Supreme Court

Kagan’s Nomination And What It Means

Religion not seen as key dividing line in country.

05/12/2010
Washington Correspondent

 The argument that anti-Semitism still stifles Jewish achievement in modern America will be a little harder to make if President Barack Obama’s second Supreme Court nomination passes muster with the Senate.

If Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics and three Jews. Getty Images

Rage At Brandeis Over Invite To Israel’s Oren

Lookstein calls protests ‘nothing less than evil.’

05/05/2010
Associate Editor

Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren, though no longer in the Israel Defense Forces, might feel like he deserves combat pay for all the fury he’s generating on American campuses.

Most dramatically, 11 Muslim students were arrested in February for disrupting the ambassador’s talk at the University of California-Irvine, and now hundreds of students at  Brandeis University, many of whom are Jewish, are campaigning to have Brandeis rescind its invitation for Oren to speak at graduation ceremonies May 23.

Rainbow Flags Under The Chupah

In Connecticut, Jewish same-sex couples celebrate their newfound right to marry.

10/31/2008
Staff Writer

Born in Guatemala and adopted by two American mothers, 9-year-old Ellie Cooper has grown accustomed to standing out in her predominantly white Christian town of Middlefield, Conn. But now that her parents have gained the right to marry under Connecticut law, she’ll have more in common with her classmates.
 

“Often people will say, ‘Are you married?’” said one of her mothers, Jane Cooper. “I just want to say yes, and I want for my daughter to have parents who are married.”
 

Robin Baslaw and Susan Smith’s March 2006 civil union ceremony, performed by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum.

The Dirty Truth About Orthodox Women Rabbis

The rejection of women rabbis and "rabbas" by the Rabbinical Council of America is "chilling," feminists tell us.

Really? In what way? What exactly can't Modern Orthodox women do, according to the new understanding, that has anyone chilled?

Can Orthodox women publish books, essay and spiritual insights on religious life, and be a leader in that way? Yes.

Can they do pastoral work, visiting hospitals, teaching bat mitzvahs, and counseling anyone? Yes.

The Sotomayor Effect

Growing Jewish-Latino ties could get a bounce as first Hispanic judge joins the Supreme Court.

06/12/2009
Staff Writer

Ever since President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor for a seat on the Supreme Court, Jewish leaders have been speculating about how the appointment of this Bronx-raised Hispanic woman will affect the relationship between the Jewish and Hispanic communities.
 

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s up-by-your-bootstraps story speaks to both the Hispanic and Jewish communities, observers say.

Another Jewish Supreme Court possibility - and rising talk about a "Protestant-free" court

So another Jewish name has surfaced in the raging speculation over President Obama's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: Martha Minow, dean of the Harvard Law School and one of the President's former professors (See this story in today's Boston Gl

Poll: Obama Struggling With Jews, but Not on Israel

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A new survey shows President Obama struggling with American Jews -- but not on Israel-related matters.

The American Jewish Committee poll of U.S. Jews found that Obama's approval rating is at 57 percent, with 38 percent disapproving. That's down from the stratospheric 79 percent approval rating among Jews that Obama enjoyed about a year ago, in May 2009. The AJC poll was conducted March 2-23 and surveyed 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from a consumer mail panel.

Q: "Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of the Iran nuclear issue? Image: AJC

Liberal Jewish Groups Optimistic About Stevens’ Replacement

04/14/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Jewish groups who liked John Paul Stevens as a Supreme Court justice are getting ready to dish out the same like to whomever replaces him.

Most of the Jewish groups closely tracking court decisions favor Stevens' liberal record, with minor qualifications, and do not believe that President Obama will choose a replacement who deviates from the norm.

One For Abuse Victims

04/13/2010

A powerful, and we think important, moment played out in Justice Patricia DiMango’s courtroom in Brooklyn Supreme Court this week. It happened at the sentencing Monday of convicted child molester Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Lebovits, who a jury found guilty of eight counts of sexual abuse. The well-known owner of a travel agency in Borough Park, over the course of nine months in 2004-2005, lured a 16-year-old boy into his car and performed sex acts on him. In an emotional statement read in court, the father of the victim spoke heartbreakingly about what his son, now 22, went through.

A Third Jewish Justice?

04/13/2010

It was the hot political news of 1916. A Jewish lawyer was being seriously considered for the first time for a seat on the Supreme Court, and some Americans were upset. Louis Brandeis was too liberal, critics said.

“It was certainly easy to find anti-Jewish comments” from Brandeis’ opponents, says Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, an institution named for the history-making justice.

Solicitor General Elana Kagan and federal Judge Merrick Garland: A court with only Jews and Catholics?
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