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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 July 28, 2009 / 7 Menachem-Av 5769

Judging the truth

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees, Senators always try to draw out the witnesses on their judicial philosophy and views about the constitutional implications of topical issues. Lately, with few exceptions, the would-be justices have deftly deflected the questions, truthfully but opaquely responding in ways that offer little grist for critics' mills. Judge Sonya Sotomayor may have provided one of the exceptions. In particular, the totality of what is now known about her views concerning the role of foreign law in American courts suggest both a lack of candor before the Judiciary Committee and a judicial philosophy that is at odds with the Constitution of the United States. These issues should feature prominently as that panel meets Tuesday to vote on her nomination.


That will certainly be the case if Committee member Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has his way. Last week, he issued a press release raising an alarm about Judge Sotomayor's statements on the subject of "the use of foreign law in American courts." Such use has been aggressively championed by, among others, Harold Koh, President Obama's controversial choice for State Department Legal Advisor. Koh is widely expected to be the next Supreme Court nominee if Sotomayor's candidacy is not derailed by her commitment to what has come to be known as "transnational jurisprudence."


In a 2004 American Journal of International Law article, Koh enthused about this jurisprudence as the work of "academics, nongovernmental organizations, judges, executive officials, Congress, and foreign governments interacting in a variety of private and public, domestic and international fora to make, interpret, internalize, and ultimately enforce rules of transnational law." He notes that there is already a substantial "transnationalist faction" in the high court led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.


As Sen. Coburn points out, prior to her nomination, Judge Sotomayor declared: "I share more the ideas of Justice Ginsburg…in believing that unless American courts are more open to discussing the ideas raised by foreign cases, and by international cases, that we are going to lose influence in the world. Justice Ginsburg has explained very recently…that foreign opinions…can add to the story of knowledge relevant to the solution of a question, and she's right."


The judge also espoused the view that, "International law and foreign law will be very important in the discussion of how we think about the unsettled issues in our own legal system. It is my hope that judges everywhere will continue to do this because…within the American legal system we're commanded to interpret our law in the best way we can, and that means looking to what other, anyone has said to see if it has persuasive value." This hews basically to the standard transnationalist line.


In the course of her nomination hearing, though, Judge Sotomayor espoused a very different attitude under cross-examination by Dr. Coburn: Sen. Coburn: "[W]ill you affirm to this Committee and the American public that, outside of where you are directed to do so through statute or through treaty, [you will] refrain from using foreign law in making the decisions that you make that affect this country and the opinions that you write?


Judge Sotomayor: "I will not use foreign law to interpret the Constitution or American statutes. I will use American law, constitutional law to interpret those laws, except in the situations where American law directs a court."


Sen. Coburn: "So…there is no authority for a Supreme Court justice to utilize foreign law in terms of making decisions based on the Constitution or statutes?"


Judge Sotomayor: "Unless the statute requires you or directs you to look at foreign law. And some do, by the way. The answer is no. Foreign law cannot be used as a holding or a precedent or to bind or to influence the outcome of a legal decision interpreting the Constitution or American law that doesn't direct you to that law."


That sounds pretty definitive, and reassuring. Yet, as Dr. Coburn's release makes plain, in response to questions submitted by senators for the record, Judge Sotomayor subsequently reasserted the idea that foreign law can be "used" by American judges. To be sure, in so doing, she offered a number of caveats: "In some limited circumstances, decisions of foreign courts can be a source of ideas, just as law review articles or treatises can be sources of ideas." The judge goes on to claim that "reading the decision of foreign courts for ideas, however, does not constitute 'using' those decisions to decide cases."


It is instructive that Judge Sotomayor felt compelled to add that, "To the extent that American courts categorically refuse to consider the ideas expressed in the decision of foreign courts, it may be that foreign courts will be less likely to look to American law as a source of ideas."


Senators swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution." As they vote to confer a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court on Judge Sonya Sotomayor, Sen. Coburn's colleagues must square that pledge with his conclusion: "Judge Sotomayor's written responses confirm many Americans' worst fears that she views the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis of our rule of law, as an insufficient basis for deciding cases and would instead allow the broader arena of international commentary to influence her decisions."


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

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

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