Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Transcript - Judge Andrew Napolitano from Fox Business News, and his latest book was Dangerous to Be Right When the Government is Wrong is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Check out our transcript of Mike's interview with the Judge from today's show as they discuss everything from Mitt Romney and Russia to the the Roger Clemens trial and Rand Paul...
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: To the Dude Maker Hotline. An old, dear friend, Judge Andrew Napolitano is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Judge, it’s been too long, my friend. How are you?
Judge Andrew Napolitano: I’m well, Mike. How are you?
Mike: I’m good.
Judge Napolitano: I could not agree more with what you were just saying about our attitude about Russians and other countries. We can drop drones in Pakistan to kill people we hate and fear, even Americans. Could you imagine if the Castro brothers dropped drones in Miami at people they hated and feared, or the Chinese government dropped drones in Los Angeles at people they hated and feared? Why is it that these laws only seem to work for the United States but they don’t apply to any other countries? This has been driving me crazy for years no.
Mike: This is why you got into broadcasting, right?
Judge Napolitano: Well, it is. I think you and I agree on this, the Democrats have no monopoly on this. The Republicans are just as bad. It’s a big government attitude that we can do whatever we can get away with, that the rule of law does not apply to us. We’ll make our own rules and our own laws. As long as we prevail, we’re okay. We see it in ways like the president decided to rewrite immigration laws. Whatever you think of the beneficence of the law, he can’t rewrite the law any more than he can interpret it in place of the Congress, any more than he can interpret the law in place of the courts. We see the president killing. Is Congress complaining about the killing? No. The Congress is complaining about the fact that somebody revealed that he’s killing. They’re more interested in who did the squealing than who’s doing the killing. That’s driving me crazy, too.
Mike: Well, there are a lot of things that drive both of us crazy. By the by, my friend, there is very little that I disagree with you on.
Judge Napolitano: It’s great to have a fellow traveler that has the big megaphone that you do and the wonderful audience that you do. I’m thrilled to play a small part of it. These are very dangerous times in which we live. Do you see the hot water that Rand Paul is in with his own supporters, his own Facebook people who are against him 50:1 because of his endorsement of Mitt Romney? His father is still on the ballot. He did this two weeks ago. Rand is a friend of mine, as is Ron. On the very day I did something I never had a chance to do before and probably will never again, which is go to my home in New Jersey and vote in the New Jersey primary for Ron Paul for President of the United States, the same day I did that, his son, a senator from Kentucky, is endorsing Mitt Romney. Couldn’t he have at least waited until the primaries were over?
Mike: I have to tell you, Judge, I miss hearing that infectious laughter of yours on the television. Let’s go to something that you have equal expertise in. You’ve been writing about this lately. That is this deployment of all these drones. If we just leave the Constitution out of it for just a moment, let’s just talk about civil liberties. I think you brought this up in the last piece I read that was posted at Washington Times. Why aren’t the American people as alarmed over this as you and I seem to be?
Judge Napolitano: I honestly think that when people are afraid, their natural inclination is to seek safety rather than liberty. I think the government has succeeded, this is going back now to the earliest days of the George W. Bush Administration, in keeping us in a state of perpetual fear. People assume: It can’t happen to me; it’s not going to happen here. Soon it will happen here when we talk about drones. There are about 340 state, county, regional and local police entities in the United States of America that have drones that are waiting for the FAA to give them permission to put them in the skies.
The Air Force, in the memorandum that I quoted in the piece you were kind enough to reference, it’s a memo from the Secretary of the Air Force to civilian and military leaders in the Air Force. It’s a public document. It predicts that in ten years, there will be 30,000 drones in the sky, ostensibly to watch us, but some of them, of course, will also be equipped with offensive weaponry. This will be a great challenge for the courts as to how far they’re going to let the government go. Of course, because this is being done by the Air Force, and because it’s being acknowledged, this is the first time since the Civil War that the American government has deployed the military to spy on Americans and acknowledged it. I’m sure it’s happened since the Civil War, but the government denies it.
