NCJW Expresses Concern about Supreme Court Nominations;
Opposes Efforts to Change Senate Rules

November 30, 2004, Washington, DC -- In anticipation of possible vacancies on the US Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) President Marsha Atkind released the following statement:

"It is expected that the Bush administration will have the opportunity to nominate one or more new Supreme Court justices in the next four years. We fervently hope the president will act in the spirit of his post-election address to the nation, and nominate mainstream justices we can all support. We know they won't be the justices we might have appointed, but if they are committed to our fundamental freedoms, including the right to privacy, separation of religion and state, and the other protections contained in the Bill of Rights, the bitter confirmation controversies that have occurred in the past, albeit rarely, can be avoided.

"However, talk that the US Senate will abandon its longstanding rules governing debate in order to confirm pending or new extremist nominees to lifetime seats on our federal courts is of great concern. The so-called 'nuclear option' that would end the ability of the Senate minority to delay votes on particularly objectionable nominees would overturn an 80-year-old practice designed to protect the minority's rights. Such a change would result in the unchecked steamrolling of extreme nominees through the approval process and the packing of the federal courts for a generation. Rather than relying on the Senate majority to run roughshod over a time-honored deliberative process, the administration should focus on selecting moderate nominees who could win bipartisan support."

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms for all through its network of 90,000 members, supporters, and volunteers nationwide. It has launched BenchMark: NCJW's Campaign to Save Roe, a national effort to educate and mobilize NCJW members, the Jewish community, and friends and allies everywhere to promote a federal bench with judges that support fundamental freedoms, including a woman's right to choose.