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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 26, 2010 / 12 Iyar, 5770

My Last Goodwin Liu Column — I Really Hope

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When now-Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito faced a Senate confirmation vote in 2006, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had no qualms about rejecting Alito simply because she did not agree with him. "If one is pro-choice in this day and age, in this structure, one can't vote for Judge Alito," Feinstein declared.

Feinstein went even further. When Republicans argued that simple fairness demanded a full floor vote on Alito, Feinstein, like Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., supported the use of the filibuster to prevent it. They tried, but failed to prevent a majority-rules vote.

Now that Democrats are in power, judicial philosophy doesn't matter. Before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of UC Berkeley Law Professor Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Feinstein complained to The Chronicle's Bob Egelko that Liu's critics were all "attack, attack, attack," which seemed unfair, as Liu is "exemplary."

So here is the conundrum, in two parts.

Should Democrats, who have happily rejected Republican presidents' judicial nominees on philosophical grounds, complain when Republicans do the same to the Democrats' picks?

The answer is: No, but it's not as if you can stop them. And should Republicans stick to the "let a conservative pick a conservative, and then let the full Senate vote" standard when a liberal is the president and Democrats rule the Senate?

Yes, but that doesn't mean Repubs have to throw rose petals at Liu's feet. The standard I would suggest is a low bar — that the GOP treat Liu better than he treated Alito and now-Chief Justice John Roberts who, Liu argued, were too extreme for the Big Bench.

Liu's criticism of four Alito decisions upholding capital punishment cases — only one of which prevailed — showed that Liu wrongly jumped "to a conclusion of racism," according to Kent Scheidegger of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. Scheidegger believes that if Liu becomes an appellate judge, he would overrule death penalty convictions given any excuse, no matter how far-fetched.

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At the hearing, Liu told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., "I have no opposition to the death penalty. I've never written anything questioning its morality or constitutionality. I would have no problem enforcing the law as written in this area." Liu also admitted that his language on Alito was "perhaps unnecessarily flowery." Flowery?

Conservatives cite a Stanford Law Review article, "Rethinking Constitutional Welfare Rights," to argue Liu may find a court-mandated fundamental right to shelter, subsistence, health care and more. Yet the article — I read it so you don't have to — noted that lawmakers must act first. To wit: "we cannot hope to change our law without first doing the hard work of changing our politics." Good.

Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, who served as Bush's chief ethics lawyer, concluded, "There are real left-wingers in academia. He's not one of them."

Liu recognizes that legislators, not judges, write laws that create entitlement benefits; then in their "interstitial role," courts can identify and interpret criteria — a view Liu calls "conservative." But he leaves open a door to mischief.

In citing areas where the bench "can legitimately foster evolution of welfare rights," he refers to "California's antiquated and inequitable system of school finance." I felt the cold brace of another pricey Ninth-Circuit-Court-acting-as-Sacramento decision.

UC Berkeley Law Professor Jesse Choper told me, "I do believe that he will make an honest attempt to figure out what the circuit (court) precedent or the Supreme Court precedent is."

I buy that. But what happens when the precedent is insufficient? What about the precedents for overturning well-deserved capital sentences, for which the Ninth Circuit is infamous? This may well be a case of right man/wrong court.

As Scheidegger told me, "I am more worried about a nominee like this before the Ninth Circuit than I would be with another circuit. One off-the-wall judge in a circuit (court) generally full of people with good sense doesn't cause that much damage. But a judge added to a court that is already way off in left field can cause considerably more damage."

Now, do the math. Barring a bonehead misstep that that won't happen, Liu has the votes to pass out of the Judiciary Committee, then a Senate floor vote. Only a filibuster can stop him.

Scheidegger argued for the filibuster. "The Republicans have to take the position that they can't unilaterally disarm, as much as they don't like the filibuster," he said. And: "If one side uses it and the other side doesn't, we're going to end up skewing the courts in one direction."

But a filibuster cannot and should not happen. It would take all but one of 41 GOP senators to sustain a filibuster. Too many Republicans have argued passionately against that trick to change course now.

Painter found the filibuster option "really unacceptable. I'm just not willing to say the Republicans should do the same thing. It gets circular, and they (the Democrats) will do it when we want to get our people in."

And the day that the Republicans will want to get their people in may come sooner than expected.

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© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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