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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Jan. 31, 2011 / 27 Shevat, 5771

Where Judicial Activism Morphs into Disregard

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Four times this month, the U.S. Supreme Court has slapped down the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Four times the Big Bench unanimously reversed Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decisions. Unanimous is a big deal. It means that there's no left-right political divide in the Big Bench's findings — just right on the law and wrong on the law.

I take unanimous seriously. When the California Supreme Court issued a ruling last year that stayed a scheduled execution, I feared yet another over-reaching judicial fiat. But then I saw that all the justices were on board. The law had to be unambiguous.

In the instances of the three criminal reversals this month, the Big Bench clearly was sending a message to the Ninth Circuit — particularly to Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who had written the opinions. And the message is: Show some respect for the law.

Followers of the Ninth Circuit are painfully aware of its reputation as an activist court that flouts laws it doesn't like and bulldozes rulings that defy its left-leaning politics. The San Francisco-based judicial district serves as a textbook example of how judges should not behave.

Start with Randy Moore's case. In a plea bargain, Moore pleaded "no contest" to the 1995 Oregon murder of Kenneth Rogers, whom Moore and two confederates had kidnapped and Moore had shot in the head. Moore was facing a possible death sentence. Thanks to the plea deal, he got 25 years and the possibility of parole.

Now, this is a sore spot for me because I don't think courts should even consider the appeal of any plea bargain unless the defendant was severely mistreated. But Moore appealed, and the Ninth seized Moore's plea bargain as proof he was represented by ineffective counsel.

The court's logic was deficient. As Criminal Justice Legal Foundation President Michael Rushford observed, Moore "got a good deal."

But the court was flouting federal law. Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act precisely to prevent federal judges from issuing niggling orders that disregard court convictions and upend state appellate rulings.

In reversing Moore, Justice Anthony Kennedy had to remind the Ninth that its mandate is to follow the law.

Ditto the case of Joshua Richter, who was found guilty in a 1994 murder committed while he and an accomplice robbed a drug dealer. Once again, the Ninth found ineffective counsel.

In affirming the Richter conviction, Justice Kennedy wrote that the writ of habeas corpus stands as a safeguard against wrongful imprisonment. But the law is undermined "if there is judicial disregard for the sound and established principles that inform its proper issuance. That judicial disregard is inherent in" the Ninth's Richter decision.

Rushford found the unsigned "per-curiam" decision most damning because the Big Bench thought that the Ninth Circuit was so wrong that it "didn't even allow oral arguments."

Reinhardt and the majority had ordered the parole of Damon Cooke, who was convicted for attempted first-degree murder after he shot a friend in the head in 1991. The Ninth found that the parole board was wrong to consider the "cruel and callous" nature of the crime and wrong to ignore claims that Cooke was "an exemplary inmate."

The court also ordered the release of Elijah Clay, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 1978, because then-Gov. Gray Davis' refusal to heed a parole board recommendation for release was unreasonable.

Again, the Supremes ruled that federal judges have no dog in this fight: "There is no right under the federal Constitution to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid sentence, and the states are under no duty to offer parole to prisoners."

(In a fourth reversal, this one written by Justice Sonya Sotomayor, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a ruling involving a banking regulation.)

Conservative court watcher John Elwood believes that Justice Kennedy has taken on the task of scolding the Ninth because, "as a Ninth Circuit alumnus," the justice takes the court's battered reputation "a little bit more to heart."

And well he should. There are judges in the Ninth who see the bench as a portfolio to overturn any policy they don't like — and jurisdiction be damned.

In 2009, a three-judge (including Reinhardt) Ninth Circuit panel ordered the release of 40,000 California inmates. Not only did the trio seem to think they had authority reserved for state lawmakers, but also, they issued the pronouncement that the state could release 1 in 4 inmates "without a significant adverse impact on public safety." As if saying so makes it so.

Elwood told me he tries to presume good faith and see the Ninth's decision as part of a simple "disagreement about how you apply the law." I try to do the same, but the Ninth has crossed the line so many times, there's no ink left in that well.

It's odd. When there is an opening on the Supreme Court, the Senate examines in detail whether nominees have the proper respect for past Supreme Court rulings. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is quite particular on that score. But in San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit doesn't seem to care what the U.S. Supreme Court writes. And it's OK.

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© 2011, Creators Syndicate

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