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Reform Movement Hopes Souter Successor Preserves Church/State Separation

Pelavin: “We hope that the next Supreme Court Justice will follow in Justice Souter’s footsteps as strong defender of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jessie Weiser
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2009 – In response to press reports that Justice David Souter intends to retire at the end of the 2008-2009 Supreme Court term, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Throughout Justice Souter’s tenure on the Supreme Court, he has proven to be a great defender of religious liberty and its necessary corollary, the separation of church and state. His extensive writings have been pivotal in carrying forward the tradition of the Warren and Burger Courts to erect a robust wall protecting religious communities from the interference of the government. 

We hope that the next Supreme Court Justice will follow in Justice Souter’s footsteps as a strong defender of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. We hope the Court will, once again, become the arbitrator and protector of our most cherished fundamental rights and liberties.”

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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