Nowhere else but in Judge Andrew P. Napolitano’s Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Break Its Own Laws can one find such rich examples and multitudinous instances of our own public servants violating the core rights of the American populace as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
It’s enough to outrage even the Kennedys and Kerrys of the world who, dare say, will uncover plenty more fodder to battle this present administration by using Napolitano’s detailing of government’s war against terrorism and ensuing violations against individual rights, as interpreted in chapters 10, 11, and 12.
But to assume one must be a professional politician to appreciate the blunt honesty and refreshing analysis of this work would be folly. This is a book for the masses, a much-needed and timely explanation of just how far we have strayed from our constitutional roots and moreover, how abhorrent we have allowed the actions of our government, based on so-called righteous necessity, to become.
Remember the concept of law applying equally to all?
Janet ‘Miami Method’ Reno
“Janet Reno made a name for herself by prosecuting innocent people so that they could rot in prison for crimes they did not commit,” Napolitano writes. “Reno pioneered the ‘Miami Method’ of prosecuting child sex abuse cases, by manipulating juries instead of presenting any physical evidence√?¬Ę√Ę‚??¬¨ ¬¶.”
Remember the right-to-carry, the 2nd Amendment?
“In the Clinton Administration, overzealous gun-control advocates sought to reduce violence by taking guns away from law-abiding inner-city blacks,” Napolitano argues. “Because such a law smacks of racism, they proposed something slightly more circuitous: a national ban on all firearms in public housing projects.”
The federal ban may have failed, but states capitalized on this idea and implemented separate, similar anti-2nd Amendment laws, Napolitano says.
What about 4th Amendment protections against unwarranted searches and seizures–remember those?
“The FBI suspected Nicodemo Scarfo. . . of masterminding a loan sharking and gambling operation in New Jersey and raided his office in January 1999,” Napolitano details. “The agents copied the contents of Scarfo’s computer hard drive, but were not able to read a single file. Scarfo had installed an encryption program. . . .”
Undeterred, the FBI agents sought permission from a U.S. magistrate to break into Scarfo’s office “as many times as necessary” to install technology on the computer that would record each keystroke. Predictably, the FBI got their man–and while the law-abiding likely cheered, Napolitano opines differently.
“Clearly, the FBI violated Scarfo’s Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an illegal — though judicially authorized — search and seizure of his computer. The FBI’s key logging is primarily unconstitutional because it is a secret means for the FBI to monitor every single activity that Scarfo conducted on his computer.”
Not many will stomach the idea that the son of a jailed mob boss deserves the same 4th Amendment protections as, say, the son of a senator on Capitol Hill, but so it is, and so it should be, else the entire constitutional system crumbles, Napolitano insists. Sadly, here’s where the book’s potential for eliciting change will likely stall: Napolitano is only one of a handful of legal scholars left in America who truly believes in this narrow path of moral governance.
Napolitano the man, best known perhaps for his astute commentary on Fox News, seems of another day and age, when legislation stemmed from common sense application of this nation’s ruling document, when A plus B equaled C. By contrast, today’s norm is that A plus B does equal C, but it can also equal D or E, or even sometimes D and E, and F and G to boot, depending on the varying special circumstances with interest in solving the equation.
So here’s the scenario readers will face upon completion of this book.
Reading Napolitano’s work is akin to listening to the likes of former presidential contender and strict constitutional interpreter Alan Keyes speak: You believe deeply in the words then go home and happily vote for humanity and arts funding increases because, well darn it all, creative opportunity is crucial to the healthy development of this nation’s children.
Napolitano’s sober book explains why it doesn’t have to be that way.
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