by Haya Luftig
February 14, 2020
Adopted by the 2020 JCPA Delegates Assembly
“The world rests on three things: justice, truth, and peace” (Avot 1:18). Our Jewish tradition and American values rely on justice, which is chiefly administered in the United States by the judicial branch. Our cohesion as a nation relies on the legitimacy and fairness of our judiciary. For this reason, it is essential that judicial nominees hold themselves to the highest ethical standards, a commitment to the rule of law, and demonstrate a dedication to safeguarding the rights of all Americans.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that:
- The administration of justice by the judiciary branch is a cornerstone of American democracy. Thus, lifetime appointments on the federal bench should be filled by fair, independent, and diverse individuals proven to be qualified and committed to protecting civil liberties and constitutional rights, including but not limited to reproductive justice, religious equality, and civil rights.
- After careful consideration and deliberation, the president must nominate and the Senate must confirm qualified judicial nominees who reflect the diversity of the American public.
- The Senate must ensure that federal judges are impartial arbiters of justice without partisan agendas.
- The Senate Judiciary Committee should wait to hold hearings on judicial nominees until after the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has completed its non-partisan evaluation of professional qualifications, including experience, integrity and temperament, and should only approve nominees who are determined to be qualified by the ABA.
The Jewish community relations field should:
- Work with state and local partners to educate the community on the essential role of the courts in our justice system and advocate for a process that will result in appointment to federal judgeships of diverse individuals dedicated to upholding civil liberties and constitutional rights.
- Familiarize themselves with federal judicial nominees affecting their communities and express any concerns and questions regarding the nominee to the JCPA and senators.
- Educate the community on the detrimental effects of federal judges who are not qualified and/or promote partisanship over justice and equity.