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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 May 6, 2009 12 Iyar 5769

‘Empathy‘ versus law, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is not the kind of justice who would have been appointed under President Barack Obama's criterion of "empathy" for certain groups.


Like most people, Justice Holmes had empathy for some and antipathy for others, but his votes on the Supreme Court often went against those for whom he had empathy and for those for whom he had antipathy. As Holmes himself put it: "I loathed most of the things in favor of which I decided."


After voting in favor of Benjamin Gitlow in the 1925 case of Gitlow v. People of New York, Holmes said in a letter to a friend that he had just voted for "the right of an ass to drool about proletarian dictatorship." Similarly, in the case of Abrams v. United States, Holmes' dissenting opinion in favor of the appellants characterized the views of those appellants as "a creed which I believe to be the creed of ignorance and immaturity."


By the same token, Justice Holmes did not let his sympathies with some people determine his votes on the High Court. As a young man, Holmes had dropped out of Harvard to go fight in the Civil War because he opposed slavery. In later years, he expressed his dislike of the minstrel shows that were popular at the time "because they seem to belittle the race."


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When there were outcries against the prosecution of Sacco and Vanzetti in the 1920s, Holmes said in a letter, "I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black. A thousand-fold worse cases of negroes come up from time to time, but the world does not worry over them."


Yet when two black attorneys appeared before the Supreme Court, Holmes wrote in another letter to a friend that he had to "write a decision against a very thorough and really well expressed argument by two colored men"— an argument "that even in intonation was better than, I should say, the majority of white discourses that we hear."


Holmes understood that a Supreme Court justice was not there to favor some people or even to prescribe what was best for society. He had a very clear sense of what the role of a judge was— and wasn't.


Justice Holmes saw his job to be "to see that the game is played according to the rules whether I like them or not."


That was because the law existed for the citizens, not for lawyers or judges, and the citizen had to know what the rules were, in order to obey them.


He said: "Men should know the rules by which the game is played. Doubt as to the value of some of those rules is no sufficient reason why they should not be followed by the courts." Legislators existed to change the law.


After a lunch with Judge Learned Hand, as Holmes was departing in a carriage to return to work, Judge Hand said to him: "Do justice, sir. Do justice."


Holmes had the carriage stopped. "That is not my job," he said. "My job is to apply the law."


Holmes wrote that he did not "think it desirable that the judges should undertake to renovate the law." If the law needed changing, that was what the democratic process was for. Indeed, that was what the separation of powers in legislative, executive and judicial branches by the Constitution of the United States was for.


"The criterion of constitutionality," he said, "is not whether we believe the law to be for the public good." That was for other people to decide. For judges, he said: "When we know what the source of the law has said it shall be, our authority is at an end."


One of Holmes' judicial opinions ended: "I am not at liberty to consider the justice of the Act."


Some have tried to depict Justice Holmes as someone who saw no need for morality in the law. On the contrary, he said: "The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life." But a society's need to put moral content into its laws did not mean that it was the judge's job to second-guess the moral choices made by others who were authorized to make such choices.


Justice Holmes understood the difference between the rule of law and the rule of lawyers and judges.

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