An Interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    Brian Doherty | November 15, 2007

    I spoke to Judge Napolitano by phone on November 12, touching on some of the matters that most alarm him these days about America, a nation that has in his estimation become alarmingly close to a nation of sheep.

    reason: Your book contains over 200 pages of alarming stuff (except for the part in the back where, for your readers convenience, you reprint the Declaration of Independence and Constitution), but let’s touch on some specific ills affecting the health of constitutional liberties in America. What, for example, is the “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment that 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Chester Straub invoked, as you discuss in chapter 2?

    Judge Andrew Napolitano: Of course, there is no “special needs exception,” not in case law, not in the Constitution. But it’s an argument that big government makes whenever it feels constrained by the document that created it, namely the Constitution.

    <snip>

    reason: The Patriot Act seems to be a special bete noire of yours. What’s the problem with it?

    Napolitano: The Patriot Act’s two most principle constitutional errors are an assault on the Fourth Amendment, and on the First. It permits federal agents to write their own search warrants [under the name “national security letters”] with no judge having examined evidence and agreed that it’s likely that the person or thing the government wants to search will reveal evidence of a crime.

    Remember that the British government permitted its soldiers to execute self-written search warrants. They called them “writs of assistance,” and they were one of the last straws that caused American colonist to rebel. It’s bitterly ironic that 230 years later a popularly elected government would authorize its own agents to do the same thing that when a monarchy did it, we fought a war of rebellion in reaction—which we won!


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