Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano

More Holes in the Fourth Amendment

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, May 2, 2013

Here they go again. The Obama administration has asked its allies in Congress to introduce legislation that would permit the feds to continue their march through the Fourth Amendment when it comes to obtaining private information about all of us.

The Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right to be left alone, was written largely in response to legislation Parliament enacted in the colonial era that permitted British soldiers to write their own search warrants and then use those warrants as a legal basis to enter private homes. The ostensible purpose of doing that was to search through the colonists’ papers looking for stamps, which the Stamp Act required the colonists to affix to all documents in their possession. The laws that permitted the soldier-written search warrants and the Stamp Act were the British government’s fatal political mistakes, which arguably caused a major shift in colonial opinion toward secession from Britain 10 years before the bloody part of the Revolution began.

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Boston and Freedom

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, April 25, 2013

The government’s fidelity to the Constitution is never more tested than in a time of crisis. The urge to do something — or to appear to be doing something — is nearly irresistible to those whom we have employed to protect our freedom and to keep us safe. Regrettably, with each passing violent crisis — Waco, Oklahoma City, Columbine, 9/11, Newtown and now the Boston Marathon — our personal freedoms continue to slip away, and the government itself remains the chief engine of that slippage.

The American people made a pact with the devil in the weeks and months following 9/11 when they bought the Bush-era argument that by surrendering liberty they could buy safety. But that type of pact has never enhanced either liberty or safety, and its fruits are always bitter.

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Taxation Is Theft

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, April 18, 2013

With a tax code that exceeds 72,000 pages in length and consumes more than six billion person hours per year to determine taxpayers’ taxable income, with an IRS that has become a feared law unto itself, and with a government that continues to extract more wealth from every taxpaying American every year, is it any wonder that April 15th is a day of dread in America? Social Security taxes and income taxes have dogged us all since their institution during the last century, and few politicians have been willing to address these ploys for what they are: theft.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry caused a firestorm among big-government types during the Republican presidential primaries last year when he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. He was right. It’s been a scam from its inception, and it’s still a scam today.

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Drones, Guns and the President

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, April 11, 2013

Does the government work for us, or do we work for the government? How can the president claim the lawful power to kill whomever he wishes and at the same time ask Congress to incapacitate our ability to defend ourselves against those who might seek to kill us?

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul struck a raw nerve in the weak underbelly of the Obama administration last month with his 13-hour filibuster. Paul was furious — as every American should be — that the president refused to admit that he does not possess the lawful authority to kill Americans with drones. The senator used the confirmation hearings of now CIA Director John Brennan as a forum in which to articulate the principled constitutional argument that whenever the government wants the life, liberty or property of anyone, it can only obtain that via due process.

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When the Government Goes Bankrupt

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, April 4, 2013

What happens when the government goes bankrupt? This question is one that sounds like a hypothetical exercise in a law school classroom from just a few years ago, where it might have been met with some derision. But today, it is a realistic and terrifying inquiry that many who have financial relationships with governments in America will need to make, and it will be answered with the gnashing of teeth.

Earlier this week, a federal judge accepted the bankruptcy petition of Stockton, Calif., a city of about 300,000 residents northeast of San Francisco, over the objections of those who had loaned money to the city. The lenders — called bondholders — and their insurers saw this coming when the city stopped paying interest on their loans — called bonds. In this connection, a bond is a loan made to a municipality, which pays the lender tax-free interest and returns the principal when it is due. Institutional lenders usually obtain insurance, which guarantees the repayment but puts the insurance carrier on the hook.

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Hope for the Dead

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, March 28, 2013

What does freedom have to do with rising from the dead?

When America was in its infancy and struggling to find a culture and frustrated at governance from Great Britain, the word most frequently uttered in speeches and pamphlets and letters was not safety or taxes or peace; it was freedom.

