In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 July 1, 2009 / 9 Tamuz 5769

Sotomayor leaves a fan wondering

By Clarence Page

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You'd have to have a heart of stone to feel unsympathetic to Frank Ricci. Like his fellow New Haven firefighters, he studied rigorously for the city's promotion exam to lieutenant or captain rank. As a dyslexic, he had to work extra hard with flash cards and a hired tutor. But the city threw out the test and promoted no one. The reason: Too many of the highest-scoring test takers turned out to be white like Ricci.

Firefighters of all races passed the test, but only white and Hispanic firefighters, no blacks, scored high enough to quality for promotion. City officials figured they'd be sued by African-American firefighters if they promoted based on a test that produced racially skewed results. Instead, the city was sued anyway — by whites and one Hispanic who claimed they were penalized because of their race.

Up to that point, the case of Ricci v. DeStefano sounds like countless other police and firefighter discrimination cases across the country. What makes this one different is its intersection with Judge Sonia Sotomayor, current Supreme Court nominee.

After a federal district court ruled against the white firefighters, so did a three-judge panel that included Sotomayor on the 2nd U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Monday the Supreme Court overturned the lower courts by a slim 5-to-4, saying the city violated federal civil rights law. That upset gives Sotomayor's critics new ammo, although not much.

It's tough to argue that Sotomayor is outside the mainstream. Justice David Souter, the Republican appointee she is nominated to replace, was one of those who voted to uphold her opinion. A majority of judges on the appeals court also voted earlier to reaffirm the judgment.

But, even though I have been a supporter of Sotomayor's nomination, I think her critics make a legitimate point when they complain that she and her appellate court colleagues have not given the nation enough dirt to sift through in the Ricci case. The appellate court decision runs a mere three paragraphs long. Issues as urgent and volatile as minority hiring cry out for than a perfunctory thumbs-up-or-down response.

That's why I am eager to hear Judge Sotomayor face the questions that surely will come up about the Ricci case during her confirmation hearing, which is scheduled to begin July 13. She doesn't have to talk about pending or possible future cases, but I'd like to know more about how she reached that one.

For the moment, we have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's eloquent view. Writing for the court's four liberals, she offers a more complete defense of Sotomayor's stand than Sotomayor and her colleagues did.

As sympathetic as Ricci and the other white firefighters may be, Ginsburg argues, they are not entitled to promotions merely because they scored higher. No one else has been promoted in their place, she notes, and New Haven delayed the promotions for good cause: The fear of being sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It bars hiring tests or other practices that result in a "disparate impact" against minorities, whether that result was intentional or not.

The white firefighters who studied for the exam "understandably attract the court's empathy," Justice Ginsburg said. "But they had no vested right to promotion." Sharp-eared reporters noticed that she used the word "empathy" in reading her opinion from the bench, although her printed dissent said "sympathy." Was that a sly signal of agreement with President Barack Obama's observation that his judicial nominees should have "empathy" for the unfortunate? Only the justice knows.

But let's show empathy some love. There's nothing wrong with judges and justices trying to see the world, however briefly, from the viewpoint of the unfortunate. That includes sympathetic-sounding plaintiffs like Frank Ricci as well as befuddled employers like the city of New Haven. In this case, both sides are looking for guidance and reasonable rules that won't have to be changed in the middle of the game — or after tests are already graded.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the court's 5-4 conservative majority, seems to understand that as he struggles to save Title VII from the likes of Justice Antonin Scalia, who thinks Title VII violates the Constitution's equal-protection clause. The city meant well, Kennedy writes, but it needed stronger evidence of racial unfairness before rejecting its test "solely because the higher scoring candidates were white." This is one of those cases in which "statutes and principles point in different directions," he writes, which compels the Supreme Court to referee.

Maybe that was the problem in Sotomayor's appellate court. They simply didn't have enough of guidance to overturn the lower court, so they punted the New Haven dispute to the Supremes. Whatever Sotomayor's thinking might have been, I am eager to hear her explain it.

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