population growth stops sooner.rnEast Germany’s experience with reunificationrnsuggests that the fertility raterncan fall below one child per woman.rnLive births declined 46 percent betweenrn1989 and 1991, a drop which NicholasrnEberstadt attributes to “enormous dislocationsrnin the economy.” By 1994, thernfertility rate was .77 births per woman,rndown 50.9 percent in five years due tornthe combined effects of a 60-percent declinernin the number of marriages and delayedrnchildbearing: first-time mothers averagedrn22.9 years of age in 1989rncompared to 26.2 years in 1993. Thesernmarital and fertility changes have beenrndescribed as part of a “rational adaptationrnprocess.”rnThe Thai fertility rate, 2.2 childrenrnper woman in 1996, hovers already onrnthe brink of replacement and will probablyrnfall more during the present financialrnconvulsion. Two pressures have longrnpinched optimism (and family-size targets)rnin Thailand: population growth hasrnshrunk per-capita land holdings, so thernrural population foresees farms being dividedrninto plots too small to support arnlarge family; in cities, economic securityrnis hindered by a large disparity betweenrnrich and poor and by the precariousnessrnof middle-class status in an economyrnwhere the fast-growing labor force threatensrnto overwhelm the creation of net newrngood jobs.rnThe situation in Malaysia differsrnslightly because of diversity and affirmativernaction. Ethnic Malays are nearly 60rnpercent of the population and, since independencernin 1957, have benefitedrnfrom many educational and employmentrnopportunities available only tornthem, while the Chinese and Indian minoritiesrnhave been progressively discriminatedrnagainst. The latter’s economicrnwoes are reflected in declining fertilityrnrates, from seven births per woman beforernindependence to 2.5 in 1987 forrnChinese, and from about eight down tornthree births per woman for Indians. Atrnthe same time, the Malay rate declinedrnlittle. The 1996 national statistic—dominatedrnby the more numerous Malays —rnwas 3.3 births per woman, a rate surely torndecline because not even privilegedrnMalays will be able to avoid economicrnmeltdown.rnIndia began 1996 with a rate of 3.4,rnbut larger family size is reportedly inrnvogue. Both the loosening of bureaucraticrnbarriers to entiepreneurial activityrnand high emigration would account forrnincreased income and greater family security.rnDomestic prosperity is likely to berndashed, however, by regional financialrnevents, and this should renew the declinernin fertility.rnThe highest fertility rates in South,rnEast, and Southeast Asia occur wherernsignificant proportions of the populationrnhave emigrated, and immigration to thernUnited States offers continuing opportunity.rnMany immigrants remit funds tornrelatives back home, a source of incomernwhich is widely distributed among poorandrnmiddle-class families —preciselyrnwhere most decisions about family sizernare made. Filipino women average 4.1rnbirths. Similarly, Laotians (6.1 births perrnwoman), Cambodians (5.8), and Vietnamesern(3.7) are partially insulated fi-omrnregional economic cycles by immigrationrnand their ongoing refugee entitlementsrnin the United States. Therefore,rnno sharp fertility decline should be expectedrnsoon.rnThese predictions grow out of the fertilityrnopportunity explanation of familyrnsize. Some observers still argue that fertilityrnfalls because infant mortality ratesrnfall or because women are educated (thernU.N.’s favorite). But the commonsensicalrnidea that people have as many childrenrnas seem affordable, given theirrnchildrearing standards, is gaining adherents.rnThis rationale explains rising asrnwell as declining fertility. Moreover, itrnbuilds on the theory of natural selection,rnwhich links evolutionary success to havingrnthe maximum number of offspringrnwho survive and reproduce in turn.rnAlthough deriving from biology andrnanthropology, the fertility opportunityrnhypothesis has converged with economicrntheory. In fact, America’s history ofrnlow fertility in times of meager economicrnopportunity (e.g., the Depression) andrnhigh fertility rates during times of economicrnexpansion (e.g., the Baby Boomrnyears) has convinced the Advisory Councilrnon Social Security that a small birthrncohort, whose members are likely to encounterrnample job opportunities relativernto their number, will command highrnwages and see rapid career advancementrnand, therefore, have big families, and itrnsays so in its 1994 report. On the otherrnhand, a large birth cohort tends to floodrnthe labor market, causing wages and benefitsrnto stagnate or fall and leading to arndecline in desired family size.rnBoth labor market opportunities andrnasset values subject to financial gyrationsrnchange the gleam in a father’s eye.rnKnowing recent economic events andrnthe distribution of wealth in any society,rnit is possible to predict the likely trajectoryrnof fertility rates. When the middlernclass—not just the wealthy few—feels securernand rich, fertility rates turn up.rnThat could happen in America. In Asia,rnhowever, expect decline.rnVirginia Abemethy, a professor of psychiatryrnand anthropology at the VanderbiltrnUniversity School of Medicine, is the authorrnof Population Politics: The ChoicesrnThat Shape Our Future.rnJUDICIARYrnIs There Hope forrnthe Federal Courts?rnby Stephen B. PresserrnI n a radio address last year. PresidentrnClinton railed against congressionalrnRepublicans who were stalling on hisrnnominees to the federal bench and hadrneven threatened some sitting judgesrnwith impeachment. Their actions, hernclaimed, had endangered our traditionrnof judicial independence, and were anrnattack on the rule of law itself The truth,rnof course, is exactly the opposite. Forrnmany years, the federal judiciary hasrnbeen operating in a manner that is arngross departure from the Framers’ intentions.rnIs there, then, any hope of reclaimingrnthe federal courts, of bringingrnthem back to their original role in thernOld Republic? Perhaps, and a tiny ray ofrnhope shimmers in some recent decisionsrnrendered from the federal benches.rnWhat would a jurisprudence that tiledrnto recapture the insights of the Framersrnactually look like? The first principle ofrnearly national jurisprudence was that lawrncannot be understood without somernsense of its divine purpose. The Framersrnbelieved that no American legal orderrncould subsist without morality and thatrnmorality depended upon religion. Mostrnof the early state constitutions had religiousrnrequirements for the exercise of thernfranchise or for holding office, three ofrnOCTOBER 1998/47rnrnrn