March 18, 2016
"I have fulfilled my constitutional duty. 
Now it's time for the Senate to do theirs."
President Obama 3/16/16 

Obama and Supreme Court Nominee
President Obama with Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland

"I simply ask Republicans in the Senate to give him (Garland) a fair hearing, and then an up or down vote.  If you don't, then ... it will mean everything is subject to the most partisan of politics -- everything....

"The reputation of the Supreme Court will inevitably suffer.  Faith in our justice system will inevitably suffer.  Our democracy will ultimately suffer, as well. "

"As my parents taught me by both words and deeds, a life of public service is as much a gift to the person who serves as it is to those he is serving."
Chief Judge Garland Merrick is 63-years-old and if he is confirmed he will be the third youngest justice and the second Midwesterner on the court; most of the justices are from the East Coast.

His grandparents fled rising antisemitism in Europe.

He graduated valedictorian from high school where he was president of the National Honor Society and Student Council, belonged to the debate team, the forensics team and the German Club. He also performed in high school musicals like "Guys and Dolls" and "Pygmalion."

He put himself through Harvard Law School by, among other things, selling his comic book collection.

He clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan.

He managed the 1995 investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing and then was named to oversee the "Unabomber'' inquiry following the 1996 arrest of Ted Kaczynski.

In 1997, he was confirmed by the Senate to the appellate bench on a 76-23 vote, which included the backing of 32 Republicans.

Friends and colleagues describe him as a low-key, unassuming person who does not seek the limelight, quite unlike the man he would replace, Antonin Scalia.

He was mentioned as a possible nominee when Justice John Paul Stevens retired, though that seat went to Justice Elena Kagan.

Garland and his wife, Lynn, of nearly 30 years have two daughters, Becky and Jessie.

The family enjoys skiing, hiking and canoeing, and together they have visited many of America's national parks.  

Garland volunteers as a tutor at a Washington, D.C. elementary school.

Tell the Senate to #DoYourJob.  
Hold a fair hearing for Judge Garland. Hold a vote. 

JAC members getting out the vote before Tuesday's primaries. (l to r: Hollis Wein, Fran Levy, Marcia Balonick)

JAC members getting out the vote for Hillary in Florida. (l to r: Gail Yamner, Judy Bardach)

Celebrating Hillary's win in Florida while getting out the vote by taking a photo with her likeness. (l to r: 'Hillary Clinton' cutout, Merle Styer)

JAC members hosted an event with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) in Boca Raton this week. (r to l: Gail Yamner, Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Rani Garfinkle) 

Have you been out working on JAC issues? Send us photos of you and your friends at candidate events, out campaigning, or advocating for JAC issues and will will post them!

Reception with
Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
U.S. Senate Candidate for FL
March 20
West Palm Beach, FL
Click for details


Reception with
Brad Schneider
Candidate for IL-10
and former U.S. Representative
Barney Frank
March 28
Northbrook, IL
Details to follow 
  For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]

JAC's 6th Annual
Power of Women Luncheon
Monday, June 6th
Lincolnwood, IL
Watch for details!


Talking Points Highland Park
with special guest
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8)
Monday, April 11
Details to follow
  For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]
Congratulations' to JAC Candidates

Former OH Governor and Rep. Ted Strickland will now face Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) one of the most anti-choice Members of Congress. Strickland has an excellent record on choice. "When it comes to women's health, I believe a woman's healthcare choices are between a woman and her doctor, not between a woman and her boss," he has said.

Duckworth will face Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. "We reject the politics of fear and division that have no place in (politics). We're Americans, we believe in this country, and we're going to lead through strength, not fear..."
All eyes will be on Illinois this election as Schneider fights to regain the seat he lost to Rep. Bob Dold.  "The decisions we make in terms of who we want to be will define not only this coming election, but the very character of the nation we hold so dear."
 JAC Stands with Hillary. Will you? 


