Not mourning Scalia
As a proud American Jew, I do not mourn the passing of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (“How Justice Scalia’s death impacts 5 cases that matter to Jews,” “Large shoes to fill,” WJW, Feb. 18).
Contra Sen. Ted Cruz (Facebook posting), Justice Scalia was anything but “an unrelenting defender of religious liberty.” His contempt and disdain for our Jewish faith is a matter of public record.
As an individual, the justice was entitled, of course, to hold any religious beliefs he chose; but was not entitled to exploit his exalted federal platform to enshrine those beliefs in U.S. jurisprudence.
Parade example: In the Mojave Desert Cross case (Salazar v. Buono), under Scalia’s tutelage, the Supreme Court effectively ruled that the Christian cross was a universal symbol and therefore appropriate to adorn a memorial for fallen soldiers, including Jews. Yes, the same cross under whose aegis the Crusaders massacred Jews throughout Europe.
A towering figure with towering prejudices, he combined Trump-like bluster with Georgetown social circuit bonhomie, charm and wit. Pundits may have extolled his intellect, but being smart is only half the job. For a good Catholic, why did he so reek of hubris and sparkle with such swaggering self-righteousness?
The authentic, Torah-true response to the death of this jurist is first of all, to extend condolences to his family, and then, in consideration of his professional legacy, to rejoice that he is no longer around to weave his bonfire invective and obstreperous bigotry into the fabric of American jurisprudence.
What a mess.
Your editorial “Large shoes to fill,” WJW, Feb. 18, correctly pointed out that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia demonstrated his trust in the rule of law throughout his life and would have been horrified at the ridiculous statement of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that President Barack Obama should not nominate a successor for the Supreme Court.
However, the recommendation that “both sides work quickly to appoint Scalia’s replacement” equally falls into the realm of the laughable.
We have a divided nation in which the polarization of the two parties makes any form of compromise extremely unlikely. Obama has established a precedent with his executive orders that suggests he will not nominate a person who will be acceptable to a Republican-controlled Senate. Equally, the foolhardy statement by McConnell has made it clear that the Republicans are equally not looking for a way to work with the president.
The forthcoming election was always judged to be extremely important in determining the direction the country would take. Now, the stakes have become even higher.
Those of us who are unaffiliated with either party look with horror at the possible choice of candidates and recognize that the future looks even bleaker today than it did yesterday.
It is sad that this once great nation has declined to such an extent.
Make banner all blue
The Washington Jewish Week banner would look so much more modern and flow much better to the reader’s eye if the word “Jewish” was also in blue instead of black.
The black reminds us of the darker times of Jewish history and our people, and in my opinion, is old-fashioned for 2016 in the context of the use of so much color in the editions.
I sent this suggestion two years ago to no avail, and I would appreciate your consideration and at least a trial use of all blue in that particular place.
Also, the last page, “You Should Know,” should be placed before the classifieds. Many readers may not continue past the classifieds, and since you are featuring these wonderful young people and their careers and connections to their Jewishness, they should get the respect of being part of the paper, and not — as it seems — an afterthought.
Under the new management, WJW continues to be a great source of information and discussion for its readers.
HARRIET TUDOR PLATT