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, 15 Jul 2020 00:13:08 -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 3f1804b90d9e1fc2bc1c3e3ca6c2312e Personal Liberty Squeezed in a Vise for 07/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/20/personal-liberty-squeezed-in-a-vise Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, this column addressed the expectation of revolution and the exhilaration of freedom that pervaded the 13 colonies during the summer of 1776. This summer in America, we are approaching the end of a civilized and free society as we have known it.</p> <p>The freedom to walk outside without worrying for your life and the reliance that constitutional freedoms are guarantees that the government will honor have dissipated. The effects are anarchy in the streets and a loss of liberty for everyone.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 09, 2020</p> 3e2cc0b477610acd8c4eb33e2b8d4145 When In the Course of Human Events for 07/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/07/20/when-in-the-course-of-human-events Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <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 created equal or make believe that they are not."</i> &#8212; Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)</p> <p>In the summer of 1776, revolution was in the air. Congress was meeting in Philadelphia, and it was impatient. Bloody skirmishes between colonial militias and British troops were upsetting the countryside. More British troops were on their way. Congress sensed it needed to do something. It wanted to vote for secession from Great Britain, and it needed a compelling document setting forth the reasons for doing so.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 02, 2020</p> c05fa095d84c97bb9217036605825ba6 The Afterlife of America's Original Sin for 06/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/20/the-afterlife-of-americas-original-sin Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." &#8212; George Santayana</p> <p>I am amazed at the efforts around the country to remove and destroy painful mementos of our history. One would think that historical figures need to be perceived as perfect to survive the winds of change that buffet their statues and portraits, and the employment of their names. Some of this is decent and civilized. Some of it is misguided and violent. All of it is unnecessary.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2020</p> 4df2fad034c9b97aec955f50a67d2196 The First Freedom for 06/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/20/the-first-freedom-a8eb7 Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Here is a pop quiz on the Constitution. What is the first freedom protected by the Bill of Rights? If you guessed speech or press, then you are close. The first protected freedom is religion. The two religion clauses in the First Amendment keep the government out of our pockets for religious purposes and out of our churches for all purposes. That was, at least, the intent of the framers.</p> <p>The tyrannical behavior of many state governors, who have issued executive orders purporting to regulate private behavior on private property &#8212; even religious behavior in houses of worship &#8212; and in the process have enforced these orders as if they were laws, has ignored this. In America, governors do not write laws; only legislatures do. There are no pandemic or public health or emergency exceptions in the Constitution.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 18, 2020</p> 71e7740029bddaf48edcd0070c542a50 A Knee on Our Throats for 06/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/20/a-knee-on-our-throats Thu, 11 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For two months now, most of America has endured a government-imposed lockdown. I hate to use that word &#8212; lockdown &#8212; as it connotes locking prisoners into their cells during prison disturbances. But it is the word that the government itself uses when referring to its orders of confinement.</p> <p>Today, we are the government's prisoners. Wear your mask. Stay at home. Don't go to work. Don't open your business. Don't go to church. And, for heaven's sake, don't gather in any group larger than 25 &#8212; unless it is to speak words of which the government approves.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 11, 2020</p> 40393a7078804f5175c3f1807968ab63 A Perfect Storm for 06/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/06/20/a-perfect-storm-d20df Thu, 04 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p><i>"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."</i> &#8212; Thomas Paine (1737-1809)</p> <p>Colonial America was filled with summer soldiers and sunshine patriots who wanted triumph over tyranny but were afraid to fight for it. Of course, enough did fight. They won the Revolutionary War and they enacted a Constitution intended to prevent both anarchy and tyranny. </p> <p>Today, we have both.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 04, 2020</p> f6ce29be9c1322f12e392e01d8aa374d The Freedom to Pursue Happiness for 05/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/20/the-freedom-to-pursue-happiness Thu, 28 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The governors of all 50 states, and the mayors of many large cities, have assumed unto themselves the powers to restrict private personal choices and lawful public behavior in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.