If the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, then it is necessary to take a step back from the transient issues of the day, which so often transfix our capital city, and assess the state of liberty in America. According to two new books, liberty in America has been under a relentless, though often subtle, assault. In Constitutional Chaos, Judge Andrew Napolitano maintains that most Americans take their constitutional rights and liberties for granted and are largely ignorant of how the government breaks its own laws and gets away with it.
In Go Directly to Jail, Cato Institute senior editor Gene Healy shows how the government has been criminalizing more and more citizen conduct. With more than 4,000 federal offenses on the statute books and thousands more buried in the Code of Federal Regulations, Healy points out that there are good reasons to be alarmed by the government’s perfectly “legal” restrictions, investigations, and prosecutions. Please join us for a discussion of these disturbing trends and what might be done about them.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Featuring Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News, and Author, Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws (Nelson Books, 2004); Gene Healy, Senior Editor, Cato Institute, and Editor, Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything (Cato Institute, 2004); and moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice
Andrew Paolo Napolitano is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge. He is a political and legal analyst for Fox News Channel, commenting on legal news and trials. Napolitano started on the channel in 1998.
Napolitano was born in Newark, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Princeton University. He was a founding member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton and Notre Dame Law School. Napolitano sat on the New Jersey bench from 1987 to 1995, becoming the state’s youngest then-sitting Superior Court judge. He also served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law for 11 years. Napolitano resigned his judgeship in 1995 to pursue his writing and television career.
Prior to joining Fox as a news analyst, Napolitano was the presiding judge on the television show, Power of Attorney, in which people brought small-claims disputes to a televised courtroom. Differing from similar formats, the plaintiffs and defendants were represented “pro bono” by famous attorneys. The show ran in syndication during the 2000–2001 season.
From 2006 to 2010, Napolitano co-hosted a talk radio show on Fox News Radio with Brian Kilmeade titled Brian and the Judge.
Napolitano hosted a libertarian talk show called Freedom Watch that aired daily, with new episodes on weekdays, on Fox Business Channel. Frequent guests on Freedom Watch were Congressman Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and Lew Rockwell. Napolitano has called himself the “Ayn Rand of Fox News” and has also promoted the works of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ludwig von Mises on his program. The show originally aired once a week on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm on Fox News’ Strategy Room. On September 14, 2009 it became a show that airs three to four times a week. On June 12, 2010 it debuted as a weekly show on Fox Business. The show was dropped along with several programs in February 2012 when FBN revamped its entire primetime lineup.
Gene Healy is an American political pundit, journalist, and editor. He is a Vice President at the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, as well as a contributing editor to Liberty magazine. He is editor of the book Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything and author of The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power. Healy holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.