Opinion Judge Andrew Napolitano: Donald Trump and the rule of law
Trump rolls back pollution rules for drilling on US lands
The Trump administration has rolled back an Obama-era rule meant to curb climate-changing pollution caused by huge volumes of natural gas that escapes after being drilled from U.S. lands. The move cancels a 2016 rule adopted under President Barack Obama that forced energy companies to capture methane, a key contributor to climate change. The replacement rule does not have the same mandates for companies to reduce gas pollution.It comes a week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed weakening a similar rule for emissions from public and private lands.
Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Last week, The New York Times published a scathing critique of Donald Trump -- the man and the president. The Times said the critique was written by a senior Trump administration official who insisted on remaining unnamed. This bitter and harsh editorial, which portrays the president as dangerous to the health of the republic and his White House as slouching toward dysfunctionality, has understandably infuriated him.
Trump says doesn't mind if Kavanaugh vote delayed to allow accuser to be heard
President Donald Trump said on Monday it was okay with him if the Senate confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is briefly delayed to allow a woman accusing him of sexual assault to be heard."If it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay," Trump told reporters in the White House Roosevelt Room.
Trump first accused the Times and its unnamed writer of treason, and then he publicly asked for a Department of Justice investigation to find the writer. Then, to change the subject, he threatened to declassify documents submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2016 -- before he was president -- that he believes were used to commence the Robert Mueller-led investigation of his presidential campaign.
I am deeply disappointed that the president uttered the word "treason." This is wrong under the law and a dangerous charge to make. The Times op-ed is protected political speech and personal opinion. Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution, thereby preventing Congress and the courts from changing its meaning. It consists only of either waging war against the United States or any of the states or providing aid and comfort to those who are waging such a war.
Judge rules against professor who wants to bring his gun to campus
Hey, Mizzou law professor, for now you have to leave your gun at home. Circuit Court Judge Jeff Harris this week ruled against University of Missouri law professor Royce Barondes, who challenged the school's rule prohibiting concealed guns on campus - even if they're locked in a personal car. Missouri's concealed gun statute allows state employees to keep a licensed firearm out of sight and locked away in their vehicles while they're parked on state property. But the university prohibits guns on campus, "except in regularly approved programs or by university agents or employees in the line of duty.
The president should know that it is nearly impossible to commit treason by expressing an opinion. Even calling for a Nazi victory over the U.S. during World War II -- as hateful and harmful as such speech was -- constituted protected speech and was hardly treasonous.
Preventing a repeat of the long, sordid, barbaric history of treason prosecutions by British monarchs for the expressions of political, personal or trivial opinions about the Crown or the government (Henry VIII once ordered that it was treasonous to make eye contact with him in public, absent his overt invitation) is the basis for its strict constitutional definition.
The DOJ investigates criminal acts, not workplace disputes or government leaks of unclassified materials. Had the unnamed Times writer revealed classified materials, there would be a basis for a DOJ investigation, but the president's torment cannot form the basis for one. However, that does not bar the president's lawyers from conducting their own investigation, as the president is surely entitled to senior administration officials who share his goals, confidence and secrets.
Trump says Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh is "under assault"
The president is appearing to grow impatient with the delay of his appointee's confirmation proceedings."Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay," Trump said in a Twitter post.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act needs more than exposure; it needs extinction. I have been arguing for 40 years that FISA is unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of everyone in the U.S., and it establishes firmly that personal privacy may be pierced by the government only when it has demonstrated to a judge the existence of probable cause of a crime.
Probable cause requires a demonstration under oath that piercing the privacy of a target would more likely than not produce evidence of a crime. And the search warrants signed by judges must "particularly describ(e) the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
FISA established a lesser standard for piercing personal privacy -- probable cause of communicating with a foreign person (originally an agent of a foreign government, now just any foreign person). That standard -- though unconstitutional -- is obviously easier to achieve than probable cause of a crime.
As well, FISA warrants, many of which permit the bearer to look at and seize vast data, unleash the bearer without particularly describing the places to be searched or the persons or things to be seized. One FISA warrant I saw authorized telephone surveillance of all Verizon customers -- all 115 million of them -- without naming any.
Mark Judge tells Senate he 'has no memory of alleged' incident with Kavanaugh
Mark Judge has no memory of the alleged sexual assault committed by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, he said in a letter Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her in the early 1980s, and said Judge was also in the room. Judge denied the incident and his lawyer said he has no plans to speak publicly. "I have no memory of this alleged incident," Judge states in the letter sent by his lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder. "Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter.
FISA is not only unconstitutional because of its defiance of the Fourth Amendment but also extraconstitutional, because it sets up governmental procedures and even a government court that operate outside the Constitution.
Because it is so much easier to get a FISA search warrant than it is to get a search warrant based on probable cause, many FBI agents cannot resist the temptation to portray their mission as an intelligence one rather than a law enforcement one and get a warrant from the FISA court instead of one from a federal court that follows the Fourth Amendment.
FISA court records are so secret that the judges on the court cannot access them. The judges surrender their mobile phones and all writing materials when they enter their courthouse in D.C. and are frisked when they leave. No transcripts of courtroom dialogue are kept.
I have criticized FISA court judges by characterizing them as clerks. Indeed, any court that grants 99.97 percent of warrant applications, that does not require probable cause of criminal activity as a basis for a warrant and that does not comply with the specificity requirements of the Fourth Amendment is not a court of thinking, liberty-protecting judges faithful to the Constitution. It is a gaggle of clerks.
Much of what the FISA court sees is raw intelligence -- transcripts of conversations and personal data such as health, legal and financial records intercepted by intelligence agents. In some cases, the court sees boring nonsense. In some cases, it sees data that agents have risked their lives to obtain.
The president needs to know that the revelation of raw intelligence data -- which would be portrayed in the media as being revealed for personal or political gain -- would strike at the heart of the work of some in the intelligence community and that they might strike back.
The president also needs to be reminded of his oath to uphold the Constitution -- which includes the rule of law. The United States is the freest and most prosperous country in history. But without the rule of law and its respect for constitutional fidelity, personal liberty, private property and legal norms, the U.S. would be just a beautiful piece of real estate.
Trump directs FBI to declassify information related to Russia investigation .
President Donald Trump has directed the FBI to immediately declassify additional information related to the investigation into possible election meddling by Russia, the White House said on Monday. He has also directed the Justice Department to publicly release text messages relating to the Russia investigation without redaction from former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as well as other former and current Justice Department officials, including recently fired FBI agent Peter Strzok who has come under fire for sending texts disparaging Trump as a presidential candidate.
Napolitano: Manafort, prosecutors and the rule of law
Judge Napolitano's Chambers: Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why it was no surprise special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Paul Manafort but why a ...
Judge Napolitano - Can Obama Change Laws & Refuse to Enforce Laws he does not like?
Judge Andrew Napolitano discusses the SCOTUS case, United States v Texas, regarding Obama issuing Executive Orders that, in effect, allow him to Legislate ...