Judge Andrew Napolitano Discusses the History of Civil Liberty Violations in Americaby Stephen Littau
Judge Andrew Napolitano gave a speech for Reason Magazine in Washington D.C. in October of last year on the history of Constitutional infidelity. Virtually every president from George Washington to George W. Bush has broken his oath of office to defend the Constitution. President John Adams, the nation’s second president, was the first president who tried (and succeeded for a time) in curtailing free speech rights with the Alien and Sedition Acts. These blatantly unconstitutional laws made it a crime for anyone to publicly criticize members of congress, the president, or his cabinet. Interestingly, there was no prohibition for criticizing the vice president, who happened to be Adams’ political rival – Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was adamantly opposed to the acts and allowed them to expire whenever he became president.
Since John Adams, there have been many, many other Constitutional violations from all three branches of government which continue to this day. Much has been said in recent years about how President George W. Bush has trampled on the Constitution by passing such laws as the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act. Of the 43 presidents of the U.S., where does George W. Bush rank when it comes to violating the Constitution?
George W. Bush has shown less fidelity to the Constitution than any president since Abraham Lincoln.
Worse than Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, or Richard Nixon? Now that’s a bold statement! Whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, or Mike Huckabee as our next president, one thing seems to be certain: our civil liberties protected by our constitution will be further compromised. It’s really only a question of to what degree they will be compromised.