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, 17 Jan 2020 10:04:40 -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 16f2c936e686aa7d411d9c4f1ea23885 A Tangled Web of Deception for 01/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/01/20/a-tangled-web-of-deception Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>When witnesses testify in a courtroom and offer varying, contradictory or even unlawful explanations of the events under scrutiny, juries tend not to believe them. The same is now happening with the Trump administration's defense of its killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the use of an unmanned drone while he was being driven peacefully along a public highway in Iraq two weeks ago. Why the shifting justifications?</p> <p>Here is the backstory.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 16, 2020</p> 84559f16e1ee89c26e7c9f5ff7e8b9ed A Lawless Political Assassination for 01/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/01/20/a-lawless-political-assassination Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><i>"America ... goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy."</i> &#8212; President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)</p> <p>Last week, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to invade a then-friendly country without the knowledge or consent of its government and assassinate a visiting foreign government official. The victim was the head of Iran's military and intelligence. The formerly friendly country is Iraq. The killing of the general and his companions was carried out by the use of an unmanned drone. The general was not engaged in an act of violence at the time he was killed, nor were any of his companions. They were driving on a public highway in a van.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 09, 2020</p> c0ccf62f827d2c46e3519865a8254b30 Office Pool 2020 for 01/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/19/office-pool-2020 Thu, 02 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>1) In 2020, President Donald Trump will...</p> <p>a. start a war with Iran.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 02, 2020</p> 609529b8357bb7c17e72ea004a19e3b5 Christmas in America for 12/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/19/christmas-in-america Wed, 25 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What if Christmas is a core value of belief in a personal God who lived among us and His freely given promise of eternal salvation that no believer should reject or apologize for? What if Christmas is the rebirth of Christ in the hearts of all believers? What if Christmas is the potential rebirth of Christ in every heart that will have Him, whether a believer or not?</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">What if Jesus Christ was born about 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem? </span>What if He is true God and true man? What if this is a mystery and a miracle? What if this came about as part of God's plan for the salvation of all people? What if Jesus was sent into the world to atone for our sins by offering Himself as a sacrifice? What if He was sinless? What if His life was the most critical turning point in human history? What if the reason we live is that He died?<p>Updated: Wed Dec 25, 2019</p> 4740e414252264c838f67dba04c4df2c Shall Anyone Be Above the Law? for 12/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/19/shall-anyone-be-above-the-law Thu, 19 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The rule of law is a cornerstone of American democracy and is integral to the Constitution. It stands for the principles that no person is beneath the laws' protections. No person is above the laws' requirements. And the laws apply equally to all people. That is the theory of the rule of law.</p> <p>In practice, as the power of the federal government has grown almost exponentially since 1789 and the power of the presidency has grown with it, presidents have claimed immunity from the need to comply with the law while in office. They have also claimed immunity from the consequences of the failure to comply with the law.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 19, 2019</p> 00d7d69a6de9d1a928f05b6c59c6461a What's Wrong with FISA? for 12/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/19/whats-wrong-with-fisa Thu, 12 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 in response to the unlawful surveillance of Americans by the FBI and the CIA during the Watergate era. President Richard Nixon &#8212; who famously quipped after leaving office that "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal" &#8212; used the FBI and the CIA to spy on his political opponents.</p> <p>The stated reason was national security. Nixon claimed that foreign agents physically present in the U.S. agitated and aggravated his political opponents to produce the great public unrest in America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and thus diminished Americans' appetite for fighting the Vietnam War. There was, of course, no evidence to support that view, but the neocons in Congress and the military-industrial complex supported it even after Nixon left office.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 12, 2019</p> 93de98469d0541db0ed0de4fd77a0a97 The Supreme Court and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for 12/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/12/19/the-supreme-court-and-the-right-to-keep-and-bear-arms Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In a 2008 case called District of Columbia v. Heller, and again in a 2010 case called McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment.</p> <p>That amendment was written, the court ruled in both cases, to mandate the obligation of the federal government, as well as cities and states, to recognize, respect and permit the exercise of the right to self-defense, using the same level of technology as might be used against someone in the home. Stated differently, the high court twice held in the past 11 years that the right to own and keep and &#8212; if necessary &#8212; to use a gun in the home is a personal pre-political right.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 05, 2019</p> 388ec7b0c4bdd2ade269c485d8575dd5 For What Should We Be Thankful? for 11/28/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/19/for-what-should-we-be-thankful-29cfb Thu, 28 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>What if the government's true goal is to perpetuate itself? 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> <p>What if the frequent public displays of adversity between Republicans and Democrats are just a facade and a charade? What if both major political parties agree on the transcendental issues of our day?<p>Updated: Thu Nov 28, 2019</p> 25450d70d9e3d2624affe5a892b96590 The Dangers of an Imperial Presidency for 11/21/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/19/the-dangers-of-an-imperial-presidency Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Throughout the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump has been pushing Attorney General William Barr to make a public statement on the president's behalf. He wants Barr to state publicly that even if the president did what congressional Democrats claim &#8212; conditioning the release of $391 million in vital military and financial aid to Ukraine upon the announcement of a Ukrainian government investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden &#8212; such behavior did not constitute impeachable offenses.