Andrew Napolitano, Historian



26 thoughts on “Andrew Napolitano, Historian

  1. jfepperson May 2, 2014 / 10:37 am

    Thanks for the offering, but I just had lunch and I’d prefer not to soil my computer at work with such drivel. Given the man’s background, I can guess at the general tenor of his remarks. Also their accuracy.

  2. Pamela DiVanna May 2, 2014 / 11:10 am

    Oh paleese. Lincoln and Davis used the same tactics to safeguard their governments.

  3. Betty Giragosian May 2, 2014 / 1:05 pm

    Ditto, Ms. DiVanna. The Judge is a brilliant constitutional lawyer as well. He tells the story as it was and you all cannot stand it. “Given the man’s background,” What does that mean?

    • Jimmy Dick May 2, 2014 / 3:36 pm

      Brilliant? He gets ridiculed all the time for what he says because it is not true. The guy invents his history to suit his beliefs. That is not brilliant. That is a man lying in order to get people to believe what he wants them to believe. He makes money by lying to people. If he told the truth he wouldn’t be on FOX. He caters to a certain demographic who wants their beliefs to be perceived as the truth when in fact they are not.

    • Christopher Shelley May 2, 2014 / 11:22 pm

      They mean he’s a hack: he works for Fox, and he has an agenda. And that Libertarian agenda has nothing to do with good history. He’s wrong on so many points here, I lost track; but if you like, I will take this video apart for you and show you just how wrong he is. I’m certain a dozen people here could do the same.

    • Pamela DiVanna May 3, 2014 / 3:05 pm

      This lawyer skews history. If we just put down dates and events the story tells itself. I’m not getting into the “you people” argument.
      Peace Ms. Betty.

    • John Foskett May 4, 2014 / 7:54 am

      Betty: What are your qualifications to evaluate him as a “brilliant constitutional lawyer”? Please list for me his significant decisions interpreting constitutional law (keeping in mind that he was a state trial court judge who ordinarily would only be dealing with the procedural rights of criminal defendants – a limited subject with which any graduate of an accredited law school will be familiar). Please also list for me any law review articles or treatises which he has authored in this area (as opposed to cranking out books on his own which mix his slanted version of history with his libertarian philosophy). Just because he’s a lawyer and you agree with his political views doesn’t make him a “brilliant constitutional lawyer”. See, for example, his analogy of the Patent Law to the Alien and Sedition Acts.

  4. neukomment May 2, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    Pure unadulterated bull manure.. …and he obviously has not read very much of what Lincoln himself actually wrote and said… Funny how folks have no idea of Lincoln as the protector of the “state’s rights” of the FREE states to be and remain “free states”…

  5. John Foskett May 2, 2014 / 1:49 pm

    This is the same joker who challenges the validity of the US Government owning land which it bought from Mexico in 1848 for $1.5 million in the Treaty. He argues that the Government should “give it back”. To whom? Care to wager on whether he thinks that means, um, Mexico? This guy was actually a judge, a position in which logical reasoning is supposed to be a BFOQ. “That’s disconcerting”.

  6. Roger D. Bridges May 2, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    How did this guy get a law degree and a license? I guess it only proves lawyers make poor historians, but this guy reaches a new low. It is impossible to argue with such ignorance.

  7. Sandi Saunders May 2, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    This revisionist and one-sided “history” is often presented but it is just more of the same apologist and anti-government propaganda we have had since before the Civil War. It is no wonder that modern secessionists cling to the Confederacy, but presenting this stuff as history is truly dangerous in much the same way.

  8. Al Mackey May 2, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    I just watched this video and in my opinion it is the product of a lying scum. His claim that Lincoln committed treason is only one of the stupid, farcical claims in this video.

    • Betty Giragosian May 3, 2014 / 1:43 am

      My goodness, let me leave this page, I have not read such hate since the reading some of the posts on one of the heritage not hate, or is the reverse, sites. Have you people ever read what you write?

      • Al Mackey May 3, 2014 / 9:27 am

        Not only did I read what I wrote, but I carefully considered it before I wrote it and I stand by every word. People who lie about the history of my country are low, and Napolitano lied from beginning to end. In my opinion, he is scum.

      • Jimmy Dick May 3, 2014 / 10:05 am

        Do you? You’re the one that seems to think Napolitano is right. He is dead wrong and the facts support that. How can he be telling it like it is when it never was to begin with?

        • Pamela DiVanna May 3, 2014 / 2:50 pm

          I think Napoli tano is very smart. Too smart not to realize the south fired on federals, that both presidents suspended the writ, that both had drafts and riots….and a lot more. He probably wants this notoriety, how else could he gain this attention.

