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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 May 13, 2005 / 4 Iyar, 5765

Go nuclear

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The routine filibuster of judicial nominees is being portrayed by its defenders as one of the most hallowed traditions of American governance, up there with Robert's Rules of Order, congressional committee hearings and Rose Garden bill-signing ceremonies. But this tradition dates from only 2003, when Democrats found themselves in the minority in the Senate and desperate to block Bush judicial nominees.

The judicial filibuster isn't a tradition, but an innovation; not a function of checks and balances, but a perversion of them; not an outgrowth of the Constitution, but at best irrelevant to it.

The Senate has two broad traditions. It has respected the filibuster, which allows a minority of 41 senators to extend debate indefinitely and block a vote on a bill. But it has also brought — in its "advice and consent" role under the Constitution — a president's nominees to the floor for an up-or-down vote without filibusters. The Democrats' new tack of filibustering judicial nominees has created a clash of traditions: Either the traditional respect for the filibuster or advice and consent as traditionally practiced must give way.

Throughout the history of the Senate filibuster, it has usually applied to legislative business. The theory is that if the Senate wants to make its internal business more difficult by requiring 60 votes, so be it. But the president's nominations are a different matter. They involve another branch of government. With limited exceptions, senators have avoided filibustering them because it was thought that the Senate's advice-and-consent function compels it simply to approve or disapprove a nominee.

The Democrats have broken with this tradition. Through routine party-line filibusters that bottle up judicial nominees indefinitely, they are changing the Senate's advice-and-consent function. They have created an entirely new minority veto for presidential nominees who otherwise have the votes to be approved by the Senate. This is not how the constitutional scheme was supposed to work, or has ever worked in the past. And no one has ever claimed otherwise — until now.

As Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has pointed out, there have been 109 congresses in the history of the United States. The first 107 of them didn't routinely filibuster judicial nominees. During the contentious fight over Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991, Democrats who were harshly opposed to him still refused to filibuster his nomination, even though they would have had the votes to do so. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy called a filibuster against Thomas "nonsense" and a "crazy idea," declaring himself "totally opposed to a filibuster."

Democrats point to a filibuster of Lyndon Baines Johnson's 1968 attempt to elevate Abe Fortas from an associate justice to chief justice of the Supreme Court as a precedent. But it was different in kind from today's filibusters. It was bipartisan. Twenty-four Republicans and 19 Democrats voted against ending the filibuster. Fortas almost certainly didn't have the support to pass on an up-or-down vote in the Senate. Hurt by ethics charges, he soon withdrew his nomination, and ended up resigning from the court. The case was truly exceptional.

One Democrat who worried it wouldn't be was Sen. Mike Mansfield. He feared that a minority of senators would "frustrate the Senate's constitutional obligation on the question of nominations": "In the past the Senate has discussed, debated, at times agonized, but always it has voted on the merits. No senator or group of senators has ever usurped that constitutional prerogative. This unbroken tradition in my opinion merely reflects on the part of the Senate the distinction heretofore recognized between its constitutional responsibility to confirm or reject a nominee and its role in the enactment of a new and far-reaching legislative proposals."

Mansfield's fears were unfounded — at least for 35 years. Now they have been realized at the hands of an obstructionist Senate Democratic minority. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist should take away their ability to mount unprecedented judicial filibusters through the so-called nuclear option, and then sleep the sleep of an utterly justified defender of Senate tradition.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate

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