The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) today endorsed the approval by the United States Senate Judiciary Committee of the nomination of the Hon. Neil Gorsuch to serve as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court, and urged confirmation of his appointment by the full Senate. President Trump’s nominee will fill the Supreme Court seat vacant since the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“Judge Gorsuch’s recognition that ‘a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge’ is a reproach to judicial activism and a welcome return to the traditional role of judge as impartial arbiter of the law,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Senior Rabbinic Fellow of CJV and an attorney. “Legislation from the bench has proven to slowly erode the norms of democracy and the freedoms that we cherish.”
CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow Rabbi Dov Fischer, an adjunct professor of law who previously served as clerk for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit, added that Judge Gorsuch, during his years as a federal appeals court judge in the United States Tenth Circuit, “continually demonstrated great intelligence, deep personal integrity, and an unswerving dedication to historic principles of Constitutional law, including the First Amendment’s protections of religious liberty. His determined opposition to using the judiciary as ‘unelected and unaccountable legislators’ is a welcome restoration of the commitment to the rule of law.”
Long before Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Rabbis Pruzansky and Fischer identified his commitment to supporting protecting the religious rights of all Americans, when these two CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellows joined a third rabbinic colleague to file an amicus curae brief in the United States Supreme Court, supporting the appeal on behalf of the religious rights of the nuns of the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. In their amicus brief, the rabbis cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014), where the Court affirmed a prior Tenth Circuit 5-3 en banc determination in which Justice Gorsuch authored a strong concurring opinion, endorsing the “sincerely held religious beliefs” of the Hobby Lobby owners. The Hobby Lobby decision offered critical protection to the religious rights of believers and reaffirmed the Constitution’s traditional support for religious liberty that dates back to the Founding Fathers.
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, a CJV Senior Rabbinic Fellow and an attorney, added that “Judge Gorsuch is exceptionally well qualified, has shown a gracious spirit and a tolerant, open mind, and he possesses a temperament that is the epitome of justice. His defense of religious freedoms against government encroachment reflects both his allegiance to the American Constitution and his sensitivity to the cherished beliefs of average Americans.”
The CJV called upon Congress to “set aside the rancor that too often paralyzes government and polarizes society” and to “swiftly confirm Judge Gorsuch as the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.”