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 July 20, 2009 / 28 Tamuz 5769

Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test

By Byron York

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For Republicans, the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor were a missed opportunity. Not an opportunity to defeat her — with 60 Senate Democrats determined to confirm President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court choice, Sotomayor will undoubtedly prevail. But Republicans had a chance to delve deeply into Sotomayor’s record, to reveal the worldview and background of the next Supreme Court justice, and they didn’t take advantage of it.

Part of that was because of Sotomayor herself. She carefully followed her coaching, answered slowly, avoided questions by putting them “in context” and refused to budge from scripted responses on hot-button issues.

But much of the blame lies with Republicans, who proved unable to exploit the striking differences between what Sotomayor has said and what she has done over the course of her career.

Sotomayor’s 17-year record as a federal judge was unexceptional. “The cases you’ve been involved in, to me, are left-of-center, but not anything that jumps out at me,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told her. With the exception of one egregious case, her siding against white Connecticut firefighters who had been discriminated against in job promotion, Republicans found little to work with in her record on the bench.

But at the same time Sotomayor hewed to unremarkable left-of-center judging, she gave a series of public speeches in which she adopted the language of legal activism and radicalism. She embraced the idea that her Latina identity influences her decision making on the bench and even determines what facts she chooses to acknowledge or ignore. She endorsed legal relativism. And she made that now-infamous “wise Latina” speech.

Sotomayor also acted on her beliefs when she served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, or PRLDEF. There, she oversaw lawsuits on a variety of leftist causes: racial and ethnic set-asides, a broad expansion of abortion rights and opposition to the death penalty. In her work at PRLDEF, Sotomayor put into action the ideas she expressed in her speeches.

So there was the Sotomayor of the bench, and the Sotomayor of the pulpit and PRLDEF. And then, to top it off, there was the Sotomayor of the confirmation hearings, when she described herself as a conservative, law-bound judge. When asked her legal philosophy, she replied simply, “Fidelity to the law,” and repeatedly disavowed any role of judges in making law. (She did that even though she had been caught on tape at a 2005 appearance at Duke University plainly stating just the opposite.)

Who was the real Sonia Sotomayor? What worried Republicans was the possibility that, if she reaches the Supreme Court, the Sotomayor of PRLDEF and “wise Latina” and the firefighters’ case will be freed from all restraints.

“We don’t know what kind of judge she would be like, if she’s on the Supreme Court and not subject to any appellate review of her decisions,” said Republican Sen. John Cornyn during a break in the hearings. “If she’s going to be like the Judge Sotomayor of her speeches, that’s a problem, I think, for the American people.”

To make matters worse, Sotomayor was sometimes unresponsive, and even slippery, in her under-oath testimony. She disavowed virtually all knowledge of the PRLDEF lawsuits, even though Republicans had minutes from old board meetings showing that Sotomayor, as head of the litigation committee, “review[ed] and recommend[ed] a litigation program.” She said she didn’t really mean what her “wise Latina” speech clearly said. And she claimed always to stick closely to the facts and the law, even when she had advocated otherwise.

Sometimes, she descended into non sequitur. On her final day of testimony, Graham asked, “Do you believe that your speeches, properly read, embrace identity politics?”

“I don’t describe it as identity politics,” Sotomayor responded, “because it’s not that I’m advocating the groups do something illegal.”

What in the world did that mean? Graham didn’t follow up.

Nor did Republicans follow up on dozens of other questionable statements. And that was the GOP’s failing. To uncover the real Sotomayor, the activist as well as the judge, required asking short, persistent, fact-based questions. Instead, several Republican senators speechified, lingered on the “wise Latina” issue, and failed to explore in depth her work at PRLDEF. They let her evasions stand.

And in the end, they gave up. As elected officials, the GOP senators didn’t see the value in a scorched-earth fight they were going to lose anyway. And now Sonia Sotomayor — whoever she is — heads to the Supreme Court.

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07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny

© 2009, NEA