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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 19, 2010 / / 6 Sivan 5770

Elena Kagan vs. that bothersome First Amendment thing

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On being nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, Elena Kagan spoke of "why I love the law so much. … It keeps us safe, it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms and … it is the foundation of our democracy."


Were I on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in my first round of questioning, I would focus on her record regarding the First Amendment's foundation of our individual liberties -- the right to criticize our government. And surely many Americans are exercising this right of free speech against the Obama administration.


Last September, Kagan, then Obama's solicitor general, was arguing before the High Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, on the government's case for limits to corporations' political speech -- newspaper, television and radio ads, among other support of candidates for federal office.


During the oral argument, Chief Justice John Roberts asked Kagan how far the government could censor corporations' political speech: "If you say you are not going to apply (censorship) to a book (about the candidates), what about a pamphlet?"


This is how the former Dean of the Harvard Law School and a former clerk of Justice Thurgood Marshall, an ardent protector of free speech, answered: "I think a pamphlet would be different. A pamphlet is pretty classic electioneering." The government, therefore, could penalize such corporate speech.


I have long been reporting on the need for more Americans, very much including members of Congress, to learn how we became the United States of America, including the impact of such pre-Revolution pamphlets as Tom Paine's "Common Sense" and "The Crisis"; John Dickinson's "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania"; and Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists," among others of his pamphlets that contributed to John Adams saying: "Without the character of Samuel Adams, the true history of the American Revolution can never be written."


Responding to Solicitor General Kagan's need of an education in civics, Chief Justice Roberts, in his concurring opinion in the Citizens United case, said: "The (Obama) government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets."


I know that a solicitor general is required to provide the Supreme Court with the positions of the administration that put her in office -- but to this extent? Once on the Court, how solicitous will she be to the president who elevated her career and renown? I am assuming she knows that Tom Payne was a pamphleteer.


I'd also like to know how a Supreme Court Justice Kagan would react to those in the Obama administration who urge more "media diversity" -- their poorly disguised attempt to return to the Fairness Doctrine, whereby the Federal Communications Commission could revoke the license of a radio or TV station that was not being "fair" in its distribution of balanced views in its programming of political speech. Last year, the Obama FCC set up an Advisory Committee for Communications on the Digital Age. (Rush Limbaugh, be prepared.)


Also last year, Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declared: "there is a responsibility to see that both sides, and not just one side, of the big public questions of the day are aired … with some modicum of fairness."


Who is to exercise this responsibility? She wanted to "look at the legal and constitutional aspects of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine" in some form.


Or as Barack Obama pithily put it: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." (Both quotes are in "Shut Up America!" by Brad O'Leary, WND Books, 2009). Here is Kagan on government involvement in speech in her 1996 article in the University of Chicago Law Review: "Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First American Doctrine." From the article, as quoted on May 12 of this year by Seton Motley, director of Communications of the conservative Media Research Center:


"Kagan wrote: If there is an 'overabundance' of an idea in public discourse in the absence of direct governmental action -- which there well might be when compared with some ideal state of public debate -- then action disfavoring that idea might 'unskew,' rather than skew (distort) public discourse." What on Earth does that mean?


Translated by Motley, what Kagan was actually saying: "So if talk radio suffers from an 'overabundance' of conservative voices, government action to 'un-skew' this particular public discourse is just fine by her."


Is this being fair to Kagan's views on what some of her critics have called her support of "government 'redistribution of speech?'" A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee should ask about her revisions of the First Amendment during the confirmation hearing. It probably won't be a Democratic senator.


For an ominous example of those revisions, Kagan, speaking before the Court defending a 1999 federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty, said: "Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs" (Jacob Sullum, Reason.com, May 12). What a boon to all kinds of censors!


If James Madison were on the Judiciary Committee, would he have voted for Elena Kagan?

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.


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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