week, the Supreme Court of Michigan &#8212; the state's highest and final court &#8212; invalidated the pandemic executive orders of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as well as the statute on which she based those orders. The opinion was a sweeping victory for personal liberty in a free society and was exceptionally gratifying for those of us who believe that the U.S. and state constitutions mean what they say.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 08, 2020</p> dbb268489217058943b504683e09cdcf Can the Government Force Us to Eat Broccoli? for 10/01/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/20/can-the-government-force-us-to-eat-broccoli Thu, 01 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>"The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people."</i> &#8212; Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)</p> <p>With President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act &#8212; Obamacare &#8212; is back in the news. Barrett expressed constitutional misgivings about Obamacare 10 years ago when she was a professor at Notre Dame Law School, and some folks who oppose her nomination have argued that should she be confirmed in the next month, she should not hear the Nov. 10 arguments on Obamacare.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 01, 2020</p> 66f2b280c6645947b888b0c3ca8bed6c Justice Ginsburg and the Constitution for 09/24/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/20/justice-ginsburg-and-the-constitution Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years until her death late last week. Her tenacious advocacy for the rights of those she perceived as legally disadvantaged, combined with her outsized intellect, moved the vector of the court's direction as few justices have in history. She championed the rights of women and members of the LGBTQ community.</p> <p>Justice Ginsburg enjoyed a famous public friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. She was a liberal Democrat. He was a conservative Republican. She believed in the "living Constitution." He believed that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed at the time of its ratification.</p> <p>She believed that the Constitution enabled Congress to right any national wrong. He believed that Congress was limited to those federal areas of governance delegated to it by the Constitution. Yet, many times, they ended up on the same side of Supreme Court rulings.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 24, 2020</p> c5b4c2f0fc2b6d47c07c5b301999126c A Constitution of Some Authority for 09/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/20/a-constitution-of-some-authority Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A federal court in Pennsylvania this week has become the first in the nation to rule that the lockdown, social distancing and essential workplace regulations imposed by Gov. Tom Wolf are unconstitutional.</p> <p>The judge found that the governor's orders were so inconsistent, so bereft of any rational basis or scientific model, and so ignorant of the Constitution the governor swore to uphold that he invalidated all of them.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 17, 2020</p> 7804fcc72d4c79dd869aa50ec7ac3693 Trump Attacks the Military for 09/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/20/trump-attacks-the-military Thu, 10 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I was appalled at the allegations against President Donald Trump leveled in a recent article in The Atlantic. The article claimed that the president referred to American soldiers killed in World War I and buried in France as "losers" and "suckers." It also offered that the president is disdainful in general of military personnel who have been captured by the enemy or killed in combat.</p> <p>The article cited four anonymous sources, each of whom claimed to be physically close enough to the president to have heard him make these awful statements. Fox News and CNN have both independently confirmed the accuracy of the allegations.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2020</p> 220458d3eb9f04b1c3872aa14bbfb801 Has President Trump Incited Violence? for 09/03/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/20/has-president-trump-incited-violence Thu, 03 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>All states have laws that prohibit assault and destruction of others' property. States and the federal government also have laws that prohibit bystanders from encouraging others to engage in violence. The latter is known as incitement.</p> <p>When violence has erupted in American streets between groups supporting President Donald Trump and those opposed to him &#8212; and he encouraged his supporters to be "much tougher" than the other side and to "hit back" &#8212; did his use of intemperate words incite violence?<p>Updated: Thu Sep 03, 2020</p> d0f2260962d572b85a99865178bd78fe Sell the Postal Service! for 08/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/20/sell-the-postal-service Thu, 27 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"<i>Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.</i>" &#8212; Unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service</p> <p>The United States Postal Service &#8212; formerly the Post Office &#8212; is an American institution rooted in the Constitution. To the framers, the idea that the federal government would be in the thankless business of carrying mail from city to city defied their Madisonian ideas of limited government. But they feared that rival states would take over delivery of the mails. So, they reluctantly made it a federal apparatus.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 27, 2020</p> 7e6143e67c1ee5b07e78dd6e5c68575a All Spying All the Time for 08/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/20/all-spying-all-the-time Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>During this summer of madness in Portland, Oregon, and sadness over COVID-19, two below-the-radar events occurred implicating the insatiable appetite of the United States government to spy on everyone in America. Regular readers of this column know that the feds have been wearing away at our privacy rights using a multitude of means. Yet, these two below-the-fold events this summer have caught the feds flatfooted.</p> <p>Here is the backstory.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 20, 2020</p> c673fe305eefa40a7475e9c468cafd99 Only Congress Can Spend Federal Monies for 08/13/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/20/only-congress-can-spend-federal-monies Thu, 13 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"<i>No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of Appropriations made by Law.</i>" &#8212; U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9</p> <p>Congress and the White House have been at loggerheads for weeks on the next phase of federal aid to those suffering financially and who lost jobs because of governor-mandated lockdown orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At last count, more than 30 million Americans who had full-time jobs a year ago are today unemployed.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 13, 2020</p> 5dfb52c359aeacdeb39566b9b052f7ab Spying on Journalists for 08/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/08/20/spying-on-journalists Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, this column argued that the only constitutional role for armed federal forces in Portland, Oregon, was to assist U.S. marshals in protecting federal property and personnel there &#8212; in this case, the federal courthouse and those who come to it. The column also argued that under the U.S. Constitution, the feds have no lawful role in policing streets unless requested to do so by the governor or legislature of any state.</p> <p>In Portland's case, the governor of Oregon and the mayor of Portland both asked acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to bring his forces home. He agreed to do so when Oregon's governor offered to beef up security at the federal courthouse.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 06, 2020</p> 85592812c8131b0deeec749c7ce403aa Freedom and Political Dissent for 07/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/20/freedom-and-political-dissent Thu, 30 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Two weeks ago, this column offered a brief history of the freedom of speech in America. The essence of the column was that all public speech is lawful when there is time for more speech to challenge it and that the remedy for hate speech is not censorship, but more speech.</p> <p>Last week, this column addressed the unconstitutional behavior of federal agents in Portland, Oregon, most of whom are out among peaceful demonstrators interfering with free speech, travel and assembly.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 30, 2020</p> 681af0b667bccc090adeda3e9bbf0bc4 How Totalitarianism Begins for 07/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/20/how-totalitarianism-begins Wed, 22 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>"The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own consciences."</i> &#8212; C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)</p> <p>Serious issues are implicating personal liberty and public safety in Portland, Oregon. The police are not enforcing local and state laws. They are refraining from doing so because they have been so instructed by elected public officials.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 22, 2020</p>