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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 April 4, 2005 / 24 Adar II, 5765

One nation under law

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo generated an intensely polarized debate about the sanctity and quality of life, and it will be a long time before the passions aroused by her case come to rest. Virtually everything about this tragedy was heatedly fought over: The extent of her brain damage. The right of her husband to decide her fate. The intervention by Congress and the president. The pain — or painlessness — of dying from dehydration. The pro-euthanasia activism of Michael Schiavo's lawyer. The ''culture of life" invoked by President Bush. Even the wording of opinion polls and the authorship of a political memo.

But amid all the anger and anguish, one crucial fact was never in doubt: Terri Schiavo's fate would be determined lawfully. The courts would decide whether her feeding tube should be reconnected, and their decision, whatever it finally was, would be obeyed. At one point Governor Jeb Bush reportedly sent a team of Florida law enforcement agents to seize the dying woman and move her to a hospital. But when the local police made it clear they would enforce the judge's order, the state troopers peacefully retreated.

It may seem an obvious thing that legal disputes — even those that become bitter causes celebres — get settled in court. But in an era when we hear endless talk of a culture war and ''two Americas" and how a widening gulf is tearing us apart, there's a measure of reassurance in knowing that even when it comes to our most vehement public controversies, combatants who may agree on nothing else agree they will live by the law.

Deference to the legal process has nothing to do with admiration or even respect for judges. Innumerable Americans are appalled by the judiciary, and their disdain didn't start with the Schiavo case. High on the bestsellers lists at the moment is Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America by Mark R. Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.). ''The biggest myth about judges," it begins, ''is that they're somehow imbued with greater insight, wisdom, and vision than the rest of us."

In the current Weekly Standard, William Kristol sarcastically thanks the US Supreme Court for its recent decision saving the life of Christopher Simmons, the youthful sadist who murdered Shirley Crook for the fun of it in 1993. In seven paragraphs of well-tempered fury, Kristol contrasts the judicial sensitivity to ''evolving standards of decency" that spared Simmons from the death penalty because of his age with the absence of any such sensitivity when it came to Terri Schiavo. ''Perhaps it is time," he concludes, ''to rise up against our robed masters, and choose to govern ourselves."

Levin and Kristol are conservatives, but liberals have had their share of contempt for the courts as well. Just recollect the storm over Bush v. Gore.

Yet for all the outrage that judicial decisions can provoke, no one seriously advises disregarding court orders or taking legal battles to the streets. Though Levin refers repeatedly to the ''tyranny" of federal judges, his proposals for resisting them are lawful ones like impeachment and legislated limits on jurisdiction. When Kristol calls for an uprising, he means that Bush should nominate conservative judges and that there should be ''a serious national debate on the distinction between judicial independence and judicial arrogance."

This acquiescence in the legitimate authority of judges to settle conflicts wasn't something Americans could always take for granted. In 1832, the Supreme Court ruled that states had no power over Indian tribes and that Georgia's attempt to take over the lands of the Cherokee Nation were therefore, as Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion in Worcester v. Georgia put it, ''repugnant to the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States."

But President Andrew Jackson was determined to see the Cherokee driven out and declared the ruling a dead letter. ''John Marshall has made his decision," Jackson reportedly said. ''Now let him enforce it."

But courts — even supreme courts — cannot enforce their decisions. The Cherokee were dispossessed, stripped of their belongings, and sent on a 1,200-mile forced march that left thousands dead from hunger and exhaustion. Their ''Trail of Tears" is more than just a monument to the devastation of a people. It is also a reminder of what can happen when the rule of law is tossed aside.

A common commitment to resolve disputes through law is no guarantee against travesties of justice. Terri Schiavo's public death was tragic and grotesque, and the debate it launched is far from over. Oh, yes, the culture war goes on. But civil society does, too. Whatever else may divide us, we remain one nation under law.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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