In this case, the government admits it, which is also telling. The government wouldn’t admit to something like this unless it was pretty comfortable that there would be no backlash, and there has been no backlash. The title of the piece you’re referring to is called “Where is the Outrage?” Where is the outrage? The president meets on Tuesday mornings, he’s probably doing this as we speak, and goes through a list of people he wants to kill. Then he dispatches either the military or the CIA to kill them, in utter defiance of the Constitution, which requires that either he declare war on a country in order to kill people there, or that these people be within inches of attacking us and he’s allowed to shoot first. You can’t persuade me that a guy in a pickup truck in a desert in Yemen is such an immediate danger to the United States that he has to be blown away with a drone. It turns out he was born in New Mexico and his 16-year-old son, born in Virginia, is with him. This type of killing is outrageously dangerous and it’s going to come back to bite us.
Mike: Judge Andrew Napolitano from Fox Business News, and his latest book was Dangerous to Be Right When the Government is Wrong is on the Dude Maker Hotline with us. Let’s stick on that subject for just a moment, Judge, if we may. There seems to be a few honest liberals left on the planet, one of them Glenn Greenwald writing at Salon.com. Do you find it strange, or is this maybe a re-convergence, of a shared sense of value when it comes to civil liberties, that there are so few what we would call liberals that are alarmed at what you just described that the president is doing?
Judge Napolitano: Let me say at the outset that I love Glenn and I love his work. We don’t agree on everything, but on many things we do. He is one of the fiercest and most effective defenders of civil liberties in the land. He is making the same arguments that you and I have been making: which is worse, that somebody is squealing or that the president is killing? Where are the liberals in the House of Representatives when it comes to the president killing? If George W. Bush had been doing this, and I’m no fan of the Bush Administration. I did not hesitate to attack them. I think the Patriot Act is the worst piece of legislation to pass the Congress since the Alien and Sedition Acts of the 1790’s. If George Bush had killed people, the liberals would be going crazy. I once asked Charlie Rangel, who is a real character, the 20-term congressman from Harlem. He’s a lovable --
Mike: He is a lovable guy.
Judge Napolitano: I said to him, “You don’t want the president to bomb in Cambodia. You don’t want the president to kill whoever he wants. Why aren’t you going crazy over this?” “Well, because we like the president, because we agree with him on a lot of other things. We can’t have a president that agrees with us on everything.” So because you like him on certain domestic things, you’re going to look the other way when he kills people in foreign lands, even if some of those people happen to be Americans? The basic answer to that is yes.
There’s an intellectual dishonesty. I’m not saying Charlie is dishonest. There’s a political dishonesty here among the ruling class in both parties. If it advances their agenda, they don’t care if it violates the Constitution. If it doesn’t advance their agenda, they don’t care if it’s consistent with the Constitution. For them, the Constitution is not the supreme law of the land, it’s just a guideline to be consulted from time to time, even though they’ve all taken an oath to uphold it, to protect it, to preserve it and to defend it.
Mike: I concur. Congressman Rangel certainly is one of the greatest characters that remains in the House of Representatives. You do a pretty good Rangel.
Judge Napolitano: I think that’s how he started to come on my show. When I had the show, he was enamored with us. He’s got a great voice and a wonderful personality. By the way, he’s in the political fight of his life against a young, Hispanic state senator who’s young enough to be Charlie’s grandson. He’s opposing him in the Democratic primary here in New York, which is around Labor Day. It’s neck and neck at this point. This may be the first election Charlie loses or the last one that he wins.
Mike: I have so many questions that I’d like to ask you, Judge Andrew Napolitano, but so little time. Let me get into your former field of expertise. I’m sure that you remain somewhat of an expert there. Does it trouble you or give you cause for alarm as a former wearer of the robe, a wielder of the gavel, a blindfolded jurist in absentia when cases are before you, as a judge in other words, does it give you cause for alarm when you see, hear and even sometimes are asked to participate in the hyperbolic dramatization and incessant prying and media probing and involvement into almost any case of jurisprudence or law that arises today? Whether it’s a nasty divorce or somebody that supposedly did or did not kill someone, whatever the case may be, does this bother you? Do you see a problem here with this?
