April 24, 2014 · 24 Nisan

Join Us

Key Topics

Give

Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Filibuster Compromise
In response to the compromise by a group of 14 Senators pertaining to the use of the filibuster of judicial nominations, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement noting, "We hope that President Bush will follow the lead of those forging a moderate path and refrain from continuing to nominate individuals with extreme ideologies to the federal bench – including the Supreme Court."

Saperstein: We hope that President Bush will follow the lead of those forging a moderate path and refrain from continuing to nominate individuals with extreme ideologies to the federal bench – including the Supreme Court.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Emily Kane
202.387.2800

Washington, May 24, 2005 – In response to the compromise announced last night by a group of 14 Senators pertaining to the use of the filibuster of judicial nominations, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: 

    We are pleased that the deal struck yesterday by a bipartisan group of Senators maintains the Senate’s historic use of the filibuster.  That, of course, had been our key goal.  

    The deal to avert a Senate showdown over the nuclear option preserves the filibuster and suggests the welcome possibility of bipartisan cooperation on judicial appointments.  We hope that President Bush will follow the lead of those forging a moderate path and refrain from continuing to nominate individuals with extreme ideologies to the federal bench – including the Supreme Court.  We call on President Bush to nominate only individuals whose records reflect a commitment to the rights and liberties of all Americans. 

    The filibuster, which has been used sparingly and against only those nominees whose records fall clearly beyond the mainstream of American values, is an essential tool of the Senate’s democratic process. The filibuster helps protect the voice of the minority – and that is something to which the Jewish community can strongly relate. The fact that only 10 of President Bush’s 218 judicial nominees have been filibustered is evidence of that fact. 

    The battle for the future of the federal courts is far from over.  Accordingly, we urge members of the Jewish community to become more involved in expressing their views and concerns about extreme judicial nominations.  To that end, we have taken out ads in major Jewish newspapers across the nation.

    By their nature, compromises are unsatisfying.  That is certainly true in this case.  We have strong concerns that the compromise makes effective opposition to the most extreme of President Bush’s judicial nominees more difficult.  We cannot help but be struck by the fact that the coalition of “moderate” Senators who put together this compromise agreed to rule out filibusters on perhaps the most controversial of the President’s nominees:  Priscilla Owen, who has advanced her personal anti-choice views from her seat on the Texas Supreme Court; William Pryor, who has questioned the entire concept of the church/state separation; and Janice Rogers Brown, who has been continually hostile to civil rights.

    We hope that, building on the agreement reached over the filibuster, Senators will continue to fulfill their Constitutional role of advise and consent, guided by their consciences and the mandate to serve all the people whom they represent. 


###
 

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis. 



Chai Impact Action Center
Take action on these top issues!

 

 
Travel Justly, Social Action Prayers, Program Bank, Holiday Guides Travel Justly Social Action Prayers Social Action Program Bank Holiday Guides
© Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, 1996-2013
View our Privacy Statement
URJ CCAR