</p> <p>The attorney general, to his credit, has declined to comply with the president's wishes. But he did stir the pot earlier this week with a partisan speech on the nature of the modern American presidency. That speech &#8212; by its assertion that liberals have neutered the presidency or shackled it in chains &#8212; must have been written in an alternate reality.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 21, 2019</p> 7bcac818fac3a5554eb57c7e59c3ec4e Is Ignorance of the Constitution Trump's Defense? for 11/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/19/is-ignorance-of-the-constitution-trumps-defense Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>"Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." &#8212; Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)</p> <p>As public hearings on impeachment begin this week, we will see the case for and the case against impeaching President Donald Trump. The facts are largely undisputed, but each side has its version of them.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 14, 2019</p> 23d83c8c9d80b79db92c1332bad7e8bd Winston, I Need a Favor First for 11/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/11/19/winston-i-need-a-favor-first Thu, 07 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Peggy Noonan, who wrote brilliant speeches for Ronald Reagan and now writes gifted columns for The Wall Street Journal, and whose friendship I have enjoyed for many years, recently put forth a hypothetical historical analogy that stopped me in my tracks. </p> <p>Let's look at some background before getting to it.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 07, 2019</p> 8b20a06df6ba40c73d98c16bff3d15ad Hiding in Plain Sight for 10/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/19/hiding-in-plain-sight Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>Things are seldom what they seem,</i></p><i> </i><p><i>Skim milk masquerades as cream...</i><p>Updated: Thu Oct 31, 2019</p> 3fd97a11578f6a9bcff9dddb9ec2f022 The President and the Constitution (Again) for 10/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/19/the-president-and-the-constitution-again Thu, 24 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In nearly three years in office, President Donald Trump has spent federal dollars not authorized by Congress, separated families and incarcerated children at the Texas/Mexico border in defiance of a federal court order, pulled 1,000 American troops out of Syria ignoring a commitment to allies and facilitating war against civilians, and sent 2,000 troops to Saudi Arabia without a congressional declaration of war.</p> <p>He has also criminally obstructed a Department of Justice investigation of himself but escaped prosecution because of the intercession of an attorney general more loyal to him than to the Constitution.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 24, 2019</p> e846567422c023cb29b34dd8ec604382 Is the Impeachment Process Fair? for 10/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/19/is-the-impeachment-process-fair Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, the White House legal counsel wrote to congressional leaders stating President Donald Trump's legal views of the impeachment investigation now being conducted by the House of Representatives. The essence of Pat Cipollone's letter argued that the impeachment investigation is illegitimate, unconstitutional and unfair.</p> <p>The illegitimacy argument contended that since the House has yet to vote to authorize an investigation of the president, its committees lack subpoena power. The unconstitutional argument offered that since impeachment seeks to overturn a valid election, it is a thinly veiled coup and thus is in violation of the Constitution. And his unfairness argument states that the president is entitled to due process at every stage of the impeachment proceedings.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 17, 2019</p> c34e5d2df86be126a68ce82d1d1bc87f The Presidency and War Power for 10/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/19/the-presidency-and-war-power Thu, 10 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Readers of this column are familiar with the concept of the separation of powers, which James Madison crafted as integral to the Constitution. That concept mandates that Congress writes the laws, the president enforces them, the courts decide what they mean and interpret them, and the three branches of government don't step on each other's toes.</p> <p>The separation of powers also recognizes that the Constitution reposes unique authority in each branch and, at times, in each house of Congress. For example, only the Senate can confirm judges and ambassadors and ratify treaties. Only the House can impeach high-ranking executive branch officials and federal judges. Only Congress can declare war, and only the president can decide how to use the military to fight a declared war.</p> <p>The war powers are clearly articulated in the plain language of the Constitution itself &#8212; Congress declares and the president wages. Madison himself argued that if the president could both declare and wage wars, he'd not be a president but a prince. This distinction between declaring and waging was recognized for nearly 200 years, until Congress muddied the waters in 1973 by enacting the War Powers Resolution.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 10, 2019</p> 9bcd328ab42dfef55c6444dfe217813c Trump Attacks His Own Presidency for 10/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/10/19/trump-attacks-his-own-presidency Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The House of Representatives has begun to gather evidence in an effort to determine if President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses. The Constitution defines an impeachable offense as "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The president need not have committed a crime in order to be impeached, but he needs to have engaged in behavior that threatens the constitutional stability of the United States or the rule of law as we have come to know it.</p> <p>Has Trump committed any impeachable offenses?<p>Updated: Thu Oct 03, 2019</p> e562d3e8f2030068ec7cde711d20ce38 Brazen Acts of Corruption for 09/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/19/brazen-acts-of-corruption Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, media outlets reported the existence of a whistleblower complaint filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community against President Donald Trump. The IC encompasses all civilian and military employees and contractors who work for the federal government gathering domestic and foreign intelligence.</p> <p>The inspector general &#8212; a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate &#8212; exists in all parts of the executive branch of the government, except for the White House, to examine and determine if officials are following the law.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 26, 2019</p> f224974219b8d30108cadf09c9f640cd Don't Smile for the Camera for 09/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/09/19/dont-smile-for-the-camera Thu, 19 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A trial in Great Britain has just concluded with potentially dangerous implications for personal freedom here.</p> <p>Great Britain is currently the most watched country in the Western world &#8212; watched, that is, by its own police forces. In London alone, the police have erected more than 420,000 surveillance cameras in public places. That amounts to 48 cameras per 1,000 residents. What do the cameras capture? Everything done and seen in public.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 19, 2019</p> 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>