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Israel & the Middle East
Kerry: Violence Hobbling Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts 
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence could hamper French efforts to revive the peace process, but pledged "we are all looking for a way forward. 
U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Debating an Increase
Israel is reportedly requesting $5 billion per annum over the next ten years, while the U.S. position is between $3.4 and $4 billion. In Israel's view, the lower end of that range would actually represent a decrease in aid, since the 2007 MOU would have amounted to $3.6 billion per year if one factors in inflation.
Read Full Article

Mahmoud Abbas Insults Joe Biden's Intelligence 
While Abbas was busy offering his condolences for the killing of a Vanderbilt student, his ruling Fatah faction was busy glorifying Palestinian assailants who killed Israelis.    
Read Full Article

Shas MK Insists Western Wall Deal Will Not Go Ahead
Members of the Knesset have said the egalitarian deal for the Kotel will not be implemented; on same day Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who had made the deal, retracted his support for it and called on the Knesset's ultra-Orthodox parties to pass a law repealing the new plan.
Read Full Article

Israelis Appreciate Berlin's Refugee Policy
Germany is more admired than any other European country, according to a new poll of Israelis. According to the report, Chancellor Merkel is the only leader who Israelis trust to make a valuable contribution to the peace process.
Read Full Article
Anti-Semitism & BDS
'Intersectionality' and the Bizarre World of Hating Israel 
Welcome to the world of "intersectionality," the latest strategy of Israel-haters. At Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine and No Red Tape, a student group fighting sexual violence, join forces. What does opposing sexual violence have to do with Israel and the Palestinians?   
Read Full Article

During Israel Apartheid Week, Jewish Students Choose Silence 
Facing what has become an annual fixture, some activists say the best strategy is to ignore the demos, lectures and 'apartheid walls.'
Read Full Article

Campus Anti-Semitism Linked to Anti-Israel Activity 
Anti-Semitism goes hand-in-hand with anti-Israel activities at U.S. colleges, according to a new report about the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement.
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Right-Wing Radicalism Terrifying at State Level 
Abortion deemed a 'hate crime,' doctors stripped of licenses for performing abortions, women forced to carry to term even if a fetal abnormality is detected, cutting off access to birth control, and more. It's time to turn out attention to the state level - where elections definitely matter.

Restricting and Stigmatizing Abortion Misguided & Harmful 
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two separate bills that would, among other things, impose a federal ban on abortion at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization (equivalent to 22 weeks' gestation). Both bills would do nothing to advance public health and are instead yet another attempt to politicize women's health and limit women's access to abortion care
Read Full Article

Why Indiana's New Abortion Bill Is So Potentially Dangerous 
The bill, among other things, bans abortion in cases of genetic anomoly, and includes language that says an abortion cannot be conducted due to 'any other disability' - a broad term that can include fetuses that aren't expected to live long after birth.
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Fight for Your (Reproductive) Rights: Cecile Richards 
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, is no stranger to the violence, intimidation, and legislation that has threatened the women's rights movement. Her mother, Ann Richards, was the second female governor of Texas, a vocal feminist, and a social justice leader.
Read Full Article
Separation of Religion & State
Is Religion an Excuse for Breaking the Law?
Can religious believers give themselves a free pass to ignore laws that bind everyone else? Common sense and the Constitution say no. But the Supreme Court is being asked to decide just that.
Beyond the Core
Guns Allowed in GA Campus Daycare Centers  
One overlooked aspect of the college campus carry bill: There are about 1,700 young children in university sanctioned childcare centers around Georgia.  House Bill 859 would allow guns in those facilities. 
Read Full Article

Congress Just Ripped Flint Officials 
The opening testimonies were an exercise in deflection - so much so that the committee's top-ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, called it 'sickening.'    
Read Full Article

North Carolina May Have Blocked 218,000 People From Voting 
North Carolina's voter ID law took effect for the first time in the Tuesday primary, possibly blocking 218,000 voters - disproportionately minorities, elders, and college students. One voter compared the new rules to what she endured under the old Jim Crow laws, experiencing the same essential message: "elections are not for you."
Read Full Article 

