Central Conference of American Rabbis Statement on the Selection of a Supreme Court Justice

The Central Conference of American Rabbis takes note of the awesome opportunity and responsibility facing the President of the United States and every member of the U.S. Senate as they prepare to fulfill their constitutional role in nominating and considering the confirmation of a new member of the Unite States Supreme Court.

We are taught, “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). Moses understood that commandment as a weighty burden to select righteous judges. According to Rashi, the medieval rabbinic commentator, the word “pursue” requires us to search ardently for a righteous court, since the welfare of the nation depends upon justice.

The U.S. Constitution enshrines cherished American freedoms which the Supreme Court is charged with preserving. Reform rabbis are grateful for the Constitution’s promise of religious liberty and the separation of religion and state, which have facilitated diverse religious life in this country, free of coercion.

Today’s Supreme Court is charged with assuring freedom and opportunity for all within our borders. We urge the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm a justice who will respect precedent in key areas which uphold protection of the most fundamental rights which our Conference supports, rooted in our understanding of Torah – including, but not limited to, the separation of church and state, protection of civil rights and civil liberties, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, climate justice, and women’s reproductive freedom.

Reform rabbis hold President Trump and the members of the United States Senate in our prayers as they prepare to undertake their most solemn of responsibilities.

Rabbi David E. Stern                                      Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President                                                         Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis