I was impressed by Judge Napolitano’s piece on James Madison and the Constitution (“Governor’s authoritarian orders during pandemic ruled unconstitutional,” Web, Sept. 16). In this case, however, Mr. Napolitano makes a serious error. He writes that the American Revolution was about “the British king because he taxed without representation ” This is simply inaccurate and I would guess that Mr. Napolitano, upon reflection, would agree.
King George had no authority to tax the colonists or anyone else. The power to tax as a result of centuries of hard-fought precedent lay with the English Parliament, not with the king. King George, as head of the armed forces, conducted the Revolutionary War, but the war itself was brought on by Parliament’s efforts to establish dominance over the colonial legislatures. This can be seen in Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence.
The Continental Congress insisted that Jefferson direct his long list of abuses at the king rather than at Parliament simply because it sounded better in an era dominated by the Enlightenment to make the king rather than Parliament the villain. This is not just a historical footnote; it strikes at the fundamental character of the Constitution.
There are not only checks on the president; there are also checks on the powers of Congress. The mainstream media talks endlessly about purported presidential-power abuses and ignores congressional abuses, such as the impeachment charade run as as a kangaroo court. House Speaker Pelosi brags that the impeachment will always be part of President Trump’s record. She seems unaware that it will also be part of her and the House’s record.
Even more damning, however, is the House’s record of facilitating an attempted coup conducted by the FBI and other excutive agencies against a duly elected president. It’s an action unprecedented in American history.