Judge Andrew Napolitano

The point here is terrifying. If the government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, how can it do things to us to which we have not consented? And when it does these things -- like send a drone over your back yard to learn who is coming to your Saturday barbeque or to see what fertilizer you are using in your vegetable garden or to take a peek into your living room or bedroom -- and when the laws the government has written prevent our elected representatives from telling us what it is doing, we are at the doorsteps of tyranny. The government gave Paul the distinct impression that it was afraid of our exercise of our personal freedoms, and thus it needs to watch us as we do so. This is the same government whose stated principal purpose is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and thus personal freedom.

What has become of the Jeffersonian value of the primacy of the individual over the government in a free society? How have we lost the American value that the government works for us, and we don't work for the government? What remains of the constitutionally guaranteed right to be left alone?

The answer to these questions goes to the nature of human freedom and personal courage. Freedom lies in our hearts, but to survive, it must do more than just lie there. Its essence is the exercise of unfettered choices, and the unfettered choices we make address our perpetual yearning for truth. This is a natural process that -- just like the muscles in our bodies -- will atrophy if unused.

So, when the government scares us into the disuse of freedom, we have only ourselves to blame when Big Brother comes calling. And when he does come, on his face there will be no smile.


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.