Judge Andrew Napolitano

What if our rights didn't come from God or from our humanity, but from the government? What if the government really thinks we're not unique individuals with immortal souls, but just public property? What if we were only entitled to our natural rights if it pleased the government? What if our rights could be stripped away whenever the government considers us to be its enemy?

What if this could all be accomplished with the consent of the people? What if the people's own representatives subverted the Constitution? What if the people were so afraid that they accepted the subversion? What if the government demonizes an external enemy and uses fear of that enemy to suppress our freedoms? What if people are afraid to protest?

What if the government knows this, and thus chooses enemies that are easily demonized, whether they pose real threats or not? What if threats become imminent dangers precisely because the government allowed them to happen? What if government scapegoating of an external enemy is as old as the government itself? What if the government has used scapegoating again and again to scare people into giving up their freedoms voluntarily? What if the government has relied on this to perform the same magical disappearing-freedom act time and again throughout history?

What if the government could lock you up and throw you in jail indefinitely? What if that jail was in Cuba? What if the government has written laws to let it keep you detained forever without letting you see a lawyer or a judge? What if you were just speaking out against the government and it came to silence you? What if the government could declare you its enemy and then kill you? What if your elected representatives did nothing to stop the government from doing this? What if the government claimed that your words made you a warrior, even though there never were any armed hostilities in your neighborhood and you never threatened anyone? What if the government could classify the entire country as a battlefield and, ultimately, a prison? What if the government's goal was to be rid of all who disagreed with it?


Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. He sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995, during which time he presided over 150 jury trials and thousands of motions, sentencings and hearings. He taught constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School for 11 years, and he returned to private practice in 1995. Judge Napolitano began television work in the same year.