Judge Napolitano: I’m a little reluctant to second guess other judges. I know, from having been there, that the judge trying a case, let’s say Sandusky, a horrible case, but the judge trying the case knows so much more about the evidence and the law than I could ever know from looking in on the outside. A lot of my colleagues here at Fox, it’s their job to try and get me to second guess people on the bench. It can be unprofessional to do that. I’m not licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. I couldn’t possibly know as much Pennsylvania law as a Pennsylvania judge does. I certainly don’t know as many of the facts as he does. Every once in a while, you have to abstain rather than criticize.
When it comes to value judgments that the Supreme Court makes, I really have not hesitated to weigh in, even though some of the members of the court are personal friends of mine. It’s really my job to enlighten Fox listeners and viewers and illuminate what the court has done. If the court, for example, they’ve got a lot of heavy cases coming down. We have healthcare coming down. We have the Stolen Valor Act coming down. We have the SIEU case, that’s the Service Employees Union, whether or not a union can just unilaterally raise your dues and spend the money on political advertising with which you may disagree. These are profound issues that the court will weigh in on. To all of us sitting here waiting and wondering for the decision, I don’t hesitate to weigh in on that stuff. I have no difficulty doing that. I do have difficulty weighing in on the middle of a trial that I couldn’t possibly know as much as the trial judge does.
Mike: Let me clarify that. It wasn’t so much that you, I was referring more to the layperson, the Nancy Graces of the world, when they weigh in and taint the jury. Is there any cause for alarm, in your estimation?
Judge Napolitano: I don’t think so. I’m going to defer to the First Amendment. As much as I may disagree with Nancy, with her tone, with her technique, and often with her argument, I would defend to the death her right to say what she wants to say. I think jurors are intelligent enough not to be influenced by it. Jurors usually do the right thing. Roger Clemens should not have been prosecuted. John Edwards should not have been prosecuted. The federal government spend over $10 million on those two prosecutions, down the drain and wasted. The juries did the right thing.
Mike: Final question for Judge Andrew Napolitano, kind and gracious enough to spend a little time on the Dude Maker Hotline with us this morning.
Judge Napolitano: Does that make me the dude this morning?
Mike: That makes you the dude. You’re always the dude. Final question, wrap up and sum up our little conversation with a progress report, if you will, on the liberty / libertarian movement. What would you say to those in the trenches out there that are, number one, appalled by what Rand did, even though I have counseled some humility here. Can you just give it a chance to work itself out and see if Rand is actually able to influence the man before you throw him under the bus? With that in mind, give the listeners out there, and there are many of them, hopefully millions, that don’t agree and maybe think we had a chance and we blew it. Do you think the movement is healthy, moving forward, gaining ground, losing ground?
Judge Napolitano: I think the movement is healthy. It’s moving forward. It’s gaining ground. I think it is infused with enthusiasm from young people. I think I might live long enough to see the Republican Party and that movement become as one. Let the big government Republicans go into the Democratic Party from whence many of them came and where most of them belong, and let all those small government people, many of whom support Gary Johnson today, many of whom will hold their noses and vote for Mitt Romney because they believe he is the less bad of two bad choices. Rand is a great human being with a great future. I think that this probably could have been handled a little better, but I don’t think that his values have been neutered or watered down at all. I think he is adjusting to the need to live in the Senate in the Republican Party, but he’s just as protective of freedom and the Constitution as his dad has been. So a little bit of patience and a little bit of time and we’ll take many baby steps and a few big ones forward.
Mike: Dangerous to Be Right When the Government is Wrong, Judge Andrew Napolitano. His latest book is out. Judge, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for stopping by. It means a lot to us. I’m glad we were able to talk.
Judge Napolitano: Thanks for having me, Mike. Have a good one.
Mike: You, too, anytime. That’s Judge Napolitano there for you, ladies and gentlemen.
End Mike Church Show Transcript