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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 March 9, 2011 / 3 Adar II, 5771

Our First Amendment protects speech we despise, too

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a historic March 2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on the range and depth of the First Amendment's protection of the cornerstone of our individual constitutional liberties -- our right to free speech! Before the nine justices was what Tony Mauro of the New York Law Journal described as:

"Some of the most offensive speech (the Supreme Court) had ever had to rule on, delivered in one of the most sensitive settings: the funeral of a military hero."

In Snyder v. Phelps, Albert Snyder -- father of 20-year-old Matthew Snyder, a Marine killed in Iraq, an American fighting to protect us all -- filed a lawsuit for invasion of privacy and emotional distress against members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. At this Marine's funeral, some of the members of that church picketed the grieving mourners while holding such signs as:

"Thank G0d for Dead Soldiers," "Fags Doom Nations" and "Thank G0d for 9/11." These pickets have appeared at other funerals of soldiers to get publicity for sulfurous protests against this country's tolerations of homosexuals. Such utter insensitivity to the feelings of the mourners is, to say the least, disgusting to me and most other Americans.

At the start of this lawsuit, Albert Snyder won a judgment of more than $10 million (later reduced) in damages from the Westboro Baptist Church, the source of the picketing. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, declaring that the First Amendment, reversed that jury verdict in federal district court, protected this protest by picketing.

As the case of Snyder v. Phelps headed for the Supreme Court, there began a fiery national debate on whether the First Amendment can actually protect such language at the funeral of an American who had lost his life fighting for this nation.

Among the organizations on the side of the First Amendment free-speech rights of the picketers were the American Civil Liberties Union; the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (where I am on the Steering Committee); the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression; the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where I am on the Advisory Committee; and of course, this country's ever faithful constitutionalist, John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.

In view of the final 8-to-1 Supreme Court decision, validating the First Amendment protection of the repugnant language of those picketing the funeral of the dead Marine, I find of special interest the identities of those on the other side, insisting that there is no First Amendment protection of these pickets: U.S. Senate leaders Harry Reid (D) and Mitch McConnell (R) and 40 other members of the U.S. Senate; Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States; the American Legion; and attorneys general of Kansas and 47 other states and the District of Columbia.

Before I report on how and why all but one member of the Supreme Court (Samuel Alito) ruled for the First Amendment, I strongly recommend that the full context of this case and its result be discussed and debated in our public schools -- that is, those schools still having courses in American history and the Constitution in order to instruct the new generation in why they are Americans.

Writing for the Court majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, taking somber note of the fact that the protesters had added to the "already incalculable grief" of the dead soldier's father, said: "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and -- as it did here -- inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.

"As a nation," he continued, "we have chosen a different course -- to protect even hurtful speech on public issues (and these certainly are public issues) to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."

Underlying the ruling were the facts that the picketing occurred on public land, and 1,000 feet away from the church, within local rules of distance from the funeral, and done under police supervision.

In strong dissent, Samuel Alito insisted: "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case." He added that public streets should not be "regarded as a free-fire zone in which otherwise actionable verbal attacks are shielded from liability."

Disagreeing with Justice Alito, J. Joshua Wheeler of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Freedom of Expression, valuably emphasized that this "powerful affirmation of First Amendment principles goes beyond the facts of this case."

Were I still teaching in schools why we are Americans, and what it takes to remain free, actively participating citizens, I would bring into the discussion Floyd Abrams, long a leading Bill of Rights defender before the Supreme Court: "The ruling today represents another example of American fidelity to the principle of freedom of expression to a degree that is unknown anywhere else in the world."

In this respect -- despite Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- we remain the global light of freedom.

And I would also quote to my students what the Rutherford Institute's John Whitehead said of this vitally patriotic ruling: "Robust free speech -- even of the extreme variety -- in the open marketplace of ideas is one of the few hopes we have as citizens." Especially these days.

What a pity that the majority and minority leaders of the U.S. Senate and 40 other members of that august body did not know enough about who we are, and must continue to be, to approve the Supreme Court's decided majority opinion in Snyder v. Phelps -- as they exercise their own First Amendment rights continually.

Which 2012 presidential candidates will cite this decision when emphasizing our values?

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Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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