I normally don’t read books by Fox News commentators, but I saw Judge Andrew Napolitano interviewed by Ralph Nader on CSPAN Book TV and was interested in his principled advocacy of strict constructionism. So I read his book The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land. He takes us through the history of the successful attempts to get around the requirements of the Constitution by legislative, executive, and judicial actions starting with the presidency of George Washington. The Constitution is primarily a document which serves to prohibit government from abridging the freedoms of the people, and to a lesser extent, forbidding the federal government from encroaching on the sovereignty of the states. Governments being what they are, their tendency is to desire to be unfettered in doing what they want, even if it is for a good cause, and thereby the need arises to find ways of getting around these constitutional hindrances.
He makes severe criticisms of presidents such as Lincoln, which is something we rarely see in this country. In his view, states do have a right to secede, and Lincoln should have let them do so. He thinks that slavery would soon have disappeared anyway, as it did almost everywhere else, and likely many if not all the secessionist states would have returned. Sometimes I also think that might have been better, even if they had not returned to the union.
He considers FDR to be the chief anti-constitutionalist up until George W. Bush, for whom he saves his greatest condemnation for having essentially done away with the 4th Amendment through the misnamed USA Patriot Act. It was interesting to learn that the FBI is not just using their ability to write their own warrants in terrorism cases, but also in drug cases and others. They can search people’s library records, medical files, financial records, etc., without a judge ever issuing a single warrant and it is furthermore against the law for the bank, library, or physician who is served with the warrant to tell anyone at all that this has been done.
I’d often advise people in debt to think about a debt management plan over something like bankrupcty as there’s no obligation to remortgage and release equity in your house.
Not only has Obama ruled out trials for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of that gang for the treason they committed in violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution, but he signed a one year extension of the Patriot Act in February, 2010.