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Reform Jewish Leader Responds to Supreme Court Nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr.
In response to President Bush’s nomination today of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement noting, "today’s nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court has begun anew the process of filling the seat vacated by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As the President noted in accepting Harriet Miers’s decision to withdraw her nomination, the Senate’s responsibility to examine thoroughly a nominee’s record, work and writings is of paramount importance."

Saperstein: Particularly because he has been nominated to fill Justice O’Connor’s seat, it is all the more essential that an exploration of his record demonstrates that Judge Alito will sit on the bench with an open mind and uphold the rights and liberties Americans hold dear.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Emily Kane 202.387.2800

Washington, October 31, 2005 – In response to President Bush’s nomination today of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Today’s nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court has begun anew the process of filling the seat vacated by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As the President noted in accepting Harriet Miers’s decision to withdraw her nomination, the Senate’s responsibility to examine thoroughly a nominee’s record, work and writings is of paramount importance. For this reason, we call on the Administration to make available all pertinent documents concerning Judge Alito’s work and call on the Senate to carefully review that material and fully exercise its powers of advise and consent.

We look forward to the opportunity to learn more about how Judge Alito has conducted himself as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Throughout her tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor was well-known for approaching cases with an open mind, for understanding the real-world impact of her rulings, and for rarely abandoning the Warren and Burger Courts’ expanded protection of rights for women and minorities and of the wall of separation of church and state. Particularly because he has been nominated to fill Justice O’Connor’s seat, it is all the more essential that an exploration of his record demonstrates that Judge Alito will sit on the bench with an open mind and uphold the rights and liberties Americans hold dear.

To encourage the participation of Reform Jews and others in the process of exploring Judge Alito’s fitness for the Supreme Court, the Religious Action Center is launching a website, www.AskJudgeAlito.com, which allows for the submission of questions to be asked by Senators during the confirmation hearings. We look forward to working with Senators on the vital process of ensuring that any Supreme Court nominee is worthy of a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.

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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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