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Reform Movement Responds to Supreme Court Nomination


Pelavin: "President Obama's appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court reflects his commitment to building a federal judiciary filled with jurists who have brilliant legal minds and are committed to upholding constitutional values while approaching every case with an open mind."

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2009 - In response to President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued the following statement:

"The historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as a Supreme Court Justice marks an important moment in our nation's history. Judge Sotomayor's life story inspires renewed faith in the American dream - the ability of an individual to overcome major obstacles and to achieve great success.

As I sat in the East Room of the White House this morning listening to President Obama and Judge Sotomayor, I was a few seats away from the Judge's mother. What pride she must have felt not only for her own daughter's nomination, but to see her daughter become the first Latina nominated to the High Court.

President Obama's appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court reflects his commitment to building a federal judiciary filled with jurists who have brilliant legal minds and are committed to upholding constitutional values while approaching every case with an open mind. Judge Sotomayor's experience on the federal bench at the time of her appointment is unmatched by that of any current Justice or, according to reports, by any Justice before her for at least 70 years. This experience has left her with an extensive record of legal opinions, many of which speak directly to issues of importance to our Movement.

Now, we begin the process of closely examining Judge Sotomayor's record. Just as we expect the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will do in preparation for Judge Sotomayor's hearing, we will scrutinize Judge Sotomayor's opinions to develop a deeper understanding of her judicial approach and philosophy. We will determine whether her record indicates that she will uphold the fundamental rights and liberties that our Movement fights for daily. We look forward to the productive dialogue that we hope will surround this nomination.

As we did for the last two Supreme Court nominations, we will be setting up a special web page to facilitate our community's involvement on this critical decision. On that page - www. askjudgesotomayor.com - people all across the country will have the opportunity to suggest questions they would like to see the Judiciary Committee ask Judge Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing. We will then work with members of the Judiciary Committee to have some of those questions asked at the hearing."

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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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