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No More Asking for Permission To Speak

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, March 21, 2013

In 1798, when John Adams was president of the United States, the feds enacted four pieces of legislation called the Alien and Sedition Acts. One of these laws made it a federal crime to publish any false, scandalous or malicious writing — even if true — about the president or the federal government, notwithstanding the guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment.

The feds used these laws to torment their adversaries in the press and even successfully prosecuted a congressman who heavily criticized the president. Then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson vowed that if he became president, these abominable laws would expire. He did, and they did, but this became a lesson for future generations: The guarantees of personal freedom in the Constitution are only as valuable and reliable as is the fidelity to the Constitution of those to whom we have entrusted it for safekeeping.

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What if Nanny Is a Thug?

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, March 14, 2013

What if a dictator in America used the force of law to tell you what to eat? What if the same dictator told you what to drink? What if the dictator told you the sizes of the containers in which you could purchase a lawful beverage? What if the dictator just made up the rules according to his own personal taste? What if the product he regulated was lawful, sold nearly everywhere and consumed by nearly everyone? What if that product came in flavors and degrees of sweetness the dictator didn’t like? What if that product was part of a huge national market that provides choices to consumers and jobs for those who want them? What if that product was simple soda pop?

What if the dictator declared that you could consume all the soda pop you wish to consume, but you need to purchase it in small containers? What if the enforcement of this container-size rule raised the price of soda pop? What if the container size was just something the dictator dreamed up? What if the dictator believed his judgment was superior to yours with respect to deciding what you should drink and how you should drink it?

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The Right to Self-Defense

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, March 7, 2013

In all the noise caused by the Obama administration’s direct assault on the right of every person to keep and bear arms, the essence of the issue has been drowned out. The president and his big-government colleagues want you to believe that only the government can keep you free and safe, so to them, the essence of this debate is about obedience to law.

To those who have killed innocents among us, obedience to law is the last of their thoughts. And to those who believe that the Constitution means what it says, the essence of this debate is not about the law; it is about personal liberty in a free society. It is the exercise of this particular personal liberty — the freedom to defend yourself when the police cannot or will not and the freedom to use weapons to repel tyrants if they take over the government — that the big-government crowd fears the most.

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Obama’s False Alarms

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, February 28, 2013

In an effort to remove the hot-potato issue of excessive government spending from the 2012 presidential campaign, and calling the bluff of congressional Republicans who always seem to favor domestic spending cuts but increased military spending, President Obama suggested the concept of “sequester” in late 2011.

His idea was to reduce the rate of increased spending by 2 percent across the board — on domestic and military spending. To his surprise, the Republicans went along with this. They did so either because they lacked the political fortitude and the political will to designate specifically the unconstitutional and pork barrel federal spending projects to be cut, or because they thought that with the debt of the federal government then approaching $15 trillion (it is now $16.6 trillion and growing), any reductions in spending money the government doesn’t have are preferred to no reductions. So, instead of enacting a budget, and instead of recognizing that much of its spending is simply not authorized by the Constitution, Congress enacted the so-called sequester legislation, and the president signed it into law.

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Benedict the Brave

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, February 21, 2013

When Jesus established the papacy, the gospels report that he told St. Peter: “Amen I say to you: You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” These words are emblazoned in Latin across the front of St. Peter’s Basilica. St. Peter’s successors have incorporated his name to describe their work, the Petrine ministry, and refer to themselves as Papa Petrus.

But the Petrine ministry is more than work. And being Papa Petrus is not a job; it is a calling in which a man has been chosen by the direct descendants of the 12 apostles as agents of God to be the Vicar of Christ on Earth. One becomes the pope not as one becomes the president, but as one becomes a Catholic priest or the father of a child. The papacy, like ordination and fatherhood, is a life-changing and irreversible imprint — and hence, my sadness at the abdication of Benedict XVI. It shook my soul to the core.

