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 Jan. 22, 2007 / 3 Shevat, 5767

Judges and politics

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Wondering,

It was wholly a pleasure to receive your thoughtful inquiry in response to my opinion — it might even be called my obsession — about the danger of judges taking part in political debate. Judges can be sly about it: Some take political stands while claiming to be only discussing the general philosophy of the law.

But where, you ask, does philosophizing end and politicking begin? Granted, the border between politics and law has always been hazy. So where would I suggest we draw the line, you want to know. What's a judge to do when asked to give a lecture or address a civic group? How far can he go when the subject of politics arises? Good questions.

My answer: Judges would be well advised to indulge in as little political comment as decently possible.

Here's what I'd advise their honors: Stock up on inoffensive platitudes, and distribute them generously. Learn to be only ceremonial in public discourse rather than colorful or provocative or "interesting," no matter how clever or eloquent a judge may think he is. Cultivate dullness. Aim for the banal. Any speech by a judge should be like the perfect gentleman's tie: forgettable. Leave the flashy comments to newspaper columnists; in exchange we'll promise not to lay down the law.

It was said of Dwight Eisenhower that as president he would go through his speechwriters' drafts and strike every memorable phrase. It drove them crazy, but Ike realized he was more than a politician; he was a head of state. He was president of all the people, not just his own partisans.

It takes a wise man to keep his wisdom hidden. The country was full of intellectuals during the Eisenhower years who dismissed the 33rd president of the United States as that golfer in the White House. Years later they'd scratch their heads trying to figure out why he'd been such a successful president.

Like presidents, judges need to remember that they represent not only themselves but the impartial rule of law. They shouldn't be speaking out of school or, in their case, out of the courtroom.

But who would want a blanket prohibition against judges' speaking or writing off the bench? Think of all that would be lost, including the splendid speeches, essays, and lectures of the well-named Learned Hand. ("The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is right.")

Judgment is all in these matters, both on and off the bench. Which figures, since what we're discussing is the proper behavior of judges.

There is no way to codify propriety; the best we can do is lay down some general rules of etiquette. As in other matters, the right choice of words and actions may depend on the context. To use a judicial — and judicious — phrase, circumstances alter cases.

A nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, should be able to make his judicial philosophy sufficiently clear, but not too clear — or he will run the risk of prejudging the legal controversies awaiting him.

It can be done. See the discreet Senate testimony of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Contrast their answers to some of the showier questions put to them by their inquisitors.

There may be no clear answer to your question about where to draw the line when it comes to public statements by members of the judiciary, but examples abound, good and bad:

Clarence Thomas, another associate justice of the high court, has long recognized silence as a judge's best friend. He's been something of a model of judicial restraint on and off the bench.

Then there are the examples to beware — like Antonin Scalia, who had to recuse himself from at least one important case because he got carried away on the speaking platform.

The worst offender — there's considerable competition for that dubious distinction — may be His Honor Stephen Breyer, who's written an entire, windy book that reads like "The Orthodox Liberal's Guide to Interpreting, Expounding and Elucidating the Constitution of the United States." Here's proof in writing that a judge can be dull and still step over the line.

Here in Arkansas, we've got a judge on the Court of Appeals (the Hon. Wendell Griffen) who isn't at all dull. Unfortunately. Judge Griffen may never have met a political topic on which he couldn't deliver a real stemwinder of a speech.

How do we tell when a judge has gone too far in his comments off the bench? Usually no one has to tell us; it's evident as soon as the ill-considered words are said. As an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Potter Stewart, once said about pornography, we know it when we see it. Or hear it.

Inky Wretch

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