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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 3, 2008 / 30 Sivan 5768

Decider on the High Court

By David Broder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The most dramatic stories in any field of competitive endeavor are those that recount events that almost never happened. It's the scoreless ballgames that end with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth that linger in the psyches of winners and losers — not the 9-3 walkovers.


So it is in politics and government. Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush gnaws at Democrats because he came so close — a few hundred more votes in Florida or a couple of thousand in New Hampshire, and history would be different.


I've been thinking the past couple of weeks about another close call that converted a seeming loser, a quiet California lawyer, into what may arguably be the single most influential arbiter of domestic policy in the land.


I am talking about Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.


Kennedy is an accident of history. A graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law School, the son of a popular Sacramento lobbyist, he was practicing in that city when, in 1975, California Gov. Ronald Reagan suggested his name to President Jerry Ford for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Kennedy was in his 12th year in a low-profile position there when the resignation of Justice Lewis Powell from the Supreme Court launched a titanic struggle. Reagan, by then president, wanted to move the court to the right and thought he had found the ideal nominee in Judge Robert Bork. But Senate Democrats launched an all-out war against the nomination and — with some help from the argumentative Bork — succeeded in denying him confirmation.


Then came a fight within the administration, with White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker, a supporter of Kennedy, being outmuscled by Attorney General Edwin Meese, who favored another circuit judge, Douglas Ginsburg. But the Ginsburg nomination died quickly when he admitted to having used marijuana.


It was only then — after that implausible scenario — that third-choice Kennedy was called to the White House and introduced by Reagan as his man.


It turned out to be successful beyond Reagan's wildest dreams.


In his almost 21 years on the high court, Kennedy has pursued a generally conservative course, but he has deviated often enough to avoid ideological labeling. In recent years, and especially since the retirement of another moderate conservative, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Kennedy has emerged as the swing vote between well-defined blocs of four confirmed liberals and four staunch conservatives. So often does his vote decide the majority in 5 to 4 decisions that this has been correctly called "the Kennedy court."


Thus, the man who was the compromise choice for the Supreme Court has turned out to be its single most influential member.


What is more remarkable is the fact that he has done so by fulfilling the expectations that Reagan and others had for him from the start. Many presidents have learned to rue their picks for the high court. John Kennedy thought he was getting a liberal in Byron "Whizzer" White. George H.W. Bush thought David Souter would be a conservative. Both were wrong.


But Kennedy was exactly what Reagan thought — "a true conservative" and "a courageous, tough, but fair" jurist.


The 1987 edition of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary went further, describing Kennedy as "courteous, stern on the bench, somewhat conservative, bright, well-prepared, filled with nervous energy, asks many questions, good analytical mind, not afraid to break new ground, open-minded, good business lawyer, hard to peg, an enigma, tends to agonize over opinions."


None of those terms need revision 21 years later.


Because of these traits — and the close balance between the ideological blocs — Kennedy has had more influence on domestic affairs than any member of Congress — and even more than the president. In the term just ended, he wrote the 5 to 4 opinions that limited the death penalty to cases of murder and that granted terrorism suspects access to the federal courts. He was also the swing vote on the decisions that struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and killed the provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law benefiting candidates opposing self-financed millionaires.


In 2006 and 2007, Kennedy played the same central role in cases ranging from military commissions for detainees to gay rights, from abortion to police powers, from environmental regulation to affirmative action.


"There's nowhere else to go," Northwestern law professor Lee Epstein once told The Post. "There is this giant hurdle called Kennedy."


Not bad for a third choice.

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Previously:

07/03/08: One Nation No More? Civics Needs a Boost, but Our Identity Endures
06/30/08: Dumbing Down the Presidency
06/26/08: Voting's Neglected Scandal
06/23/08: Why don't we know what makes Obama tick?
06/19/08: Foreign Policy's Best Hope
06/16/08: Perot, Back On the Charts
06/16/08: The Many Gifts of Tim Russert
06/12/08: Why Hillary played the womyn card
06/08/08: Eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary
06/02/08: Obama in retreat
06/02/08: Reality vs. the Mythmakers
05/29/08: Hamilton Jordan's Message to Obama
05/27/08: Let the Veepstakes Begin
05/19/08: The mental exercise of placing Obama in the Oval Office requires more imagination than did moving Reagan from the silver screen to Pennsylvania Ave.
05/15/08: For Obama, a Lost Moment
05/12/08: The price of delay
05/08/08: Phoniness and inevitability
05/05/08: Winning by destruction: An insider reveals the Hillary game plan
05/01/08: Candidates' high-mindedness is rooted in religiosity; but Hillary and McCain don't have hater as inspiration


© 2008, by WPWG

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