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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 15, 2011 / 19 Kislev, 5772

The Government as Lawbreaker, Again

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Can Congress make legal something that is inherently wrong, and can Congress take a freedom that is a part of our humanity and make its exercise criminal?

If there were no First Amendment, would we still have the freedom of speech? The answer, like many in the law, depends on what values underlie the legal system. If the government is the source of our rights, then without the First Amendment's guarantees of free speech, any government could legally punish you for saying words and expressing thoughts it hated or feared; and it could even silence you before you spoke.

On the other hand, if our rights come from our humanity and our humanity is a gift from God, then we would still enjoy the freedom of speech, whether it is insulated from government interference by the First Amendment or not. The wording of the First Amendment itself gives us a peek at what its authors thought. They wrote: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." It doesn't say that Congress shall grant freedom of speech; rather, it prohibits Congress from interfering with it. And by referring to free speech as the freedom of speech, the drafters recognized that the freedom of speech already existed before the country that they were founding even came to be.

The same founders who drafted the First Amendment also accepted Thomas Jefferson's values articulated in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our "Creator with certain inalienable rights, (and) that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It is clear beyond serious dispute from just scratching the surface of history that wedded to this country at its birth is the Judeo-Christian concept of the natural law. The natural law is the self-evident truth that our rights come from our humanity; that we have them by virtue of our mortal existence; that they do not depend upon government for their existence; that they do not vary as a consequence of where we are now or where our mothers were when we were born; and thus we remain fully endowed of these rights so long as we live, wherever we go. If you believe that we are the present result not of a supreme being, but of natural selection, you can accept as the founders did that humanity — and not government — is the repository of freedom.



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I suspect that most people accept the natural law. We have even seen people in the government claim to accept it. Yet almost as soon as they take the oath to uphold these values, they start rejecting them. In the Patriot Act, for example, Congress made it a crime to reveal that the feds came calling on you with a search warrant in which a federal agent authorized himself to search records that you might have. This, of course, not only violates the Fourth Amendment, which stipulates that only judges may authorize searches, but it also violates the First Amendment because it punishes speech.

This week, Congress is wrestling with more proposals that violate the natural law. One of our fundamental natural rights is the right to be free from government restraint, absent a proven case of criminal behavior. This, too, was articulated by the framers when they wrote in the Fifth Amendment: "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." This recognizes the right to be free from restraint by the government, unless the government, utilizing due process, can make a case against you. That means a fair trial in your presence, with lawyers defending you and jurors deciding your case under the guidance of a neutral judge.

Yet, your representatives in Congress are about to authorize the president to violate your natural rights by enacting legislation that would permit him to use the military to arrest Americans and restrain them without due process. Even King George III, against whose armies the colonists fought for freedom, did not have the power to do that. And, just because Congress votes to make these acts of tyranny legal does not mean they are constitutional. The Constitution is a higher law than anything Congress can write; and all that Congress writes must conform to it.

Since the Constitution was written to keep the government from violating our natural rights, what can you do when the very government we have hired to protect those rights is violating them? If you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, you can vote for the only Republican candidate running for president who believes that the Constitution means what it says. You know who he is.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Your comments are appreciated. Please send them by clicking here.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the Senior Judicial Analyst at Fox News Channel and anchor of "FreedomWatch" on Fox Business Network.



Previously:


12/08/11 What if our rights didn't come from the Almighty or from our humanity, but from the government?
12/01/11 Can Congress Steal Your Constitutional Freedoms?
11/24/11 What if the Constitution No Longer Applied?
11/17/11 Congress and Secrecy
11/10/11 Does the Government Work for Us, or Do We Work for the Government?
11/03/11 Look at What the Government Has Done with Your Money
10/27/11 What Have the Wars Done for You?
10/20/11 Is Freedom in America a Myth or a Reality?


© 2011, ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

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