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Obama’s Secret Court for Killing

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, February 14, 2013

President Obama willingly admits he dispatched CIA agents to kill an American and his teenage son and the son’s American friend while they were in a desert in Yemen in 2011. He says he did so because the adult had encouraged folks to wage war on the United States and the children were just “collateral damage.” He says further that he’ll do this again when he is convinced that killing Americans will keep America safe. He says he knows the adult encouraged evil, and his encouragement caused the deaths of innocents. The adult was never charged with a crime or indicted by a grand jury; he was just targeted for death by the president himself and executed by a CIA drone.

International law and the law of war, to both of which the U.S. is bound by treaty, as well as federal law and the Judeo-Christian values that underlie the Declaration of Independence (which guarantees the right to live) and the Constitution (which permits governmental interference with that right only after a congressional declaration of war or individual due process) all provide that the certainty of the identity of a human target, the sincerity of the wish for his death, the perception of his guilt and imminent danger are insufficient to justify the government’s use of lethal force against him. The president may only lawfully kill after due process, in self-defense or under a declaration of war.

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Obama Gives Himself Permission To Kill

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, February 7, 2013

After stonewalling for more than a year federal judges and ordinary citizens who sought the revelation of its secret legal research justifying the presidential use of drones to kill persons overseas — even Americans — claiming the research was so sensitive and so secret that it could not be revealed without serious consequences, the government sent a summary of its legal memos to an NBC newsroom earlier this week.

This revelation will come as a great surprise, and not a little annoyance, to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon, who heard many hours of oral argument during which the government predicted gloom and doom if its legal research were subjected to public scrutiny. She very reluctantly agreed with the feds, but told them she felt caught in “a veritable Catch-22,” because the feds have created “a thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

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Immigration and Freedom

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, January 31, 2013

As President Obama and Congress grapple for prominence in the debate over immigration, both have lost sight of the true nature of the issue at hand.

The issue the politicians and bureaucrats would rather avoid is the natural law. The natural law is a term used to refer to human rights that all persons possess by virtue of our humanity. These rights encompass areas of human behavior where individuals are sovereign and thus need no permission from the government before making choices in those areas. Truly, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, only God is sovereign — meaning He is the source of His own power.

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Guns and the President

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, January 24, 2013

Here is an uncomfortable pop quiz: Who has killed more children, Adam Lanza or Barack Obama? We’ll hold off on the answer for a few paragraphs while we look at the state of governmental excess — including killing — in America. But you can probably guess the correct answer from the manner in which I have posed the question.

We all know that the sheet anchor of our liberties is the Declaration of Independence. The president himself quoted Thomas Jefferson’s most famous line in his inaugural address earlier this week. He recognized that all men and women are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Guns and the Government

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, January 17, 2013

If you have listened to President Obama and Vice President Biden talk about guns in the past month, you have heard them express a decided commitment to use the powers of the federal government to maintain safety in the United States. You also have heard congressional voices from politicians in both parties condemning violence and promising to do something about it. This sounds very caring and inside the wheelhouse of what we hire and pay the federal government to do.

But it is clearly unconstitutional.

When the Founders created the American republic, they did so by inducing constitutional conventions in each of the original 13 states to ratify the new Constitution. The idea they presented, and the thesis accepted by those ratifying conventions, was that the states are sovereign; they derive their powers from the people who live there. The purpose of the Constitution was to create a federal government of limited powers — powers that had been delegated to it by the states. The opening line of the Constitution contains a serious typographical error: “We the People” should read “We the States.” As President Ronald Reagan reminded us in his first inaugural address, the states created the federal government and not the other way around.

Notwithstanding the Constitution’s typo, the states delegated only 16 unique, discrete powers to the new federal government, and all of those powers concern nationhood. The Constitution authorizes the feds to regulate in areas of national defense, foreign affairs, keeping interstate commerce regular, establishing a post office, protecting patents and artistic creations, and keeping the nation free. The areas of health, safety, welfare and morality were not delegated to the feds and were retained by the States.

