Yesterday, Glenn Beck announced his plans to leave his blockbuster Fox News show. So who’ll take his coveted 5 p.m. weekday time slot? If Beck gets a vote, he’s cast it for the host of Fox Business’ “Freedom Watch,” Judge Andrew Napolitano.
So who is Napolitano, besides the owner of a handsome head of hair? For starters, he’s a pretty hardline libertarian, which makes him a bit of an odd duck at the Fox News family (which might explain his being relegated to Fox Business). Admirably, Napolitano doesn’t shuffle back to the party line when his pro-Constitution stances line up with those of progressives. For instance, he’s defended the Fourteenth Amendment from recent attacks by anti-immigration legislators—while still engaging in a bit of fearmongering. Think Progress flagged an August 2010 exchange on his show:
NAPOLITANO: The law has been upheld uniformly since 1868 and without exception. And we start with a couple of basics. The Congress cannot change the constitution of the 14th amendment on its own. It takes 2/3 of each house of Congress and 3/4 of the states to change the amendment. […] so this is nothing but political chatter by those who are concerned understandably by problems at the border. […] I can’t imagine that there’d be a consensus to change the 14th amendment. […]
HEMMER: But if the [Birthright Citizenship Act] were carried out, you had 100 co-sponsors about a year ago, it would require at least one parent to be a US citizen for a baby to become an american citizen at birth. If you were to enact the BCA as some refer to it, is that a way to get around the 14th amendment, and get done what people like John Cornyn, and John Kyl and John Mccain, and we heard John Boehner are trying to do.
NAPOLITANO: No! That would not be a a way around it. There is no way to get around the 14th amendment. These people took an oath to uphold the Constitution whether they agree with it or not! All of it not part of it! The Supreme Court has said you cannot take privileges or benefits away from a child because of a crime committed by the parent. Therefore everybody born here is an American citizen, no matter what their parents’ status was at their birth.
Napolitano has also called for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be tried for authorizing torture and for unwarranted spying. And back in 2009, before the beer summit, he unequivocally declared that Harvard professor Skip Gates’ rights were violated by Cambridge police.
Lest you think Beck’s getting soft, however, Napolitano also loves comparing Obama to Mussolini. And he advocates for a (literal?) return to the gold standard, along with other policy proposals once relegated to Geocities pages. He also says things I won’t attempt to fit into a Venn diagram, like this morning, when he criticized Ronald Reagan… for being too soft on welfare recipients.
If Napolitano doesn’t snag the 5 p.m. slot, who will? At Salon, Alex Pareene names some candidates; from his list, I’d keep an eye on Megyn Kelly, who never met a racebaiting argument she didn’t like.