From the Editor

By Epstein, Nadine | Moment, September-October 2008 | Go to article overview

From the Editor


Epstein, Nadine, Moment


Living in Washington, DC, it is impossible not to get swept up in the excitement of the presidential race. Sadly, it's also easy to slip into cynicism, thanks to the negative campaigning and horse-race media coverage. Moment, a proud home of passionate political commentary across the spectrum, strives to cover important issues that don't get the attention they merit--and to transcend snarkiness. With these thoughts in mind, we deliver an election issue that is a political junkie's dream.

In our expanded opinion section, longtime Moment columnist Letty Cottin Pogrebin, one of the founding editors of Ms. Magazine, advises Jews to vote for Barack Obama, and novelist and conservative commentator Naomi Ragen makes the case for John McCain. David Frum derides Jewish conspiracy theories and Jews who contribute to them. Nathan Guttman questions why presidential campaigns continue to wrongly assume American Jews are one-issue voters when it comes to Israel.

One of the most significant tasks that will fall to our next president is the nomination of one or more new justices to the Supreme Court. These lifetime appointees may render decisions on everything from the death penalty to school prayer and yes, abortion and gun control.

Since 2006, and for the first time in history, there has been a majority of non-Protestant justices on the Supreme Court: Five Catholics, two Protestants and two Jews serve on the bench. Religious diversity on the Court is surely a sign of progress, but it also got us thinking: What role, if any, does personal faith have on the legal decisions justices make? To help us answer these questions, we have assembled a distinguished group of Supreme Court watchers, from CNN's senior legal correspondent and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin to UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, who founded the popular law blog Volokh Conspiracy. Our experts offer a fascinating and sometimes surprising look at the ways that the religion of Supreme Court justices might have--and might not have--influenced their jurisprudence throughout the Court's history.

We are grateful to the hundreds of you who participated in our online presidential poll and told us about the issues--the Supreme Court, Israeli security, the war in Iraq, the economy, the health care crisis--that matter most to you and the candidates who best represent your views. The results of the poll can be found on page 24. To top off our election extravaganza, we've dug through 33 years of Moment archives to bring you excerpts from our past election coverage. As you'll see, in some ways not much has changed.

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