How do we know that? We know it from the language in the Constitution itself and from the records of the debates in the state ratifying conventions. The small-government types, who warned at these conventions that the Constitution was creating a behemoth central government not unlike the one in Great Britain from which they had all just seceded, were assured that the unique separation of powers between the states and the new limited federal government would guarantee that power could not become concentrated in the central government.

It was articulated even by the big-government types in the late 18th century — such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton — as well as by the small-government types — such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison — that the new government was limited to the powers delegated to it by the states and the states retained the governmental powers that they did not delegate away. At Jefferson’s insistence, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to keep the new government from interfering with natural rights such as speech, worship, self-defense, privacy and property rights, and the 10th Amendment was included to assure that the Constitution itself would proclaim affirmatively that the powers not delegated to the feds were retained by the states or the people.

The Supreme Court has ruled consistently and countless times that the “police power,” that is, the power to regulate for health, safety, welfare and morality, continues to be reposed in the states, and that there is no federal police power. All of this is consistent with the philosophical principle of “subsidiarity,” famously articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas argued that the problems that are closest to the people needing government intervention should be addressed by the government closest to those people. Its corollary is that all governmental intervention should be the minimum needed.

Now, back to Obama and Biden and their colleagues in the government. If the feds have no legitimate role in maintaining safety, why are they getting involved in the current debate over guns? We know that they don’t trust individuals to address their own needs, from food to health to safety, and they think — the Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding — that they know better than we do how to care for ourselves. Obama and Biden and many of their colleagues in government are the same folks who gave us Obamacare, with its mandates, invasions of privacy, increased costs and federal regulation of health care. They call themselves progressives, as they believe that the federal government possesses unlimited powers and can do whatever those who run it want it to do, except that which is expressly prohibited.

This brings us back to guns. The Constitution expressly prohibits all governments from infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This permits us to defend ourselves when the police can’t or won’t, and it permits a residue of firepower in the hands of the people with which to stop any tyrant who might try to infringe upon our natural rights, and it will give second thoughts to anyone thinking about tyranny.

The country is ablaze with passionate debate about guns, and the government is determined to do something about it. Debate over public policy is good for freedom. But the progressives want to use the debate to justify the coercive power of the government to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding folks because of what some crazies among us have done. We must not permit this to happen.

The whole purpose of the Constitution is to insulate personal freedom from the lust for power of those in government and from the passions of the people who sent them there.

Guns and Freedom

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Friday, January 11, 2013

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny. And yet, the progressives in both political parties stand ready to use the coercive power of the government to interfere with the exercise of that right by law-abiding persons because of the gross abuse of that right by some crazies in our midst.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, he was marrying the nation at its birth to the ancient principles of the natural law that have animated the Judeo-Christian tradition in the West. Those principles have operated as a break on all governments that recognize them by enunciating the concept of natural rights.

As we have been created in the image and likeness of God the Father, we are perfectly free just as He is. Thus, the natural law teaches that our freedoms are pre-political and come from our humanity and not from the government, and as our humanity is ultimately divine in origin, the government, even by majority vote, cannot morally take natural rights away from us. A natural right is an area of individual human behavior — like thought, speech, worship, travel, self-defense, privacy, ownership and use of property, consensual personal intimacy — immune from government interference and for the exercise of which we don’t need the government’s permission.

The essence of humanity is freedom. Government — whether voted in peacefully or thrust upon us by force — is essentially the negation of freedom. Throughout the history of the world, people have achieved freedom when those in power have begrudgingly given it up. From the assassination of Julius Caesar to King John’s forced signing of the Magna Carta, from the English Civil War to the triumph of the allies at the end of World War II, from the fall of Communism to the Arab Spring, governments have permitted so-called nobles and everyday folk to exercise more personal freedom as a result of their demands for it and their fighting for it. This constitutes power permitting liberty.

