In his March 1 State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden threatened, in a comment directed to people he termed “Russian oligarchs,” that “we are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts your luxury apartments your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.” Since then, US government agents have been doing just that, seizing Russians’ property wherever it can be found.
Wait a second here. Is that how things are supposed to work in America? What of due process, checks and balances, limited government, and respect for property rights? All of that is apparently out the window in the pursuit of the hate Russia agenda.
There are still Americans who remember how respect for freedom is supposed to operate in America and who are willing to stand up and say “no way” to Biden and his bullies out trashing the US Constitution to seize Russians’ property.
Constitution scholar and Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member Andrew Napolitano is one of those Americans challenging the abusive government action. In a new editorial out this week, Napolitano explains that the seizure frenzy put in motion since the State of the Union address is a terrible violation of restraints placed on the US government under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Bill of Rights.
Watch out, warns Napolitano in his insightful editorial: If Americans permit such abuse, the result is a "disaster for freedom"...
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Some key excerpts from Judge Andrew Napolitano's column below...
I have argued in this column and elsewhere that the Biden administration sanctions imposed on Russian and American persons and businesses are profoundly unconstitutional because they are imposed by executive fiat rather than by legislation and because the sanctions constitute either the seizure of property without a warrant or the taking of property without due process.
When the feds seize a yacht from a person whom they claim may have financed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, they are doing so in direct violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Similarly, when they freeze Russian assets in American banks, they engage in a seizure, and seizures can only constitutionally be done with a search warrant based on probable cause of crime.
As well, when the feds interfere with contract rights by prohibiting compliance with lawful contracts, that, too, implicates due process and can only be done constitutionally after a jury verdict in the government’s favor, at a trial at which the feds have proved fault...
Officials Seizing Russian Yachts Now May Steal Americans' Property in the Future https://t.co/sVbAw47f34— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) April 12, 2022
...As if to run even further away from constitutional norms, a group of legal academics began arguing last week that the property seized from Russians is not really owned by human beings, but by the Russian government. And, this crazy argument goes, since the Russian government is not a person, there is no warrant or due process requirement; therefore, the feds can convert the assets they have seized and frozen to their own use.
To these academics — who reject property ownership as a moral right and exalt government aggression as a moral good — the argument devolves around the meaning of the word “person.” The Fourth and Fifth Amendments protect every “person” and all “people,” not just Americans...
Read the rest of Napolitano’s editorial here.