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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 27, 2012/ 6 Sivan, 5772

A liberal squeeze play

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | In one of his characteristic conniptions about people who frustrated him, Theodore Roosevelt, progressivism's first president, said of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, "I could carve out of a banana a judge with more backbone than that." TR was as mistaken about Holmes' spine as are various progressives today about Chief Justice John Roberts'.

They are waging an embarrassingly obvious campaign, hoping he will buckle beneath the pressure of their disapproval and declare Obamacare constitutional. The crucial question is whether Congress exceeded its enumerated power to regulate interstate commerce when it mandated that individuals engage in commerce by purchasing health insurance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is generally considered today's swing vote, but his acerbic first question to the administration's lawyer during the second day of oral argument changed assumptions: "Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"

Concluding that Kennedy might be disposed to overturn the mandate, some Obamacare defenders decided that Roberts' vote will be decisive. They hope to secure it by causing Roberts to worry about his reputation and that of his institution.

Recently, for example, Vermont's Pat Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, delivered a Senate speech defending the constitutionality of what he calls the "personal responsibility requirement." (This is his Orwellian appellation for the mandate, whereby government coercion nullifies personal choice regarding insurance.) After 37 years in the Senate, Leahy probably no longer knows when he sounds insufferably patronizing, as he did when he said that during oral argument he thought Roberts "seemed well aware of the significance of [the Obamacare] decision." And "I thought I saw a chief justice who understands the importance of this case to all Americans." And Roberts "seemed to understand" the deference owed to Congress.



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Leahy intimated that overturning Obamacare would be as momentous, as divisive of the nation and as damaging to the court as was Bush v. Gore, which he asserts "shook the confidence of the American people in the Supreme Court." But surely a striking fact about that decision is how equably Americans accepted it. This testified to the court's durable prestige, which is a function of the court's immunity to pressures from politicians. Public approval of the court is above 50 percent, that of Congress below 20 percent.

Leahy unsubtly intimated that to avoid "another 5-4 decision" Roberts should emulate "the leadership that Chief Justice Warren provided in the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education." It is, however, passing strange to compare the Obamacare case with Brown, implying that a less-than-unanimous decision would be dangerous.

The school desegregation case overturned the social order of an entire region and accelerated the transformation of the nation's cultural norms. Obamacare is just an unpopular law enacted by grotesque logrolling (securing three Democratic senators' votes with the "Louisiana Purchase," the "Gator-aid" and the "Cornhusker Kickback"). Furthermore, Obamacare passed because grossly corrupt conduct by Justice Department prosecutors in the trial of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska had cost him re-election.

Leahy tutored Roberts about "appropriate deference" to "the elected branch," vacuously admonished him to be "a chief justice for all of us," and absurdly asserted that the mandate is "consistent with the understanding of the Constitution" that "the American people have had for the better part of a century." Jeffrey Rosen of George Washington Law School, writing in The New Republic, topped Leahy's rhetorical extravagance by saying this is Roberts' "moment of truth" because if the court overturns Obamacare 5-4, Roberts' "stated goal of presiding over a less divisive court will be viewed as an irredeemable failure."

Oh? Viewed by whom? Perhaps by people who consider it "ideological" and somehow reprehensible that in the last full term, conservative Justices John Roberts and Sam Alito voted together 96 percent of the time, but who consider it principled and admirable that Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan voted together 94 percent of the time. Like-minded justices agree. So?

Why, exactly, would it be less "divisive" for the court to uphold the broadly disliked Obamacare 5-4 than to overturn it 5-4? But whether Obamacare is liked or detested is entirely irrelevant. The public's durable deference toward the Supreme Court derives from the public's recognition that the court is deferential not to Congress but to the Constitution.

Concerning which, it is cheeky of Rosen, a liberal, to lecture Roberts about jurisprudential conservatism, which Rosen says requires "restraint," meaning deference to congressional liberalism. Such clumsy attempts to bend the chief justice are apt to reveal his spine of steel.



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