The American experience was the opposite. Here, each human being is sovereign, as the colonists were after the Revolution. Here, the delegation to the government of some sovereignty — the personal dominion over self — by each American permitted the government to have limited power in order to safeguard the liberties we retained. Stated differently, Americans gave up some limited personal freedom to the new government so it could have the authority and resources to protect the freedoms we retained. Individuals are sovereign in America, not the government. This constitutes liberty permitting power.

But we did not give up any natural rights; rather, we retained them. It is the choice of every individual whether to give them up. Neither our neighbors nor the government can make those choices for us, because we are all without the moral or legal authority to interfere with anyone else’s natural rights. Since the government derives all of its powers from the consent of the governed, and since we each lack the power to interfere with the natural rights of another, how could the government lawfully have that power? It doesn’t. Were this not so, our rights would not be natural; they would be subject to the government’s whims.

To assure that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone here, the Founders incorporated Jefferson’s thesis underlying the Declaration into the Constitution and, with respect to self-defense, into the Second Amendment. As recently as two years ago, the Supreme Court recognized this when it held that the right to keep and bear arms in one’s home is a pre-political individual right that only sovereign Americans can surrender and that the government cannot take from us, absent our individual waiver.

There have been practical historical reasons for the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession of this right. The dictators and monsters of the 20th century — from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad — have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won.

The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision to those of the British government. If the colonists had been limited to crossbows that they had registered with the king’s government in London, while the British troops used gunpowder when they fought us here, George Washington and Jefferson would have been captured and hanged.

We also defeated the king’s soldiers because they didn’t know who among us was armed, because there was no requirement of a permission slip from the government in order to exercise the right to self-defense. (Imagine the howls of protest if permission were required as a precondition to exercising the freedom of speech.) Today, the limitations on the power and precision of the guns we can lawfully own not only violate our natural right to self-defense and our personal sovereignties; they assure that a tyrant can more easily disarm and overcome us.

The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.

Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty. Most people in government believe that the exercise of everyone’s rights is subject to the will of those in the government. Most people in government believe that they can write any law and regulate any behavior, not subject to the natural law, not subject to the sovereignty of individuals, not cognizant of history’s tyrants, but subject only to what they can get away with.

Did you empower the government to impair the freedom of us all because of the mania and terror of a few?

Government Spying Out of Control

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, December 13, 2012

After President Richard Nixon was forced from office in 1974, congressional investigators discovered what they believed was the full extent of his use of the FBI and the CIA to engage in domestic spying. In that pre-digital era, the spying consisted of listening to telephone calls, opening mail, and using undercover agents to infiltrate political organizations and, as we know, break into their offices. Nixon claimed he did this for the protection of national security. He also claimed he was entitled to break the law and violate the Constitution. “If the president does it, that means that it’s not illegal,” he once famously said.

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Republicans for Big Government

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do you know anyone who voted Republican this past election in order to further President Obama’s big government agenda? Or is it more likely that Republican voters sought to advance a smaller version of the federal government? And if they did, why are Republican congressional leaders offering to help the president spend us into oblivion?

I suspected that those questions might be asked when Mitt Romney was nominated to oppose Obama. My view of his campaign then and now has been that he presented a choice to the voters of big government versus bigger government, and bigger government prevailed. Romney argued during the campaign that he was at a disadvantage because the president had distributed federal tax dollars to persons and groups critical to his re-election. He has since argued that he lost the election because nearly half of Americans — some by chance, some by choice and some by force — are dependent on government for much of their income or subsistence.

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Republicans and Taxes

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, November 29, 2012

When President Obama won re-election last month by a larger margin than even his most fervent supporters had expected, though with fewer popular votes than he received in 2008, most commentators initially opined that not much had changed in Washington. The president would remain in the White House for another four years, the Democrats would keep control of the Senate, and the House would stay in Republican hands. Most Republicans re-elected to both houses of Congress had publicly pledged not to vote to raise taxes under any circumstances. And most of those Republicans have adhered to that promise — until now.

