Reform Jewish Leader Concerned By Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2017

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Press Release from the Religious Action Center

WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump's announcement that he has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and wider Reform Movement:

“We are concerned by the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. While the confirmation proceedings are an important opportunity to evaluate the nominee's fitness for the high office to which they have been nominated, we are greatly troubled by Judge Gorsuch’s record, which suggests that he may not have the attributes and values a nominee to the Supreme Court ought to have in order to mete out justice and interpret the laws that affect us all. We look forward to engaging in the confirmation process to further evaluate Judge Gorsuch's views on issues of core importance to the Reform Movement, including civil rights, separation of church and state, religious freedom, women's rights, LGBTQ equality, and many more.

"The vacancy on the Court has been open for almost a year since the passing of Justice Scalia, and we believe that it is the President's prerogative to nominate and the Senate's responsibility to provide advice and consent. That is why we advocated strongly for a hearing and vote on Judge Merrick Garland, whose nomination languished for an unprecedented period of time. That abdication of the Senate’s responsibility to support a fully functioning judiciary and provide advice and consent on nominees is a stain on the Senate and has incalculably damaged our nation. Nonetheless, it is also absolutely crucial that whomever joins the highest court in the land is a person who will defend the Constitution, promote equal rights and opportunity for all and approach legal interpretation with the reverence and care it deserves. Unless President Trump's nominee meets all of these criteria and clarifies his views in confirmation hearings, we have significant reservations about his confirmation to be a Supreme Court Justice."


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.