Faith Groups Call for Senate Action to Fill Supreme Court Seat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell      Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley
317 Russell Senate Office Building               135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                 Washington, DC 20510           


February 19, 2016

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley:

Press Release from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Though our organizations reflect a diverse array of faith traditions, we share a commitment to justice and wise leadership. These values are also cornerstones of American democracy. For this reason, even as we mourn the death of committed public servant Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, we urge you to swiftly fulfill your constitutional responsibility of providing “advice and consent” on whomever is nominated by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

The system of government created by the Constitution’s Framers rests on three fully functioning and co-equal branches. A seat intentionally left vacant for an extended period of time – either through a delayed nomination or delayed consideration – threatens the ability of the government to operate at full capacity, as well as the ability for justice to be served in a timely fashion. Justice delayed is anathema to us as Americans and as people of faith seeking to create a more just nation and world.

That is why we were pleased to hear President Obama make clear his intention to send you a nominee without undue delay.  There is clear precedent for President Obama to swiftly put forth a Supreme Court nominee, and for the Senate to hold a fair hearing and timely vote. Since the 1980s, every Supreme Court nominee has been given a hearing and vote within approximately 100 days of his or her nomination. With well over 300 days before a new president takes office, there is ample time for the nomination and confirmation process. And though 2016 is an election year, the precedent here is clear as well: six Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during presidential election years.

While some of our denominations and organizations take positions on individual nominees, others do not. Yet, we are united in our shared commitment to the principle that the President’s and Senate’s constitutional duties regarding judicial vacancies ought to be carried out in a timely fashion. We urge you move expeditiously to hold hearings and vote on whomever is nominated to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.


African American Ministers In Action

Ameinu (Our People)

Anti-Defamation League

Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Catholics for Choice

Center of Concern

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Church World Service

Franciscan Action Network

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Habonim Dror

Interfaith Alliance

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Women International

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Muslim Advocates

National Council of Churches

National Council of Jewish Women

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Presbyterian Church USA

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Women of Reform Judaism

Workmen’s Circle



CC: Democratic Leader Harry Reid
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Please contact Barbara Weinstein, Associate Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, at or 202-387-2800 with any questions.