Reform Jewish Movement Urges Swift Senate Consideration of Supreme Court Nominee

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Press Release from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Washington, D.C., March 16, 2016 – In response to the nomination of Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:


We welcome President Obama’s selection today of a nominee to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. While we take no position on the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland specifically, we look forward to learning more about his record and fitness for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the nation.

Jewish tradition teaches the importance of fair and impartial courts. In Exodus, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, advises him to choose capable, trustworthy, and law abiding members of society to judge the people (18:21). As the Senate now has a similar task of reviewing Chief Judge Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court nominee, we will help them by soliciting the input of Reform Movement congregants and others whose questions we will share with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now that a nominee has been named, we call on Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Grassley to step back from the misguided position they have articulated in recent weeks and instead allow senators to fulfill their constitutionally-mandated role of providing advice and consent. The American people deserve a fully functioning judiciary, starting with a full Supreme Court bench. 


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.