WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish groups congratulated Sonia Sotomayor on her confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
B’nai B’rith International, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Anti-Defamation League, the Reform Jewish movement, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs all lauded the 68-31 Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor as a justice and noted the historic nature of Sotomayor’s ascension to the bench.
"The nomination and confirmation of the Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice is an historic step forward for our nation," the ADL said in a statement.
"The Supreme Court has a powerful and lasting impact on the issues that Reform Jews care about, including ensuring freedom of religion and speech, preserving civil liberties and civil rights, protecting the environment, defending reproductive health and rights, and guaranteeing due process in our legal system," Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in a statement. "We hope, and have every reason to believe, that Justice-designate Sotomayor will preserve the essential rights and freedoms that the Supreme Court has afforded the American people over time."
And in a letter to Sotomayor, Rabbinical Assembly leaders said that "We salute you because your family history and background parallels the immigrant experience of more than 2 million of our people who left Europe and came to this blessed land, finding here a haven from poverty and persecution as well as extraordinary acceptance and opportunity. We are certain that your appreciation for the challenges as well as the benefits which America provides will inform your understanding and interpretations of the Constitution."