Reform: Say no to Bork


Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington, has released a statement blasting Robert Bork for his comments about U.S. Supereme Court nominee Elena Kagan and former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak:

“We are deeply appalled by Robert Bork’s declaration yesterday that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s admiration of former Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak makes her unfit to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice. Chief Justice Barak’s legacy of affirmation of fundamental rights and the rule of law and his profound and enduring impact on the Israeli judicial system, should be celebrated and admired, not used as a political tool to derail the confirmation of a qualified nominee.  Chief Justice Barak is a celebrated Israeli hero, whose vision and perspective helped Israel to become a more democratic and just society. The insinuation that none of his admirers could be unbiased arbiters of American law is simply outrageous.

"The Reform Movement has consistently reiterated the importance of fair, thorough and comprehensive hearings on Supreme Court nominees.  The upcoming hearings on Solicitor General Kagan’s nomination, and not Mr. Bork’s comments, should provide the information necessary for Senators and the American public to determine whether Solicitor General Kagan will adhere to constitutional values and approach every case with an open mind.”

Does this put Reform and Orthodox on the same page? Well, yes and no. The Reform movement’s D.C. office in this case has formally said no to Bork, whereas the O.U.’s D.C. office has simply published a blog post informally taking issue with some of what the former Supereme Court nominee had to say. (Sort of like the movements’ respective rabbis on pork, but the other way around.)

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