Da Judge on Civil Liberties


Fox News Channel's Judge Andrew Napolitano, the hardest-hitting civil libertarian on cable, laid into the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 a few days ago in the Baltimore Sun. A taste:

The Patriot Act and its progeny are the most abominable, unconstitutional congressional assaults on personal freedom since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 made it a crime to libel the government. With them, Congress and the president have attempted to legitimize the exchange of liberty for security. In effect, the government says, "Give us your freedoms, and we will protect you." Such a satanic bargain misunderstands the nature of freedom and historically never has worked….

Congress may not read our laws; but it should read our history.

Whole thing here. Napolitano's new book, Constitutional Chaos, is an excellent overview of the various ways government undermines the rule of law, whether the issue is the War on Drugs, asset forfeiture, or the War on Terror.

As I mentioned the other day, he's the subject of an interview in the March issue of Reason–and one more reason to subscribe.