Judge Napolitano: How Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom

"The radical change in the relationship of the federal government to individual Americans was ratcheted up greatly in the Progressive Era," argues Judge Andrew Napolitano in his new book, Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.

The first decades of the 20th century saw an assault on individual liberties that was both unconstitutional and unprecedented in American history. From crackdowns on freedom of speech to the seizures of vast swaths of land, Judge Napolitano shows how the policies of two presidents from opposing parties laid the groundwork for a century of ever-expanding federal power.

Judge Napolitano is chief legal analyst for Fox News, a syndicated columnist, and a Reason contributor (read his archive here). He recently sat down with Nick Gillespie to talk about his latest book and discuss the relevance of the Progressive era - a time of prohibition, military expansionism, and vilification of wealth - to today's political struggles.

About 14 minutes. Camera by Anthony Fisher and Jim Epstein. Edited by Todd Krainin.

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  • Nuked||

    We need more people like Judge Napolitano in the Congress and Senate and on the Supreme Court.

  • XM||

    Is it me, or does Judge Napolitano look like a mob boss?

    Why did he lose his job at Fox news?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: XM,

    Is it me, or does Judge Napolitano look like a mob boss?


    Racist!

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Against which race?

  • Nuked||

    uhh umm derp

  • MacKlingon||

    Good interview but, the judge said that the police would be supporters of legalised pot. What happens when they get their layoff letters because they have nothing to keep them busy?

  • Nuked||

    I thought this too. There is a huge government industry built up around catching, prosecuting, and incarcerating drug users.

  • RickC||

    I love da judge but his interview technique . . . well, not good.

  • GroundTruth||

    There remains a faint hope....

  • Spraynerd||

    yeah-i thought the same- cops dont want pot legalized-they receive huge federal dollars to fight the war on drugs and they dont want that spigot closed off anytime soon. (they also like that untraceable drug seizure cash that is never audited)

  • Libertarius||

    I'm glad to see someone finally giving the libertarian stink eye to Teddy Roosevelt. We love to beat up on FDR and Wilson (with unlimited reasons), but "Mr. Trust Buster" was destructive to capitalism and economic freedom. The antitrust laws presume every businessman guilty as soon as he opens his doors.

    Now if only it would become fashionable to bash Benjamin Harrison for signing the Sherman Antitrust Act in the first place...

  • scalexander||

    Don't forget Taft - he did a lot of trust busting in his time, too!

  • John C. Randolph||

    My grandfather spent time in federal prison during world war one for protesting the war. Woodrow was one thoroughly evil son of a bitch.

    -jcr

  • nikea||

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  • chenzhong||

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  • scalexander||

    I typically consider the presidents who damaged liberty the most to be Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush, and Obama. There are loads more, but these are the ones who stick in my mind.

  • scalexander||

    People seem to forget Lincoln ok'd the federal income tax...and suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.

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