October 02, 2014 · 8 Tishrei

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Reform Jewish Movement Voices Disappointment at the Confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor
In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Barbara Weinstein, Legislative Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement noting, "The Reform Movement is deeply troubled by the confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Both individuals share records that demonstrate repeated violations of the fundamental principles in which we believe, including: preservation of civil rights, reproductive freedom and the separation of church and state."

Weinstein: Despite the recent agreement between fourteen Senators to end the filibuster against these nominees, the Brown and Pryor confirmations draw into question the Senate’s commitment to confirming judges of highest caliber and deserving of a seat on our nation’s highest courts.

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2005 - In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Barbara Weinstein, Legislative Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The Reform Movement is deeply troubled by the confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and William Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Both individuals share records that demonstrate repeated violations of the fundamental principles in which we believe, including: preservation of civil rights, reproductive freedom and the separation of church and state.

Despite the recent agreement between fourteen Senators to end the filibuster against these nominees, the Brown and Pryor confirmations draw into question the Senate’s commitment to confirming judges of highest caliber and deserving of a seat on our nation’s highest courts. The Reform Jewish Movement will continue working to ensure that other similarly extremist nominees not receive confirmation.

Jewish law outlines the qualifications required of judges in order to preserve the credibility necessary for the court to maintain its integrity. Similarly, those empowered to select judges are obligated to choose wisely: "One who appoints a judge who is not worthy, or who is not wise in the knowledge of Torah or who is ineligible to be a judge, transgresses the negative commandment: You shall not respect persons in judgment. (Deut. 1:17)" (Hoshen Mishpat 8).

We believe in our founders’ vision of a fair and independent judiciary and will remain vocally opposed to any nominee who threatens our core values. We call on President Bush to use discretion in nominating individuals of high caliber, in consultation with Senators from both sides of the aisle. We must not allow the future of our courts to be threatened by judges who refuse to uphold the law. We must not sacrifice our nation’s future and our children’s futures by entrusting our judiciary to Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor, and others who will use the trust given them to undermine the rights, liberties, and values we hold dear.

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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.



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