          • Betty Giragosian May 3, 2014 / 4:04 pm

            No thank you Christopher. We are worlds apart and I prefer to keep it that way. I have heard enough

  9. Michael Rodgers May 3, 2014 / 6:25 am

    “The Civil War, usually described as a war over slavery, was really fought in part over the question of whether the Southern states had the right to nullify anti-slavery laws and tariffs passed by the Northern-dominated federal government.” 1:03 -1:24 in the Napolitano video.

    What Northern-dominated federal government? What anti-slavery laws? What tariffs?

    The slave states had more federal power than the free states because the slave population counted as 3/5 for apportionment. The slave states got the Fugitive Slave Law passed by the federal government, and that law was a huge expansion of the federal government encroaching into the free states.
    “[There] are constitutional relations between the slave and free States which are degrading to the latter. We are under legal obligations to catch and return their runaway slaves to them: a sort of dirty, disagreeable job, which, I believe, as a general rule, the slaveholders will not perform for one another. Then again, in the control of the government — the management of the partnership affairs — they have greatly the advantage of us.. … This principle [slaves don’t get to vote but are counted as 3/5 a voter for apportionment], in the aggregate, gives the slave States in the present Congress twenty additional representatives, being seven more than the whole majority by which they passed the Nebraska [Kansas-Nebraska Act implicitly repealing the Missouri compromise] bill.” -Lincoln speech at Peoria, October 16, 1854.

    The truth is that the secessionist leaders in several slave states, led by example by South Carolina, wanted to be part of a slaveholding empire where no states were free states. Lincoln warned of this in his house divided speech: “Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South. Have we no tendency to the latter condition? (June 16, 1858). He went on in that speech to describe how Douglas’ arguments might lead to a “Supreme Court decision declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a State to exclude slavery from its limits.”

    The house-divided phrasing Lincoln used was (is) often used, in a deliberately-missing-the-point way, by secessionists and their supporters (even now) to declare that Lincoln intended to, upon election to the Presidency, abolish slavery in the Southern states. In his famous Address at Cooper Institute (February 27, 1860) Lincoln said, “In all our [Republican] platforms and speeches we have constantly protested [avowed] our purpose to let them [slave states] alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them. These natural and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right.”

    Regarding tariffs, James Loewen in his 5 myths (February 26, 2011) wrote, “Tariffs were not an issue in 1860, and Southern states said nothing about them. Why would they? Southerners had written the tariff of 1857, under which the nation was functioning. Its rates were lower than at any point since 1816.” (The rest of Loewen’s article is very good also.) Additionally on tariffs, see Al Mackey’s post which references Andy Hall’s graphic.

    Thus, the federal government was not Northern-dominated. there were no anti-slavery laws, and tariffs were not an issue. The issue was slavery. Lincoln called slavery wrong. South Carolina said that Lincoln was “hostile to slavery.” South Carolina and several other states declared secession in hopes of being part of a new empire based on white slaveholders of black slaves. The secession commissioners traveled around for this purpose and the CSA was formed with slavery as the cornerstone.

    The Confederate soldiers fought because there was a war. They didn’t fight before the war. They stopped fighting when the war ended. Same for the Union soldiers. We can honor all the soldiers for doing the duty they saw fit to do based on the geographic, economic, and cultural situation they were in. The war itself was about slavery and occurred because, as Lincoln explained in his Second Inaugural Address, “Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.” Lincoln’s closing to that address is a call to all Americans then and now. All of us ought “to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

    • Christopher Shelley May 3, 2014 / 10:43 am


      I’ve said this before, but it surprises me that Confederate sympathizers and Libertarians refuse to read Lincoln’s speeches and take him at his word. The only ever take his words out of context when they take them at all.

    • Pamela DiVanna May 3, 2014 / 2:55 pm


  10. Charles Lovejoy May 3, 2014 / 11:05 am

    I view neither Lincoln or Davis as the Christ or Anti-Christ. Just as politicians that took on the mantel of secession and civil war. I am also always cynical of politicians, all of them. I often quote one of my favorites on the subject, Niccolo Machiavelli. ” Politics have no relation to morals.” and yes I anger people with that quite. Far as the war and saving the union I give most credit to Grant not a politician.

  11. jfepperson May 3, 2014 / 3:13 pm

    I seem to have made the right decision …

    • Roger E Watson May 4, 2014 / 8:16 am

      You only have to hear him mangle history once to know not to do it again !

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