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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 April 4, 2014 / 4 Nissan, 5774

The First Amendment Is Such a Nuisance

By Rich Lowry




JewishWorldReview.com | Every time the Supreme Court rules in favor of the First Amendment in a campaign-finance case, the left recoils in disgust.

The court's 5-4 decision in McCutcheon v. FEC is the latest occasion for the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. The court struck down the limit on the aggregate amount a donor can give to candidates and political party committees, an arbitrary restriction it ruled incompatible with First Amendment protections for political expression.

In unison, the left pronounced itself outraged. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — who had $11 million in his campaign treasury as of December 2013 — despite being a senator for life, called the decision "another step on the road to ruination."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has enough of a fundraising surplus that he was able to buy tens of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry for his donors from his granddaughter, resorted to a thunderous non sequitur in denouncing the decision: "All it does is take away people's rights because, as you know, the Koch brothers are trying to buy America."

The First Amendment is for strippers, flag burners, pornographers, funeral protesters and neo-Nazis, but not for people trying to give money to political parties or candidates. They are a suspect class, marked out as a threat to democracy because they want to participate in democracy.

In his decision for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that contributing to a candidate is political participation just like volunteering for a campaign or urging others to vote. As such, it is an exercise of the right to political speech and association.

"Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some," Roberts writes, "but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects."

The decision in McCutcheon should have been a slam-dunk. Campaign-finance law limits how much a single donor can give in an election cycle to $5,200 for a federal candidate ($2,600 for the primary and $2,600 for the general), and $64,800 for a party committee.

The court let these so-called base limits stand on grounds that under the landmark Buckley v. Valeo decision, direct contributions to candidates hold the greatest possibility for creating corruption (the wisdom of these limits is an issue for another day).

But if you accept the base limits, the aggregate limits on the total anyone can give to candidates in a single cycle ($48,600) and to party committees and PACs in a single cycle ($74,600) make no sense. By the logic of the law, if a contribution to one candidate of $5,200 or less is not corrupting, there should be no fear that a donor giving a couple of dozen candidates that amount will be corrupting. Each of the candidates is receiving the proscribed amount or less.

Once a donor has hit the aggregate limit, though, it functions as an outright ban on further donations to candidates or parties — even though these individual donations aren't corrupting. This is an impingement of his or her political rights without any possible upside of preventing graft. In other words, it is obviously a violation of the First Amendment.

The critics of the decision object to it partly on egalitarian grounds: Very few donors have the resources to contribute enough to bump up against the aggregate limits, therefore the decision is "unfair." It gives disproportionate influence to a few people.

A free political system always has such disparities, though. Should Thomas Paine have been silenced, since his incredible rhetorical powers made him so much more influential than other pamphleteers at the time, let alone ordinary people? Should The New York Times be shuttered since it exercises more power over the political process than almost anyone else in New York?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) natters on about the decision creating an "oligarchic form of society." Of course, as a member of the most self-regarding body in all of American politics, Sanders has more influence than almost everyone in Burlington, Vt., combined. He could remedy this inequality by resigning his seat tomorrow — but no, he insists on retaining his exalted place in the American ruling class.

At the root of the left's opposition to McCutcheon, and Citizens United before it, is that it reduces governmental control over the political process. That control is taken, ipso facto, to be a good thing.

If the First Amendment gets in the way, so much the worse for the First Amendment. Remember: The position of the Obama administration in oral arguments over Citizens United was that the government could ban books printed by corporations. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, has proposed amending the First Amendment to give the government more latitude to limit political expression.

In his decision, Roberts writes "that the First Amendment 'is designed and intended to remove governmental restraints' from the arena of public discussion, putting the decision as to what views should be voiced largely into the hands of each of us." For those lamenting the decision, that is precisely the problem.

Rich Lowry Archives

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© 2014 King Features Syndicate

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