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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 August 9, 2005 / 4 Av, 5765

Faith versus the Constitution: A false conflict

By David Limbaugh


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Meet the Press" featured a debate between Professor Douglas Kmiec and former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo concerning whether Supreme Court nominees should be questioned about their religious beliefs.

Perceptive viewers of the debate could see that the real issue wasn't so much the nominees' religious beliefs but the proper role of the courts under the Constitution.

But first, some context. The reason Tim Russert was even hosting such a debate is that a story has been circulating — based on a column by law professor Jonathan Turley — that Judge Roberts told Sen. Durbin he would have to recuse himself in cases where the Constitution conflicted with his Catholic faith.

I don't believe Roberts made such a statement, though I don't doubt Durbin told Turley he did. In any event, the White House has assured us that if confirmed, Roberts would not allow his faith to conflict with his sworn allegiance to the Constitution.

Such assurance has not satisfied those zealots devoted to purging Christianity from the public square. Some of them are so mindlessly committed to privatizing religion they don't even believe members of the legislative or executive branches should permit their religious beliefs to inform their policy views. But the idea that a faithful Catholic Supreme Court justice might defer to the pope ahead of the Constitution drives them mad.

In fairness, though, I have to agree — as does Justice Antonin Scalia, by the way — that a justice shouldn't let his faith interfere with his duty to uphold the Constitution. My belief is grounded in my respect for the Constitution and the limited role the judiciary is assigned under it: interpreting, not making, law.

The Left's fears over Roberts' Catholic faith, on the other hand, proceed not from their reverence for the Constitution, but chiefly from their violent objection to a particular article of the Catholic faith: that abortion is an egregious sin.

If they believed Roberts were a pro-abortionist, they wouldn't demand his allegiance to the Constitution, as written, because Roe v. Wade's judicial sanctioning of abortion would not have been possible by a Court remotely deferential to the Constitution. Indeed, the Left's loyalty isn't to the Constitution, but to certain policies that have been grafted into it by liberal activist judges who, in the process, have exhibited an abiding disrespect for the document.

If everyone shared the strict constructionists' judicial philosophy, concerns over how a judge's faith might influence his decisions would be moot, because strict constructionists don't make policy.

To demonstrate how this would play out in practice, strict constructionists, irrespective of their personal views on abortion, would conclude there is no federal constitutional right to an abortion and that the legality of abortion should be left to the states. Thus, strict constructionist Supreme Court justices, being effectively neutral on the policy of abortion, would not — on the basis of a mythical constitutional privacy right — vote to invalidate state laws that either legalized or outlawed abortion.

But it is axiomatic that those who don't play by the rules are always suspicious that the other side won't either. Since liberals have routinely exploited the judiciary to implement their policy agenda they fear conservative-oriented judges might do the same. Actually, they're horrified at the prospect that conservative judges might simply reverse precedent established through liberal activism, such as Roe.

Mario Cuomo gave voice to this liberal fear during the debate. Kmiec asserted that Pope John Paul II's admonition to public officials to work legislatively to limit abortion did not apply to judges, because they are not legislators. Cuomo vehemently disputed this, saying, "The law today, as we all know, is Roe against Wade. That was made by judges and it can be overturned by judges. To say that the [pope's] rules that apply to legislators shouldn't apply to judges is, it seems to me, wrong."

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Quite a damning admission by Cuomo. That he so adamantly rejected the legislative-judicial distinction reveals that he fully embraces the idea that courts are a third policymaking branch.

Ironically, it is only nominees of the type Cuomo would prefer — liberal activists — whose faith or lack thereof, might influence their decisions on the bench, because they would not consider themselves strictly relegated to a law-interpreting function.

So perhaps we should suggest to Gov. Cuomo and his ilk that instead of inquiring about the nominee's faith, senators should seek to determine whether he is an activist or strict constructionist. If he's a strict constructionist, his religious and political views should be deemed off limits as irrelevant.

But if he is found to be an activist — liberal or conservative — he should be summarily disqualified because his activism will inevitably conflict with his required oath to uphold the Constitution.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

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