Saperstein: “Individuals from across the country, from our Movement and beyond, will have the opportunity to suggest questions that they hope the Judiciary Committee will ask Solicitor General Kagan during her confirmation hearing.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2010 — In response to President Barack Obama’s nomination today of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We welcome President Obama’s swift action in nominating Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. The work of the Court is vital to the application of justice in our nation and to the preservation of the values that the Reform Movement supports. As the nominee herself stated this morning, “Law matters because it keeps us safe, because it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms, and because it is the foundation of our democracy.” We urge the Senate to consider the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan, a trailblazer with a stellar reputation, in time to allow for a full bench at the start of the new term in October.
The RAC worked closely with Solicitor General Kagan on an array of religious freedom, civil rights, and women’s rights issues during her time as a legal and policy aide to President Bill Clinton. We found in her someone passionate in her commitment to constitutional rights and wise in her strategic judgment. Being at the White House this morning when the President nominated her to serve as the 112th Supreme Court Justice was a pleasure and a privilege.
As we have done for the last three Supreme Court nominations, we have created a special web page to facilitate our community’s involvement in this critical decision. On www.AskElenaKagan.com, individuals from across the country, from our Movement and beyond, will have the opportunity to suggest questions they hope the Judiciary Committee will ask Solicitor General Kagan during her confirmation hearing. We will communicate these questions to members of the Judiciary Committee and work with them to ensure that the questions asked reflect issues of concern and importance to Reform Jews and Americans.
We look forward to reviewing the details of Solicitor General Kagan’s impressive record as the first female dean of Harvard Law School, the first female Solicitor General, and a political appointee. We will scrutinize her statements and writings to get a sense of her judicial philosophy and temperament and determine whether she will uphold the fundamental values that our Movement supports.
We know that the members of the Senate take seriously their roles in this process and we hope that this sense of responsibility will lead to an informative, civil, and expeditious confirmation process.