NCJW Urges Frist to Reconsider Participation in 'Justice Sunday'

April 19, 2005, Washington, DC -- The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is appalled at the decision of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to appear on the Family Research Council's 'Justice Sunday' telecast, designed to cast the debate on filibustering judicial nominees in religious terms. NCJW President Phyllis Snyder sent a letter urging Senator Frist to reconsider his decision and issued the following statement:

"NCJW is appalled by the decision of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to appear on the so-called 'Justice Sunday' telecast of the Family Research Council (FRC) on April 24. According to its president, Tony Perkins, the event will be dedicated to 'putting a halt to the use of filibusters against people of faith.' Senator Frist's appearance would ally him with the FRC's efforts to malign the religious beliefs of those who hold opposing views on political issues and, indeed, on the Constitution itself.

"The event literature speaks of 'activist courts' that act 'like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms.' A downloadable promotional flyer depicts a young man choosing between 'public service' and 'faith in Christ.'

"NCJW takes personal affront at this tactic. To attack those with a different judicial philosophy and policy viewpoint as religious opponents is the worst form of intolerance and demagoguery. America's independent judiciary is a treasure that we undermine at our peril. It is the bedrock of our fundamental freedoms. It is one thing to express disagreement with an individual court decision; it is quite another to attack the bench as a whole, with the intention of discrediting an entire branch of government using a spurious charge of religious bigotry. Senator Frist should withdraw from participation in this event and reframe the debate in terms appropriate to a pluralistic democracy."

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.