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 Sept. 19, 2005 / 15 Elul, 5765

A lifetime job too long for judges

By Mitch Albom

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Anyone who has ever stood at the altar of marriage knows the heart can skip a beat at the words "till death do you part." After all, who knows what might happen? Who knows how you might change in your thinking? Till death do you part is a long time, right?

Which brings us to the Supreme Court. As we watch these silly hearings to confirm John Roberts — and by silly I mean, if the answer to every question is "I can't answer that question," then it's silly — I keep asking myself, why are we appointing these people till death do they part?

After all, if half the couples in this country can't last through a marriage, the most important lifetime commitment, then what makes us think it's a good idea for judges? Oh, sure, back when they were writing the Constitution — which is where this lifetime appointment thing originates — our leaders thought this was a fine idea.

They thought it would ensure that justices weren't beholden to the presidents who appointed them. But how long did men live back then, on average? Forty? By the time a guy was qualified for the Supreme Court, he was already getting the senior discount.

Today Americans are expected to live around 80 years. If you're lucky and take care of yourself, even longer than that.

And Roberts is 50.

IN THE YEAR 2035 . . .

Which means the man we make chief justice today could be there as you have children, and as they have children. Thirty years from now, he still could have his same job. You won't. I won't. He could.

To realize how long this is, consider life 30 years ago: There were no cell phones, no Internet, and we were just getting out of Vietnam. With life moving at such a rapid pace, one can only imagine the issues facing the Supreme Court in 2035.

How could any man or woman stand up to that forecast? The problem with John Roberts isn't that his list of judicial decisions is so short, but that his potential list is so long.

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., grew exasperated with Roberts' vague responses last week and said, at one point, "We are rolling the dice with you, judge."

But wouldn't we be rolling them with anyone as young as him?


So maybe the question we should be asking is: "Does lifetime appointment still make sense?" Maybe we should cap it at 10 or 15 years. Isn't that long enough to have an effect? Isn't that long enough to outlast any president who appoints you? Isn't that long enough to build a body of decisions, without worrying the public that your particular leanings may dominate for decades? And wouldn't that increase the odds that every president would make at least one nomination during his term?

Sure, you'd have to amend the Constitution. And you'd have to apply it to federal judges as well. Then again, given the backlash against judges these days, why would they want the job for life?

Anyhow, it has to be better than the teeth gnashing going on in these hearings. The senators want to know what Roberts thinks. He won't say what he thinks. They want to know where he leans. He won't say where he leans. They want to know how he will look at things. He says he can't say how he will look at things.

It's like the groom declaring, "I don't know if I can honor her or cherish her, but I will explore the precedents set for loving her" and the minister saying, "Good enough, kiss the bride."

We are looking for something in Roberts that we will never find. We are looking for the future. We want to know if the next 30 years will be safe in his hands.

We can't control his hands. We could control the years. Maybe the debate we should be having should be less about the who than the when.

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.

"The Five People You Meet in Heaven"  

A novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it's an answer. Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives