Home
In this issue
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 Sept. 19, 2005 / 15 Elul, 5765

Explaining the Roberts' Confirmation to the Iraqis

By Tom Purcell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "So you're having trouble understanding the confirmation process for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?"

"Yes, my people in Iraq are confused by what we are watching. Please help us understand."

"It's not very complicated. The American government is divided into three separate branches, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. This separation of powers was designed to prevent any one branch from gaining too much power."

"OK, we understand that. Go on."

"When there is a vacancy in the Judicial Branch, the president nominates a new judge to fill it. The judge then appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee."

"What is the purpose of this Judiciary Committee?"

"It allows Republican Senators to say flattering things about Judge John Roberts and Democrats to probe, embarrass and humiliate him, then take his record out of context with hopes of scuttling his confirmation."

"Scuttle?"

"As a rule, right-leaning politicians believe the U.S. Constitution is set in stone. They believe the role of a Supreme Court justice is to interpret all laws based upon the Constitution. They believe that the meaning of the Constitution is clear and only an amendment can add to that meaning. Conservatives like Roberts because that is how he feels."

"OK."

"But left-leaning politicians prefer to view the Constitution as a living document. They have a loosey-goosey interpretation of the Constitution and believe it should change as the times change. They prefer judges who like to get creative about what the words of the Constitution mean. They don't like Roberts."

"OK, my people can understand these stark political differences. But why do the Senators in the Judiciary Committee act like they are clowns in a circus?"

"Because of television. Some Senators would push their own mothers off of a bridge if it meant getting a few minutes on network TV. Some Senators are using this confirmation as an opportunity to rouse their base supporters and get them to donate money."

"Now my people are very confused. What does rousing base supporters have to do with determining the fitness of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?"

"Nothing. In fact, the Senators on the Judiciary Committee know that Judge Roberts is probably going to get confirmed. He's already got the votes, likely. The whole process, for the most part, is an opportunity to ham it up for the cameras."

"But my people also noticed that Judge Roberts does not answer many of the questions he is asked."

"Yes, that is correct. If you want to be appointed to the Supreme Court these days, you have to clam up. You can't give any fodder to the well-funded special interest groups who hope to trip a nominee up with 'gotcha' politics."

"But Democratic Sen. Joe Biden says the American people have the right to know what Judge Roberts thinks."

"And Biden said the exact opposite when Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg was up for nomination in 1993. He said she shouldn't have to answer any questions that would color how she might view an issue that could one day come before the court. It's shocking, I know, but our politicians sometimes talk out of both sides of their mouth."

"Let me get this straight. The president nominates a judge and the Senate votes on him. But first, the nominee testifies before the Judiciary Committee."

"Yes."

"The purpose of testifying is for the politicians who like him to make him look good and the politicians who don't like him to trip him up, while playing to their base so they can raise money."

"Good so far."

"But a really smart judge won't answer most of the questions anyway."

"You've got it."

"I speak on behalf of the Iraqi people when I say the more we learn about democracy, the more puzzled we become."

"You and 300 million Americans."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR Contributor Tom Purcell's column, by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


ARCHIVES

© 2005, Tom Purcell

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles