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December 2, 2014

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

Supreme Court to decide if some civil rights era protections still relevant

By Michael Doyle






JewishWorldReview.com |

W ASHINGTON— (MCT) The Justice Department stayed silent when Indiana and Washington state strengthened their voter identification rules. But when Georgia and Texas lawmakers wanted to do the same, they needed federal approval.

Now, this different treatment for different states will face a make-or-break test at the Supreme Court. In a potentially landmark case, justices on Wednesday will consider whether it's time to dismantle a key plank of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act.

"This case presents questions that cut to the very core of our democracy," said Caroline Frederickson, president of the liberal-leaning American Constitution Society.


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Passed when state-sanctioned racism was at its most insidious, the Voting Rights Act contains multiple elements designed to root out discriminatory practices. The entire law, originally spanning 19 sections, is not at risk of repeal in the case being heard Wednesday. Instead, the case arising out of Shelby County, Ala., centers primarily on two muscular sections that happen to have the biggest reach, and that the county is challenging.

The tool is called preclearance. Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, designated states and jurisdictions must secure Justice Department approval before they change any voting practice or procedure. This can cover everything from buying new voting machines and closing polling places, to requiring photo IDs and shifting district boundaries.

A related section provides the formula for determining which political jurisdictions must meet the preclearance requirements.

Nine states are currently covered in their entirety: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. Selected jurisdictions of an additional seven states are also covered, including parts of California, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York and South Dakota. The law, though revised several times since 1965, still pegs preclearance coverage in part to voting turnout or registration in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 elections.

"The question is whether Congress needs to update this, so that if you're going to treat states differently, then you are going to need current evidence," said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.

In addressing this question, the court will be measuring the preclearance rules against the 15th Amendment's declaration that Congress can take "appropriate" measures to enforce equal voting rights. As often happens, the meaning of "appropriate" is in the eye of the beholder.

The case also pits states against one another, sometimes surprisingly. South Carolina and Georgia joined two other states in a brief supporting Shelby County. Texas and Alaska added their own, similar briefs.

On the other side, North Carolina and Mississippi joined California and New York in urging the court to retain the current law, saying in a legal brief that "the substantial benefits of the preclearance process have outweighed its burdens."

The preclearance process is extensive.

Each year, meeting what Severino dubbed a "Mother may I?" obligation, states and localities submit between 4,000 and 6,000 preclearance requests to the Justice Department. Especially in the past, the process rooted out questionable maneuvers.

In 2001, for instance, federal officials objected when the all-white council of Kilmichael, Miss., tried to cancel an election shortly after African-Americans became a town majority. Instead, in a special election, voters subsequently elected four African-American candidates.

"The Voting Rights Act remains a necessary vehicle to protect the most fundamental right we have in this democracy," said Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., who helped rewrite the law in 2006.

Lawmakers in 1965 originally described preclearance as a temporary measure, saying in the official 1965 House of Representatives report that they expected that preclearance "would no longer be needed" by 1970. Nonetheless, preclearance has been extended in five consecutive rewrites of the law. The 2006 rewrite extends it for an additional 25 years.

"Congress saw substantial evidence of continuing discrimination," NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund attorney Debo Adegbile said Friday. "The remedy is clearly necessary. It's strong medicine for a strong problem."

Supporters of the law further stress that covered jurisdictions can bail out — avoid its demands — if they can show there was no voting discrimination in the prior 10 years. One hundred and ninety jurisdictions have bailed out so far.

Everyone agrees there's been progress. In 1965, fewer than 20 percent of eligible African-American residents of Alabama were registered to vote. There were no African-Americans in the state legislature. Voting registration has skyrocketed since, and African-American members now account for about a quarter of the state legislature.

"Nothing in the record suggests that covered jurisdictions remain engaged in the pervasive voting discrimination and electoral gamesmanship that once made case-by-base adjudication of constitutional violations a futile enterprise and spurred Congress to act," Shelby County's attorney, Bert Rein, wrote in a brief. "Current conditions cannot justify preclearance."

The Shelby County challenge is following a 2009 challenge raised by a small Austin, Texas-area utilities district. Though the court in 2009 left the Voting Rights Act intact, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., in words that now read like a foreshadowing, warned that preclearance's days might be numbered.

"The statute's coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old," Roberts wrote, "and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions."

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© 2013, McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by MCT Information Services

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