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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 28, 2005 / 21 Tammuz, 5765

No secret handshakes — but Dem hands sure do shake at the thought of the Federalist Society

By Bob Tyrrell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush, Democrats and liberals — usually one and the same — are again fastening their attention on a national organization composed mainly of libertarian conservative lawyers and judges called the Federalist Society. The Society is not open solely to adepts of the law. Others too can join. I myself have been a member in good standing for some years and can report that the Society exerts no secret demands on its members. I have not had to learn any secret handshake or attend late-night meetings in any sacred groves. We learn no mumbo jumbo save for the usual legal terms known by many Americans, for instance, malum prohibitum , quid pro quo , dormio ergo sum .

Nonetheless, the Federalist Society fetches Democrats' curiosity and occasional indignation. Says Professor Erwin Chemerinsky of the Duke Law School, "I only want the left to have its own Federalist Society." He is a man of the left, and I hope his aspirations will be realized. Such groups are vital to the life of the mind and to the commonweal, whether they adopt secret handshakes or wear funny hats as do the Shriners and the Elks.

The matter of the handshake has proved to be a particular sudorific for Democrats, along with the frequent incidence of Federalist Society members among the president's appointees to the judiciary. Applying his stethoscope to Judge Roberts, the Hon. Richard J. Durbin, Democratic minority whip, has observed, "As we try to monitor the legal DNA of President Bush's nominees, we find repeatedly the Federalist Society chromosome" — another of the Hon. Durbin's literary flights! "Why is it," he asks, "that membership in the Federalist Society has become the secret handshake of the Bush nominees?" I repeat: There is no handshake. What there is is an intelligent interest in the law.

Since its beginning in 1982, the Federalist Society, a discussion group devoted to speculating on the law and promoting certain principles of judicial behavior, has grown to include more than 25,000 members. Prof. Chemerinsky and Sen. Durbin are welcome to join. The reason for the group's growth is to be found in one of my few idealistic beliefs, to wit, intelligent minds yearn for intelligent thought. Years ago, many of the "best and the brightest" were on the left, and there, one would find intelligent advocacy of at least plausible positions. Now, there does not seem to be a great deal of intelligence on the left, only anger and name-calling. In part this is because the so-called liberal is immersed in identity politics often solely to pursue power.

Any dissent from the liberal orthodoxy is greeted with indignation. The dissenter's motives are always called into question. In the Federalist Society there is a serious regard for the law and how a law might square with the Constitution. There is a sense that judicial restraint must be practiced. If the law does not conflict with the Constitution, it is not a judge's role to change the law. This, the liberal calls judicial activism, but of course it is not activism. It is restraint.

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Much of the criticism of the Federalist Society issues from what historians since the 1950s have recognized as "the paranoid style" of politics, seeing opponents as conspirators, not simply opponents. One so-called liberal group, the Institute for Democracy Studies, has claimed that the Federalist Society is part of "the infrastructure underlying the right-wing assault on the democratic foundations of our legal system." Yet there is no "infrastructure" and there is no assault on democratic foundations. At the Federalist Society there is mainly an ongoing debate on the law and the role of courts. All members of the Society believe that the courts, being the least democratic of our branches of government, must not gain preponderate influence over the elected branches, the presidency and the legislature.

If any people in the debate are anti-democratic, it is those who denounce opponents as conspirators and advocate a judiciary superior to elected officials. Thankfully, they are in the minority, and they will remain in the minority so long as they propound unintelligent ideas. That is my idealistic belief. Just call me a progressive.

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.

JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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