More Souter reaction: RAC, NCJW praise departing justice


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism says it hopes that the next Supreme Court justice follows in Justice David Souter’s footsteps as a "strong defender of religious freedom and the separation of church and state." Here’s the group’s press release:

Throughout Justice Souter’s tenure on the Supreme Court, he has proven to be a great defender of religious liberty and its necessary corollary, the separation of church and state. His extensive writings have been pivotal in carrying forward the tradition of the Warren and Burger Courts to erect a robust wall protecting religious communities from the interference of the government. 

We hope that the next Supreme Court Justice will follow in Justice Souter’s footsteps as a strong defender of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. We hope the Court will, once again, become the arbitrator and protector of our most cherished fundamental rights and liberties.”

The National Council of Jewish Women also says it will miss Souter, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, who was "guided by emphathy rather than extremism:

In response to the news of Justice David Souter’s retirement from the Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) President Nancy Ratzan issued the following statement, saluting Justice Souter and pledging NCJW’s active support for a nominee with a strong track record of commitment to constitutional values and rights:

“NCJW honors Justice David Souter’s outstanding service to our nation during his tenure on the Supreme Court. Throughout his 18 years of service, he has kept faith with the constitution and the law, guided by empathy rather than extremism. His voice will be missed.

 “The decision of whom to nominate to fill this upcoming vacancy may well be one of the most important that President Obama will make—one that will have an impact well beyond his term in office. NCJW urges the President to select a nominee with a proven commitment to fundamental freedoms, including reproductive rights. We hope, too, that the President will seek to promote diversity on the Court by looking for a nominee from among the many highly qualified female and minority candidates.

“Since 2001, through our BenchMark judicial nominations campaign, NCJW has been educating and mobilizing our members and others about the impact that the courts have on virtually every aspect of our lives and about the need to engage in the process of filling lifetime seats on the federal bench. This is a critical time for individuals to speak out for a nominee who will uphold constitutional values, like equality, justice, and opportunity for all.” 

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