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Silencing General Petraeus

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, November 15, 2012

The evidence that Gen. David Petraeus, formerly the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the author of the current Army field manual, Princeton Ph.D. and, until last week, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was forced to resign from the CIA to silence him is far stronger than is the version of events that the Obama administration has given us.

The government would have us believe that because the FBI confronted Petraeus with his emails showing a pattern of inappropriate personal private behavior, he voluntarily departed his job as the country’s chief spy to avoid embarrassment. The government would also have us believe that the existence of the general’s relationship with Paula Broadwell, an unknown military scholar who wrote a book about him last year, was recently and inadvertently discovered by the FBI while it was conducting an investigation into an alleged threat made by Broadwell to another woman. And the government would as well have us believe that the president learned of all this at 5 p.m. on Election Day.

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Four More Years

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, November 8, 2012

Only in America can a president who inherits a deep recession and whose policies have actually made the effects of that recession worse get re-elected. Only in America can a president who wants the bureaucrats who can’t run the Post Office to micromanage the administration of every American’s health care get re-elected. Only in America can a president who kills Americans overseas who have never been charged or convicted of a crime get re-elected. And only in America can a president who borrowed and spent more than $5 trillion in fewer than four years, plans to repay none of it and promises to borrow another $5 trillion in his second term get re-elected.

What’s going on here?

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Should You Vote for President?

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, November 1, 2012

Can you vote by not voting? In a presidential election year in which the critical issues have been how much personal behavior the federal government should regulate and how much private wealth it should transfer and consume, rather than whether it should do so, many folks who are fed up with what George W. Bush and Barack Obama have brought us and fear more of the same from Mitt Romney are seriously suggesting that they will express their profound objection to big government by not voting for anyone for president.

On the other hand, I know many good freedom-loving people who are fed up with big government but view Romney as the lesser of two evils from whom they expect a turn away from the path of government sector growth and private sector shrinkage on which President Obama has taken us.

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Silence on Libya

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, October 25, 2012

The final presidential debate earlier this week was a tailor-made opportunity for Mitt Romney to rip into President Obama’s inconsistent, value-free and at times incoherent foreign policy. And it was also an opportunity for the president to explain his administration’s material misrepresentations on the murders of our ambassador and others in Libya. Instead, we heard silence from both of them on this topic.

One can conclude from this that the president uttered a silent sigh of relief when he dodged a bullet. And one can conclude that Romney wanted to look and sound presidential and emphasize his economic credentials and allay fears that he wants another war. Whatever the gain and whatever the strategy, this matter of American deaths in Libya is of vital importance to American voters.

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Who Is Responsible for the Mess in Libya?

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Friday, October 19, 2012

How many times have you heard the truism that in modern-day America the cover-up is often as troubling as the crime? That is becoming quite apparent in the case of the death of Chris Stevens, the former U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Stevens and three State Department employees were murdered in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month, on September 11th. About an hour before the murders, the ambassador, who usually resides in the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but was visiting local officials and staying at the consulate in Benghazi, had just completed dinner there with a colleague, whom he personally walked to the front gate of the compound. In the next three hours, hundreds of persons assaulted the virtually defenseless compound and set it afire.

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Let Gary Johnson Debate

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, October 11, 2012

President Obama has been a failure. On his watch, the American economy has significantly deteriorated largely because he has stifled free market forces by over-regulating them and because he has laden taxpayers with debt. Those two factors alone — the federal government increasing the cost of doing business by telling businesses from physicians to major industries how to do their work, and the federal government spending trillions it doesn’t have and pushing the debts onto future generations — are enough to sink any economy.

