‘The Bill of Rights is Above My Pay Grade’

by Andrew P. Napolitano

The loss of liberty is at hand.

Every day in America, mayors and governors — not one of whom is constitutionally or lawfully empowered to author laws and assign punishments for their noncompliance — are imposing new standards of behavior that nullify liberty in the name of public safety.

I have been writing about this since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States — about the consequences to personal liberty in a free society that are inevitable when those in whose hands we have reposed the Constitution for safekeeping have failed us. Their failures have also been a violation of law.

Take the governor of New Jersey, for example. In a television interview with my Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson last week, Gov. Philip Murphy uttered the words “the Bill of Rights is above my pay grade.” He then went on to confess that he had not considered the effect of his restrictive executive orders on the Bill of Rights. His orders are similar to those in other states, yet his are — by his own words — born in ignorance.

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