Seth Meyers: A Closer Look at Voter ID Laws 
Political Byte
Senators Hears Abortion Bill, Refuse SCOTUS Nominee 
The GOP-led Sen. Judiciary Committee held a second hearing on a national 20-week abortion ban - a bill already voted down in the Senate in September. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) commented on the Senate floor: "while they say they won't even hold a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee to fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities - they were eager to hold a hearing to attack women's constitutional rights."  
Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease 
The GOP elites are in a tizzy over saving the Republican Party from Donald Trump and the other intruders, extremists and crackpots who have fallen in behind Trump.  But who will save the party from the elites? 

Pope Fires Vatican Ambassador to U.S. Over Kim Davis 
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigaṇ is a staunch conservative and was vocally opposed to same-sex marriage throughout his five-year tenure as the Vatican's nuncio (ambassador) to the United States.  He also sent an anonymous invite to Ms. Kim Davis, of anti-equality fame, to the Pope's DC visit.
The Latest Front in SCOTUS Battle: Twitter 
Ahead of the announcement of a nominee to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Scalia, the White House laid claim to a new front in its battle with Republicans over the Supreme Court: Twitter.
GOP Supreme Court Blockade Showing Early Cracks 
The Senate GOP's Supreme Court blockade showed signs of cracking almost immediately after President Obama unveiled his nominee, even as Mitch McConnell reiterated the vow to not hold confirmation hearings before the November election. 

Meet the Supremes: Who Are the Supreme Court Justices? 
Oyez, Oyez. The US Supreme Court has made some major decisions in the last few terms - including legalizing gay marriage and upholding President Obama's healthcare law. The court can have broad and deep impact, but who are the nine justices who have such an outsized influence on American life? Meet the Supremes.   
Election 2016
Contested Convention Looking More Likely 
Speaker Paul Ryan said there is no chance he'll emerge as the GOP presidential nominee if no candidate captures enough delegates before this summer's convention. However, for the first time he acknowledged the increasing likelihood of a contested or open convention in Cleveland.
Trump Presidency Rated Among Top 10 Global Risks 
A Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the U.S. and heighten security risks for the United States.

"Bimbo. Dog. Fat Pig." Women Recite Sexists Trump Comments
How Kasich's Anti-Choice Policies Are Impacting Ohio Women 
Over the course of the 2016 presidential election, it's become almost common knowledge that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is one of the most anti-abortion candidates. During his time as governor, he has enacted more than 16 measures restricting a woman's right to choose in Ohio.  
Read Full Article

Ted Cruz Names Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theorist as Advisor 
This week Ted Cruz revealed his national security advisory team. The first name on the list? Frank Gaffney. Gaffney is the Joe McCarthy of Islamaphobia.    
Read Full Article

Stop Telling Hillary to 'Smile'
Those who call Hillary Clinton a shouter are getting called out. Advising her to smile has wiped the smile off supporters' faces.    
Read Full Article

Powerful Women Stand with Hillary 
Life-Saving Israeli Bandage Can Stop Severe Bleeding
A new Israeli medical innovation has produced a unique bandage that can stop severe bleeding within minutes, potentially saving lives. 
French Historians Unveil WWII Secret Services' Archives
French historians have unveiled archives that offer a unique insight into underground operations led by both the Nazis and the French resistance - along with the individual paths taken by thousands of agents, including celebrities like French designer Coco Chanel. 
Read Full Article

Inside the Pew Study on Israeli Society
In March 2016, the Pew Research Center released a new survey entitled Israel's Religiously Divided Society. The headline-making report covers a number of topics that reflect the hopes and concerns of diverse Israelis, from religious identity to citizenship to the future of the country. Federations hosted a webinar on the survey with expert Alan Cooperman, director of religion research at Pew, on March 17.  

Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.


If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director

Dana Gordon, Membership & Outreach

Hollis Wein, Communications Director 


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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible. Contributions may total up to $5400 per individual ($2700 for the primary election, and $2700 for the general election). Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.