In this arena, Mitt Romney has it half-right. He does understand that only free market forces can produce prosperity, but he fails to see that when the government spends what it doesn’t have, the result is inflation and higher taxes for future generations. Why does the federal government now spend half a trillion a year in debt service? Because every president, Republicans as well as Democrats, from FDR to Obama has borrowed money in order to spend more than he collected and has let future generations deal with repaying the debt. Because the feds do not repay (they merely roll over) their debt, the cost of interest payments has skyrocketed. Romney’s ability to articulate the virtues of the free market and to dance around the issue of debt, while the president nearly fell asleep, are the reasons he did so well in the presidential debate last week.

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Two Failures

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, October 4, 2012

President Obama is a failure as a president, and Gov. Romney is a failure as a candidate.

When he took office, Obama told the press that if he couldn’t cure the economic mess he inherited from President George W. Bush in four years, he wouldn’t deserve a second term. I guess he didn’t anticipate making the mess worse.

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The Arab Spring Becomes a Western Winter

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is the Arab Middle East ready for democracy? We know how the past two American presidents have answered this.

The revised stated purpose behind President George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was to build a new world order by forcing democracy on populations to whom it was truly alien. The original stated purpose for invading Afghanistan was to destroy the folks who provided shelter to the 9/11 attackers, and the original stated purpose for invading Iraq was to rid it of a government that possessed and might use weapons of mass destruction.

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Gov. Romney Was Correct

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, September 20, 2012

As readers of this column and viewers of Fox News Channel may know, I have not hesitated to criticize Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the governor himself. I have argued that his message is muddled and his values are unknown beyond his ardent wish to improve economic conditions through the use of free market mechanisms rather than central economic planning, a position with which I agree entirely.

I have also maintained that his willingness to abandon, or not to accept, first principles has made these questions reasonable: If Romney is elected president, which Romney will show up for work on Jan. 20, 2013? Will it be the Romney who ran to the left of Ted Kennedy in 1994, the Romney who governed Massachusetts as Mario Cuomo governed New York, or the Romney who now claims to be a “severe” (his word) conservative? Will it be the Romney who spent the entire presidential primary season assuring conservative Republican primary voters that he’ll dismantle Obamacare on “Day One” (his phrase), or the Romney who told reporters last week that he approves of a limited federal role in managing health care? Or will it be the Romney who, when caught by the press saying something not intended for public consumption but demonstrably true, sticks to his guns?

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What If November Changes Nothing?

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, September 13, 2012

What if the principal parties’ candidates for president really agree more than they disagree?

What if they both support the authority of the federal government to spy on Americans without search warrants? What if they both support confining foreigners, uncharged and untried, in Guantanamo Bay? What if they both believe the president can arrest without charge and confine without trial any American he hates or fears?

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Abortion and Rape

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, August 23, 2012

The criticisms of the recent absurd comments by Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin, who at this writing is his party’s nominee to take on incumbent Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November in a contest he had been expected to win, have focused on his clearly erroneous understanding of the human female anatomy. In a now infamous statement, in which he used the bizarre and unheard-of phrase “legitimate rape,” the congressman gave the impression that some rapes of women are not mentally or seriously resisted. This is an antediluvian and misogynistic myth for which there is no basis in fact and which has been soundly and justly condemned.

Akin also stated that the female anatomy can resist unwanted impregnation. This, too, is absurd, offensive and incorrect. Medical science has established conclusively that women cannot internally block an unwanted union of egg and sperm, no matter the relationship between male and female. I think even schoolchildren understand that.

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November’s Choices

by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Thursday, August 16, 2012

We are in terrible straits this presidential election. We have a choice between a president who has posed more of a danger to personal freedom than any in the past 150 years and a Republican team that wants to return to Bush-style big government.

President Barack Obama has begun to show his hand at private fundraisers and in unscripted comments during his campaign. And the essence of his revelations is dark. His vision of a shared prosperity should frighten everyone who believes in freedom, because it is obvious that the president doesn’t. He believes the federal government somehow possesses power from some source other than the Constitution that enables it to take from the rich and give to the poor. He calls this “a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared,” and he declared, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

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