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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 30, 2009 / 9 Menachem-Av 5769

Peering through judicial camouflage

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was never much doubt that Sonia Sotomayor would be confirmed for the Supreme Court. Her inspiring personal biography and her evident legal credentials assured that President Obama's choice would become the first Hispanic and the third woman to join the high court. The 13-6 Senate Judiciary Committee vote earlier this week makes that a certainty.


As good as Americans are entitled to feel about the honors to this meritorious product of a Bronx housing project, no one can be comforted by the spectacle of her journey through the Judiciary Committee. The antiseptic hearings and the near party-line vote illustrate the two great failings of the modern confirmation process.


Ever since a Democratic-controlled Senate rejected President Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 and the Republicans vowed revenge, ideological pressure groups on both ends of the political spectrum have been determined to make each Supreme Court vacancy the prize in their mortal combat.


Most senators in both parties have volunteered or been drafted into the opposing armies. When a Republican president's nominee comes before the Judiciary Committee, Democrats pepper him with hostile questions — and vice versa.


In response, the nominees have become less and less informative, not daring to repeat Bork's mistake of actually arguing for his view of fundamental legal issues. Instead, they have camouflaged themselves in cliches. For John Roberts, en route to the chief justice's chair, it was the claim that he would be as neutral as an umpire calling balls and strikes. For Sotomayor, it was the contention that a judge simply "applies the law." With endless rehearsals of the nominees by the White House and Justice Department aides, the confirmation hearings have become as scripted as most presidential campaign debates.


At least it has seemed so to me. But this week, when I spoke with two of the more thoughtful members of the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., they gave me more reason for optimism.


In separate interviews, they both expressed sympathetic understanding for the witnesses who come before them on their way to the bench. Leahy said, "There are so many issues that senators are interested in, but the nominees can't go into their feelings about them, because they don't want to have to recuse themselves when the issue comes before them in court." Graham agreed. "Senators want to know a lot, but nominees have to protect themselves," he said.


Both said that a partial remedy lies in asking the nominees how they reached their conclusions in past cases or administrative rulings and gauging their approach to the law from their answers. But Leahy conceded, "You're never going to find out exactly what they will do on the bench. You have to have a leap of faith."


Both men said they have learned to exploit their private meetings with nominees in their offices, before formal hearings begin. Leahy said he discerned from his conversation with David Souter, when the retired justice was up for confirmation, that he would be "a typical New Englander, very independent in his judgment. So I voted for him" despite Republican expectations that Souter would be a down-the-line conservative. Leahy was right.


Both these senators decry the growing role of interest groups that lobby on judicial confirmations. Both have defied those pressures, Leahy in voting for Roberts and Graham in being the lone Republican to support Sotomayor in this week's committee vote.


"I pointed out that Roberts was not someone I would have recommended to Bill Clinton or Barack Obama," Leahy said, "but I did not want to see the chief justice of the United States confirmed on a party-line vote."


Graham took the same stance on Sotomayor, saying he expected to disagree with many of her rulings, but gave great deference to Obama's choice because "elections make a difference" and she is "clearly qualified." He said he hoped it would serve as an example to Democrats the next time a Republican president makes a nomination.


If their examples spread, we might avert the ugly partisanship of recent confirmation fights.

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