For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Contact: Max Rosenblum or Graham Roth
202.387.2800 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – Following hearings on the nomination of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be the next U.S. Attorney General, 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:
The Reform Movement strongly opposes the nomination of Senator Sessions as Attorney General. Senator Sessions’ testimony failed to signal a clear departure from his longstanding record of insufficient commitment to voting rights, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ equality, women’s rights, immigration reform and church-state separation. Senator Sessions’ record and testimony causes us to believe that, as Attorney General, he would stand in the way of the Justice Department’s mandate to enforce and protect these fundamental rights.
The pursuit of civil rights has been central to our Movement’s social justice work for over 50 years. Guided by the fundamental principle that all people are created in the divine image and words of Leviticus 19:18, ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ we have worked to support policies and laws that advance the fundamental rights of all people, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. These include the Voting Rights Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and others. The enforcement of these landmark laws is of fundamental concern to our Movement, and the threat Senator Sessions poses to them is at the core of our opposition.
We urge all Senators to join us in opposing Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General. Should Senator Sessions be confirmed, we are prepared to work with the Department of Justice and hold him accountable to ensure equal protection under the law for all Americans.
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 www.rac.org for more.