</p> <p>They have done so not by enforcing previously existing legislation but by crafting their own executive orders, styling those orders as if they were laws, using state and local police to enforce those so-called laws and &#8212; presumably when life returns to normal and the courts reopen &#8212; prosecuting the alleged offenders in court.<p>Updated: Thu May 28, 2020</p> 3390ff9441ad8d82c6b553bcbb065fb0 What If the Government Has It Wrong? for 05/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/20/what-if-the-government-has-it-wrong Thu, 21 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What if the government has it wrong &#8212; on the medicine and the law?</p> <p>What if face masks can't stop the COVID-19 virus? What if quarantining the healthy makes no medical sense? What if staying at home for months reduces immunity?<p>Updated: Thu May 21, 2020</p> 1a3afef04ab1c3d3058450a0e28d7679 A Nation of Sheep for 05/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/20/a-nation-of-sheep Thu, 14 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."</i> &#8212; Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)</p> <p>To Thomas Jefferson, the fulcrum between the people and the government they have elected was fear. He argued succinctly that the government would only respect liberty if it feared losing power. Today, the relationship between people and government is power. Does the government have the power to tell us how to make personal choices, or do we have the power to tell the government to take a hike?<p>Updated: Thu May 14, 2020</p> 5309b4cb81a8fa945d42b4e70c8092cf Do We Still Have a Constitution? for 05/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/05/20/do-we-still-have-a-constitution Thu, 07 May 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I have been taking some heat from friends and colleagues for my steadfast defense of personal liberties and my arguments that the Constitution &#8212; when interpreted in accordance with the plain meaning of its words, and informed by history &#8212; does not permit the government to infringe upon personal freedoms, no matter the emergency or pandemic. For those who agree with me, worry not. We will persevere. For those who trust the government, worry a lot. You are not in good hands.</p> <p>The purpose of the Constitution is to establish the government and to limit it. Some of the limitations are written in the Constitution itself. Most of the limitations that pertain to personal freedoms are found in the Bill of Rights &#8212; the first 10 amendments.<p>Updated: Thu May 07, 2020</p> 80d459b7ecb1c4ef2f5652bd0010b4a3 'The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave' for 04/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/20/the-land-of-the-free-and-home-of-the-brave Thu, 30 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When Francis Scott Key wrote the words "the land of the free and the home of the brave" in 1814, he did so in a poem called "The Defense of Fort McHenry." The battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore was a decisive one in which Americans truly demonstrated bravery and fought for freedom.</p> <p>This was the War of 1812, the origins of which are lost to history. The British government claimed that President James Madison had designs on the British king's lands in Canada, and so it attacked the U.S. The Americans argued that the British government's stated reason for its attack was a pretense, as its real goal was to re-capture what many Britons still considered to be their colonies.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 30, 2020</p> 80cdbdb307e8b526fa2884362368207f 'The Bill of Rights Is Above My Pay Grade' for 04/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/20/the-bill-of-rights-is-above-my-pay-grade Thu, 23 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The loss of liberty is at hand.</p> <p>Every day in America, mayors and governors &#8212; not one of whom is constitutionally or lawfully empowered to author laws and assign punishments for their noncompliance &#8212; are imposing new standards of behavior that nullify liberty in the name of public safety.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 23, 2020</p> 889797baa396dbf4833d5fc5f7415f7b Death in Slow Motion for 04/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/20/death-in-slow-motion Thu, 16 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>During the past month, as Americans have been terrified of the coronavirus, another demon has been lurking ready to pounce. It is a demon of our own creation. It is the now amply manifested inability of elected officials to resist the temptation of totalitarianism. And it is slowly bringing about the death of personal liberty in our once free society.</p> <p>It is one thing for public officials to use a bully pulpit to educate and even intimidate the populace into a prudent awareness of basic sanitary behaviors &#8212; even those which go against our nature &#8212; to impede the spread of the virus. It is quite another to contend that their suggestions and intimidations and guidelines somehow have the force of the law behind them.