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A series of editorials comparing the records and programs of the presidential candidates on important issues.

The Choice on Courts
EVERY FOUR YEARS, partisans at both ends of the political spectrum wring their hands at the devastation the other side will wreak if its presidential candidate gets to nominate the next four years' worth of federal judges. Conservatives warn that the courts will impose a liberal social agenda. Liberals fret about a "rollback" of basic rights.

The Choice on Iraq
DESPITE THEIR dramatic debate over whether the invasion of Iraq was a necessity or a mistake, President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry essentially agree on what U.S. goals and strategy there should be in the coming year or two. That is less of a contradiction than it might seem: Regardless of whether the war was right, the situation it produced offers few if any responsible options other than those endorsed by both candidates.

The Choice on Immigration
BOB SCHIEFFER, moderator of the third presidential debate, noted that he had received more e-mail on immigration than on any other topic. The issue evokes strong opinions and emotions -- which may explain why neither candidate wants to talk about it much.

The Choice on Liberty
AFTER SEPT. 11, 2001, the legal tools at President Bush's disposal were out of date and did not address the new realities of this different kind of war. He had to confront some difficult choices in the balance between civil liberties and the need to root out terrorist cells at home and abroad. The criticism those choices have sparked has not always been fair. But too often Mr. Bush has overstepped, both in his policy changes and in the way he has pursued them.

The Choice: Homeland Security
IT WILL BE a central theme of the next four years, affecting everyone from firefighters to travelers to chief executives. Yet the presidential debate on homeland security has been shockingly anemic.

More in This Series:
The Choice on Health Care (Post, Oct. 11, 2004)

The Choice on North Korea (Post, Oct. 4, 2004)

The Choice on the Environment (Post, Sept. 27, 2004)

The Choice on Energy (Post, Sept. 26, 2004)

The Choice on Schooling (Post, Sept. 23, 2004)

The Choice on Iran (Post, Sept. 20, 2004)

The Choice on the Deficit (Post, Sept. 14, 2004)

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