From community police departments to the NSA, government spying is so endemic today that it is almost the new normal. Yet government spying is not normal to the Constitution, writes Andrew Napolitano. Its essence—government fishing nets, the indiscriminate deployment of government resources to see what they can bring in, government interference with personal privacy without suspicion or probable cause—was rejected by the Framers and remains expressly rejected by the Fourth Amendment today.
For our liberty to survive in this fearful post-9/11 world, the government's lawless behavior must be rejected not just by the words of dead people but by the deeds of we the living, Napolitano argues. When the president violates the Constitution and the Congress and courts do nothing to stop him, we have effectively amended the Constitution with a wink and a nod—by consent, if you will. Its guarantees of liberty are only guarantees if the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping honor them as guarantees and behave as such.