July 9, 2018 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) General Counsel Marc D. Stern issued the following statement after President Trump announced that he is nominating Brett Kavanaugh to serve as a justice on the United States Supreme Court.
“While there is little doubt that Judge Kavanaugh has the technical qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, that by no means alone qualifies the nominee. No less important is the nominee’s openness to arguments that challenge his own views and previously expressed beliefs, a robust commitment to protecting the liberties the Constitution guarantees, and assuring all citizens the equal protection of the laws. Moreover, the Senate should not confirm a nominee who comes to the bench with the intention of radically and systematically rewriting American constitutional law.
“The role of the president and the Senate in choosing and approving a new Justice to the nation’s highest court requires adequate time for a full examination to assure that impartiality will govern the judgments rendered by a nominee, and that rigid and unyielding opinions and allegiances, political, economic and religious, are checked at the door of the highest court.
“It is imperative that the Supreme Court remains truly an independent branch of our government and does not become merely an extension of partisan politics. The same should be true of the confirmation process. Proper Senate evaluation of Judge Kavanaugh will be critical to assuring that the court steers clear of any ideological tilting, as the justices hear arguments and deliberate on cases affecting longstanding landmark decisions, such as Roe v. Wade.
“While AJC has strong beliefs on many issues that come before the Supreme Court – and files amicus briefs in support of those views – it recognizes that the hard cases that come before the Court do not necessarily have only one self-evident, correct answer. Neither liberals or conservatives have an exclusive on constitutional interpretation.”
Since its founding in 1906, AJC, a strictly non-partisan organization, has been a rigorous advocate for the separation of church and state, civil rights, fair and generous treatment of immigrants, religious liberty, and reproductive choice. AJC’s first amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court was in 1925 on behalf of Catholic school children in Pierce vs. Society of Sisters. In advance of Senate Judiciary Committee review of the nomination, AJC will be submitting proposed questions for the Senators’ consideration.
Mr. Stern, who has appeared four times before the U.S. Supreme Court, is one of the Jewish community’s experts on the high court, the separation of church and state, and religious liberty.
Contact Kenneth Bandler, AJC Director of Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange an interview with Mr. Stern.