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 16, 2020</p> c23c7038a5782cad76860c7c8b527027 Hope for the Dead at Easter for 04/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/20/hope-for-the-dead-at-easter Thu, 09 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>That God, which ever lives and loves,</i></p><i> <p>One God, one law, one element,<p>Updated: Thu Apr 09, 2020</p> cbbb5bb45105ff3873f6cc2c8b454d48 Taking Rights Seriously for 04/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/04/20/taking-rights-seriously Thu, 02 Apr 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 (1862-1942)</p> <p>In his 2008 book "Taking Rights Seriously," the late professor Ronald Dworkin explored the origins and governmental treatment of human liberty. He argued that Thomas Jefferson &#8212; who wrote the Declaration of Independence &#8212; and James Madison &#8212; the scrivener at the Constitutional Convention and the author of the Bill of Rights &#8212; were clear in their articulations that the premise of America at its birth is that our rights are personal and natural because they come from our humanity, not from the government.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 02, 2020</p> ac8d08eca30d48044c642c7c09d350fc Beware a Government of Fear for 03/26/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/20/beware-a-government-of-fear Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."</i> &#8212; Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)</p> <p>One of my Fox colleagues recently sent me an email attachment of a painting of the framers signing the Constitution of the United States. Except in this version, George Washington &#8212; who presided at the Constitutional Convention &#8212; looks at James Madison &#8212; who was the scrivener at the Convention &#8212; and says, "None of this counts if people get sick, right?"<p>Updated: Thu Mar 26, 2020</p> 127dcd624566cefbae7e905a7cb6b183 Freedom in a Time of Madness for 03/19/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/20/freedom-in-a-time-of-madness Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p><i>"The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances."</i> &#8212; Ex parte Milligan, U.S. Supreme Court (1866)</p> <p>During the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln thought it expedient to silence those in the northern states who challenged his wartime decisions by incarcerating them in military prisons in the name of public safety, he was rebuked by a unanimous Supreme Court. The essence of the rebuke is that no matter the state of difficulties &#8212; whether war or pestilence &#8212; the Constitution protects our natural rights, and its provisions are to be upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 19, 2020</p> 8411b4a93c53f1453fd2135eec67392f Can the Government Restrict Travel to Protect Public Health? for 03/12/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/20/can-the-government-restrict-travel-to-protect-public-health Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The issue of whether government in America can quarantine persons against their will, ostensibly for their own health and that of others with whom they may come in contact, requires a dual analysis &#8212; one of the powers of the federal government and the other of the powers of the states. For constitutional analysis purposes, since local and regional governments derive their powers from the states in which they are located, the analysis of state powers pertains to them as well. </p> <p>We begin our analysis with the observation of the truism that freedom is the default position. The language of the Declaration of Independence, as well as various amendments in the Bill of Rights, unambiguously reflects the views that those who wrote, ratified and amended the Constitution recognized that our rights &#8212; to think, speak, publish, worship, defend ourselves, travel, own property, be left alone &#8212; are natural to our humanity.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 12, 2020</p> 9bd04c07261274d5472c92c2bd26bacf Repeal the Patriot Act for 03/05/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/03/20/repeal-the-patriot-act-a32bb Thu, 05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I have been writing for years about the dangers to human freedom that come from government mass surveillance. The United States was born in a defiant reaction to government surveillance. In the decade preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the villains were the Stamp Act and the Writs of Assistance Act. Today, the villain is the Patriot Act.</p> <p>Here is the backstory.<p>Updated: Thu Mar 05, 2020</p> d6aa77880f196fc3c717a092b3efec02 Punishing the Free Speech of Julian Assange for 02/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/judge-napolitano/02/20/punishing-the-free-speech-of-julian-assange Thu, 27 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><i>"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech."</i> &#8212; First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution</p> <p>In the oral argument of the famous U.S. Supreme Court cases known collectively as the Pentagon Papers Case, the late Justice William O. Douglas asked a government lawyer if the Department of Justice views the "no law" language in the First Amendment to mean literally no law. The setting was an appeal of the Nixon administration's temporarily successful efforts to bar The New York Times and The Washington Post from publishing documents stolen from the Department of Defense by a civilian employee, Daniel Ellsberg.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 27, 2020</p>